A public hearing has been scheduled for next week at the state Capitol, on a fast-moving bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
The Assembly and Senate health committees will hold a joint hearing on the measure next week. Supporters have said they want to move the bill through the legislature before lawmakers open debate on the proposed state budget next month.
Senate President Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), a main sponsor of the measure, has argued it’s needed to protect fetuses from being exposed to the pain of abortion. She claims medical research has shown they are capable of being able to feel pain at 20 weeks gestation, although several members of the medical community have disputed that claim.
The proposed abortion ban does not include an exceptions for rape or incest, but does provide one for cases where the life of the mother is at risk. Doctors who perform abortions after 20 weeks could be convicted of felonies.