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.