Virginia abortion ban on 20 week+ fetuses dies

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation to ban most abortions after the fetus reaches 20 weeks died after a Senate committee heard emotionally wrenching testimony from a woman who had such an abortion.

Republican Sen. Mark Obenshain's bill failed Thursday on a vote of 7-7, with one abstention, in the Education and Health Committee.

Citing the ability of a fetus to feel pain at 20 weeks, Obenshain proposed banning abortions after that stage unless it was necessary to save the mother's life or prevent her serious, irreversible physical impairment.

Tara Schleifer of Haymarket tearfully described making the difficult decision to terminate her pregnancy after the fetus was diagnosed with myriad medical problems.

She said that if carried to term, the baby would have endured tremendous suffering and likely would have died before his first birthday.