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New Hampshire House votes to ban abortions after 20 weeks

The New Hampshire House of Representatives [official website] on Thursday approved [results] a bill [HB 1660 text] that would prohibit abortion [JURIST news archive] procedures to be performed after the 20th week of pregnancy. The bill, formerly titled "The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," finds substantial medical evidence that unborn fetuses can experience pain after their 20th week, and asserts a compelling state interest to protect those unborn children. The bill is now expected to be reviewed by the New Hampshire Senate [official website]. This is the fifth vote in two weeks [AP report] to place new restrictions on abortions in New Hampshire. In June 2011 New Hampshire legislators overrode [JURIST report] the governor's veto and approved legislation requiring healthcare providers to notify parents or a judge 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor.

Many states have recently passed laws restricting abortion. Earlier this week, the Arizona State Senate approved a bill [JURIST report] that similarly bans abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy, with an exception carved out only for medical emergencies. Last week, Utah passed a law [JURIST report] requiring a woman seeking an abortion to wait 72 hours prior to obtaining the procedure. Earlier last week, the Idaho State Senate approved a bill [JURIST report] requiring a woman who is seeking an abortion to first receive an ultrasound. Earlier this month, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell [official website] signed a similar ultrasound bill into law [JURIST report]. Earlier in March, the Georgia House of Representatives passed a ban on abortions after five months into a pregnancy [JURIST report]. In February, the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that Texas can enforce a state law requiring women to receive a sonogram before obtaining an abortion. In July, the North Carolina state legislature overrode a governor's veto [JURIST report] to pass a law requiring a 24-hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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