The Kansas Senate has approved a bill restricting abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy. The legislation has already passed the House and should soon be sent to Governor Sam Brownback. Supporters of the bill say after 21 weeks is when a fetus can feel pain. Senator Terry Bruce, a Hutchinson Republican, brought the bill to the Senate floor.
Opponents of the bill dispute the fetal pain claim. They say there is conflicting evidence on whether a fetus can feel pain at that stage of development. The bill allows an abortion after the 21st week of pregnancy only if the mother's life is in danger or she faces substantial and permanent harm to "a major bodily function."