Bill Proposes Abortion Ban after 20 Weeks

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Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi lawmakers are considering banning abortion after 20 weeks' gestation, halfway through a full-term pregnancy of 40 weeks.

Exceptions would be made to prevent permanent physical damage or death of the pregnant woman, or in cases of several fetal abnormalities.

Health Department statistics show 2,176 abortions were done in Mississippi in 2012. Two were listed at 21 weeks or later, and 382 were listed as unknown gestational age.

Diane Derzis, who owns Mississippi's only abortion clinic, says the proposed change wouldn't affect the clinic, which stops doing abortions after 16 weeks.

Several states have a 20-week ban. In January, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Arizona's attempt to revive one that was blocked by a federal appeals court.

House Bill 1400 awaits consideration of the Mississippi House.