UPDATE: ND Lawmakers Define Life As Starting At Conception

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Friday, March 22, 2013

The North Dakota Legislature has passed a resolution that would essentially ban abortion by defining human life as beginning at conception.

The measure is one of a series North Dakota lawmakers have passed this year, chipping away at abortion rights.

The House approved the measure Friday. It still must be approved by voters.

Abortion-rights advocates say the so-called "personhood" measure and others passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature are unconstitutional and clearly violate the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that legalized abortion until a fetus is viable, which is usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

Other bills await the Republican governor's signature. They would ban abortions sought because of genetic defects such as Down syndrome and when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks.

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