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Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 4:03am

Court Hears Abortion Law Challenge

A hearing is set for a lawsuit challenging Georgia's new law that bans abortions after 20 weeks.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia last month filed the lawsuit to block the law, which is to take effect Jan. 1. A judge is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on Thursday.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of three obstetricians. They say the law forces doctors to make an "untenable choice" since they would face criminal prosecution for providing treatment their patients seek.

Supporters of the law say a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks so the state has an interest in protecting it.

The law provides exceptions to allow abortions in the final three months of pregnancy to protect the life or health of the mother.