States push ahead with 20-week abortion bills

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While divided House Republicans abandoned plans to vote on a ban on abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, the issue is thriving at the state level, with almost a third of all states having passed or considering similar laws.

Twenty-week bans — so-called “fetal pain” or “pain capable” bills because supporters say that’s when a fetus can feel pain — have been introduced this year in South Carolina and West Virginia, with Wisconsin and Ohio expecting to follow suit.

Ten states already ban abortions at about 20 weeks post fertilization. Similar laws in three others, Arizona, Georgia and Idaho, have been blocked in court action.

The Arizona law was struck down in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court declined to take the case. The cases in Georgia and Idaho are ongoing.