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Mississippi bill bans abortion after 20 weeks

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JACKSON, Miss. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Mississippi lawmakers are considering banning abortion after 20 weeks' gestation, halfway through a full-term pregnancy of 40 weeks.

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. But she says she'd expect someone to file a legal challenge.

Several states have a 20-week ban, including Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana.

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

House Bill 1400 passed the Judiciary B Committee and awaits consideration of the full Mississippi House.

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