Gov. Robert Bentley today signed a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, states that fetuses in the womb can feel pain and requires reports on abortions to be filed with the state’s Office of Vital Statistics, part of the Department of Public Health.
“I believe that life begins at conception, and I signed this bill to further commit my promise to protect the life of an unborn child,” Bentley said in statement.
Physicians accused of violating the law could face a Class C Felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Similar fetal-pain bills have passed in other states. According to an article in Mother Jones magazine, questions have been raised about the scientific validity of the pain assertions, with most researchers saying fetuses do not appear to feel pain before 24 weeks.
– posted by Brian Lyman