May 10, 2011 / 9:45 PM / 6 years ago

Daniels signs abortion curbs as he mulls White House bid

2 Min Read

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on Tuesday signed sweeping abortion restrictions that would ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy and cut funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

When the law takes effect, Indiana will become the fifth state to ban late term abortions based on the controversial idea that a fetus feels pain at this point.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana plans to seek a temporary restraining order and injunction in federal court on Tuesday afternoon to prevent the law from taking effect.

Daniels signed the bill as he is in the final stages of deciding whether to run for the Republican nomination for president to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012. Signing the abortion legislation should please conservative Republicans, who form the bulk of the party's presidential primary voters, but was criticized by pro-abortion groups.

Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said Governor Daniels was breaking his promise to "declare a truce on social issues and focus on the economy" by signing the bill.

Four other states have already approved a ban abortions after 20 weeks -- Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho and Oklahoma -- and several more are considering such legislation.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana has claimed that the law could cost the state about $4 million in Medicaid federal family planning funds, affecting family planning providers other than Planned Parenthood.

Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Reporting by Susan Guyett; Editing by Greg McCune

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