Kentucky Senate panel advances 20-week abortion ban bill

Published: Jan. 4, 2017 at 7:24 PM EST
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A Senate panel has given quick approval to legislation aimed at banning abortions in Kentucky after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill sailed through the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee on Wednesday with solid Republican support. It was opposed by three of the panel's Democrats.

Supporters say the bill is based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. Opponents to similar bills elsewhere have characterized that as scientifically unsound.

Sen. Brandon Smith of Hazard says his bill would make exceptions to the 20-week abortion ban when the mother's life is in danger. But he says it does not include exceptions in cases of rape and incest, contrary to how the bill was characterized Tuesday when introduced.

The measure now heads to the full Senate.

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