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GOP-led Iowa Senate approves 20-week abortion ban

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:53 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES (AP) — The Republican-controlled Iowa Senate has approved a bill that would ban most abortions in the state after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The chamber passed the bill Tuesday night and it now goes to the GOP-led House.

Iowa law now bans abortions at the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, or 27 weeks. The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that stage.

There would be exemptions where the mother’s life is at risk. A woman could terminate a pregnancy between 20 and 24 weeks if the fetus has a fatal condition.

More than 15 states have passed similar legislation, and a handful faced legal challenges.

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