Oklahoma 4th State to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks
Gov. Mary Fallin signs two laws restricting abortions
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2011 6:21 AM CDT
Oklahoma Governor-elect Mary Fallin talks to reporters at the US Capitol, December 1, 2010 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill yesterday restricting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because, the bill presumes, at that point a fetus can experience pain. The "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" makes performing such an abortion a felony, although exemptions are allowed when the mother is at risk. Oklahoma is now the fourth state to ban abortions after 20 weeks, following Nebraska, Idaho, and Kansas, Reuters reports. Around a dozen other states are considering similar laws.

Fallin also signed a second bill prohibiting health insurance plans offered under the new federal health care law from covering elective abortions, the AP reports. "These two pieces of legislation will expand protections for unborn children and ensure that Oklahomans are not forced to unknowingly or unwillingly help to pay for procedures that run contrary to their values," Fallin said. A former executive director for NARAL's Oklahoma office says they are "a frontal assault" on Roe vs. Wade.

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