published Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

AL committee approves fetal heartbeat bill

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama legislative committee has voted to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected — something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The House Health Committee approved the fetal heartbeat bill today. Both sides of the abortion debate agree the proposal would ban most abortions if it becomes law. They also agreed the proposal will be destined for a court fight if given final approval.

North Dakota approved similar legislation, but a federal judge put the law on hold while a legal challenge plays out in court.

The committee also approved bills to increase the waiting period before an abortion; require proof of parenthood for parental consent for an abortion; and require expectant parents seeking an abortion because of lethal fetal anomalies to be advised about perinatal hospice services.

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