Controversial pieces of legislation limiting access to abortions were heard Wednesday in a state Senate committee.
State Sen. Bryant Richardson (R-Laurel), who has pushed similar bills in previous years, is sponsoring the measures.
One of the bills bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The other proposal requires doctors to perform an ultrasound and listen to the fetal heartbeat or face civil and criminal penalties. The pregnant woman is not required to view the ultrasound or listen to the heartbeat.
Richardson said he is pushing for a 20-week ban because some pro-life experts believe fetuses are capable of feeling pain by that time.
“My personal belief is that future generations will look back on this era and say how could the political leaders of this time, our elected officials, allow such an atrocious act as abortion,” he said.
Opponents of the bills limiting access to abortion say every pregnancy is unique and should be a decision between a patient and their doctor.
Opponents also say trying to penalize doctors could lead to fewer doctors offering essential medical services to women.
The bills are unlikely to clear the committee and make it to a floor vote.