A ruling this week striking down Arizona's so-called fetal pain law will have no immediate impact on a similar law in Nebraska, which in 2010 became the first state to ban abortions beginning at the 20th week after conception.

But if the ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, as expected, the outcome could affect Nebraska and the other nine states with such laws.

Nebraska is controlled by the St. Louis-based 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The notion that a fetus at that stage of development can feel pain -- which was the reason such bans were enacted -- is controversial, and supporters and opponents have brought forth contradicting science.