'Fetal Pain' Abortion Bans Face Court Scrutiny

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'Fetal Pain' Abortion Bans Face Court Scrutiny


As abortion laws in states such as North Dakota, Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas have become more restrictive, critics have taken the new "fetal pain" restrictions to court, Christianity Today reports. In one of the first rulings by a federal appeals court on such bans, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco struck down Arizona's ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The court cited "40 years of Supreme Court precedents that allow a woman to terminate her pregnancy if the fetus is not yet viable," according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Nine other states have similar bans on abortions before 20 weeks of pregnancy -- the point at which a fetus is thought to be able to feel pain. Idaho's fetal pain law was the first to be struck down, but at the district and not appellate level. Arkansas faces an injunction against its newly passed ban on abortions after 12 weeks; meanwhile, North Dakota's only abortion clinic has also filed suit after the state approved a bill to ban some abortions as soon as six weeks into pregnancy.

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