(REUTERS) PHOENIX–Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law on Thursday a controversial bill that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, giving Republicans a win in ongoing national efforts to impose greater restrictions on abortion.

The measure, which state lawmakers gave a final nod to on Tuesday, would bar healthcare professionals from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of a medical emergency. Only a small number of these abortions are performed in the state.

With Brewer’s signature, Arizona joins six other states that have put similar late-term abortion bans in place in the past two years based on hotly debated medical research suggesting that a fetus feels pain starting at 20 weeks of gestation.

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