Roe v. Wade

Neb. Bans Abortions After 20th Week

Nebraska has passed a law banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, which abortion-rights advocates say is unconstitutional. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, as the ban is called, is the first of its kind in the U.S., and is based on the controversial assertion that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks in the womb. Doctors could face felony charges if they perform the medical procedure after that date. Pro-choice groups see the law, which takes effect October 20, as a direct flouting of the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. Pro-life groups called it a landmark. While considering the bill, the Nebraska state legislature held hearings in which some medical professionals said fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks; however, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said it knows of "no legitimate scientific information that supports the statement that a fetus experiences pain."