South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has signed a bill into law that makes it illegal for women in the state to obtain abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. South Carolina is the 13th state to enact such a law, after Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
CNN reports the bill, called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, says that medical evidence supports fetuses can feel pain as early as 20 weeks.
According to the bill, "After twenty weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human, for example, by recoiling.”
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists argued that “fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester.” The third trimester starts at 28 weeks of pregnancy.
"Facts are very important, especially when discussing the health of women and the American public,” the organization said in a statement.
Physicians who violate the new South Carolina law will be charged with a misdemeanor offense, with a maximum sentence of three years in jail and a fine.
Publication date: May 26, 2016