House Endorses Bill to Increase Abortion Regulations

Republican Rep. Albert Olszewski of Kalispell sponsored House Bill 479

By Dillon Tabish

HELENA — The House has endorsed a bill that would increase abortion regulations based on the disputed notion that a fetus can feel pain after the 20th week of pregnancy.

The House passed the amended measure by a 56-44 vote on second reading Tuesday.

House Bill 479 brought by Republican Rep. Albert Olszewski of Kalispell would require the use of fetal anesthesia for abortions and other operations after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It would require that doctors perform tests to determine the gestational age of a fetus before an abortion and mandate reporting the use of fetal anesthesia in abortions.

Doctors who do not comply could be reported to a professional licensing board. The bill will go to the Senate for consideration if it passes third reading.

The bill originally called for fines and jail time for non-compliance.

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