OKLAHOMA CITY, April 21, 2011 ( – A measure banning abortion after 20 weeks on the basis that the unborn child can feel pain at that age was signed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Wednesday, making Oklahoma the fourth state to approve fetal pain legislation.

“We will show the rest of the nation that life is sacred to our state,” said Fallin, a Republican, during the bill-signing ceremony for the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” She also signed a second pro-life bill, Senate Bill 547, which bans health insurance companies from selling policies in Oklahoma that cover elective abortions.

“We have the medical evidence that these 20-week-old fetuses … have all the neurons and neuron transmitters to be able to feel pain,” said bill author Rep. Pam Peterson, as quoted by the Oklahoman. “If an unborn child is capable of feeling pain, this is a matter of human compassion.”

While abortion advocates have remained notably silent on possible legal action against fetal pain bills, one prominent pro-abortion law group has hinted that a lawsuit could be in the works.

Jordan Goldberg, Center for Reproductive Rights states advocacy counsel, said the measure was unconstitutional, but declined to say whether the group would file suit against it.


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