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Ban on Abortion After 20 Weeks Passes in the US House

Many of the lawmakers who supported the bill, an overwhelmingly Republican group, argue that the ban is essential because fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks.

Carter Sherman

The US House of Representatives voted Tuesday to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, ending an hours-long heated debate that included images of ultrasounds and accusations that lawmakers were just trying to frighten women.

Many of the lawmakers who supported the bill, an overwhelmingly Republican group, argue that the ban is essential because fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks.

"Very late-term abortions are an extreme and barbaric practice," Arizona Republican Trent Franks, the bill's sponsor, said in a statement on Facebook. "The US is only one of 7 countries on Earth, including North Korea and China, which allow elective abortions after 20 weeks."

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