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Louisiana Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (SB 766)

This law was last updated on Aug 8, 2013




SB 766




May 17, 2011


Primary Sponsors: 1
Co-sponsors: 73
Total Sponsors: 74


20-Week Bans, Later Abortion

Full Bill Text


This bill prohibits abortion at 20 or more weeks post-fertilization except in cases of medical emergency, i.e., if the pregnancy is diagnosed as medically futile or if the abortion is necessary to “avert the death of the pregnant woman or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman” not including psychological or emotional conditions.

The purpose of the 20-week ban is to protect Louisiana’s compelling interest in “protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain.” This interest is separate from Louisiana’s “compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage of viability,” and “neither state interest is intended to replace the other.”

Abortion post-20-weeks must be performed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive.

The bill includes legislative findings based on junk science that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.

Codified at La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 40:1299.30.1.