Amid a lengthy and wrenching debate, the Wisconsin Senate has passed a Republican-backed bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks from fertilization.

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that,

The bill is moving quickly toward becoming law but would be struck down by a federal trial court if a lawsuit against the measure is eventually brought, legal experts said.

Only the U.S. Supreme Court could uphold the measure, which carries no exemptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother...For district and appellate judges, existing Supreme Court precedent leaves them little leeway to sustain the legislation, which now heads to the Assembly.

"Whether the Supreme Court might eventually be persuaded to change its interpretation of the 14th Amendment to permit states to override a woman's decision a month earlier than 24 weeks, before the fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, is hard to predict, but no lower court is free to make that change on its own, and neither a state Legislature nor a state's chief executive is free to do so either," said Laurence Tribe, a professor at Harvard Law School for nearly a half-century. 

The procedure occurs infrequently in Wisconsin and only in hospitals in cases of medical problems because abortion clinics in the state don't perform the procedure after that point in a woman's pregnancy, advocates said. That may make it more difficult for opponents of the law to identify a plaintiff and bring a lawsuit — so far they have been able to do so in three of the 14 states that have passed similar laws since 2010.

The bill, which was approved 19-14, would make it a felony to perform abortions after 20 weeks except when the life of the mother is in immediate danger. Doctors who do perform them would face up to 31/2 years in prison and be fined up to $10,000. 

Planned Parenthood wants you to know the following facts about Wisconsin's bill: 

  • 99% of all abortions occur before 20 weeks.
  • A woman experiencing serious issues or severe fetal abnormalities would be prevented from accessing the care she needs. 
  • Victims of rape and incest would have no opportunity to decide what is best for themselves.
  • Medial experts (actual doctors) oppose the ban. 
  • Doctors would face prison time for providing abortion care to women, even to preserve their health. 
  • Women and families would have no opportunity to make their own personal, private health care decisions. 
  • Politicians who support the ban will stop at nothing to end access to birth control and abortion. 

What do you guys think about this story? Do you believe in a woman's right to choose after 20 weeks, especially under certain conditions, or do you think this ban is good? Debate below. 

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.

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