Wisconsin committee to vote on 20-week abortion ban bill

MADISON — A state Senate committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill that would ban non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Two Wisconsin health committees took up testimony on the fast-tracked bill during a public hearing Tuesday. Under the proposal, doctors who perform an abortion after 20 weeks in non-emergency situations could be charged with a felony and subject to $10,000 in fines or 3 ½ years in prison.

If passed, the bill will be taken up by the full Senate as early as Tuesday.

The bill's supporters say a 20-week-old fetus can feel pain and shouldn't be subject to abortion procedures.

Opponents contend that a fetus can't experience pain until the third trimester begins at 27 weeks.

Gov. Scott Walker has said he would sign the bill.