(Reuters) – Mississippi will ban abortions after more than 20 weeks of pregnancy from July, joining other conservative U.S. states that have placed restrictions on the procedure.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in 1973 but the practice still polarizes U.S. society.

A handful of states have in recent years enacted laws that place restrictions on the procedure, especially on late-term abortions, citing hotly debated medical research that a fetus feels pain at 20 weeks of gestation, halfway through a full-term pregnancy. The Mississippi bill referred to that research.

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