BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A bill prohibiting doctors from performing abortions 20 weeks after fertilization by declaring the fetus can feel pain has passed the Senate without opposition.
The measure by Senate President John Alario declares that the state should protect "the lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain."
Doctors who violate the prohibition would face a prison sentence up to two years.
Alario's proposal makes exceptions for women whose lives are in danger due to complications with their pregnancies.
Supporters say the legislation would only affect a small number of abortions in Louisiana. They say six other states have similar laws.
The bill passed 35-0 Tuesday and heads to the House.
Senate Bill 766 can be found at www.legis.la.gov