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Nebraska law is first to ban abortion on fetal pain basis

Nebraska passed a law on Tuesday that bans most abortions 20 weeks after conception or later. What's unique about this law is that is is the first to restrict abortions on the grounds that the fetus feels pain.

Some states require counseling to women contemplating an abortion, and are told then how fetuses may experience pain. However, no other state has included fetal pain as part of an abortion-limiting law.

Abortion opponents welcomed the law, while abortion rights proponents said it was unconstitutional and are considering ways to challenge it. It seems as if this could end up in the Supreme Court. Mary Spaulding Balch of the National Right to Life organization believes that Supreme Court would be open to supporting Nebraska: "You need five votes. I think there are five on the current Supreme Court who would give serious consideration to Nebraska's claim."

The Nebraska law's reliance on the fetal pain rationale shows how far the anti-abortion camp has shifted from using moral arguments to medical and scientific arguments. Furthermore, fetal pain is really bogus science, as Stuart Derbyshire, of the University of Birmingham, explained here.

UPDATE: Derbyshire has an article on the new Nebraska law - go here.

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