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Oklahoma 4th state to ban pain-capable abortioncomment (0)

May 5, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma has become the fourth state — and third state this year — to enact a ban on abortions of unborn babies who ostensibly are able to feel pain.

Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, signed the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law April 20.

The measure prohibits abortions after 20 weeks of gestation based on scientific evidence a baby in the womb experiences pain by that point.

Fallin also signed legislation that prohibits health insurance policies in the state from covering elective abortions.

Oklahoma joined Idaho and Kansas in adopting pain-capable abortion bans this year. Nebraska became the first state to enact such a law when it passed the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2010.

The pain-capable approach tightens the restriction on late-term abortions.

The model legislation, which was drafted by the National Right to Life Committee, sets the benchmark earlier than one based on fetal viability, which can be 22 to 24 weeks.

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