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North Dakota Legislature Passes Abortion Ban

North Dakota Republican Sen. Margaret is the primary sponsor of a bill that the North Dakota Legislature passed Friday that would ban abortion by defining human life as beginning at conception, at the state Capitol in Bismarck, Mar. 22, 2013.
The North Dakota legislature has passed a bill that would essentially ban abortions by defining life as starting at conception.

The North Dakota House approved the bill Friday on a 57-35 vote. The state Senate approved the bill last month, but the Republican governor, John Dalrymple, still must sign the measure before it can become law. It is not clear whether he will sign the measure.

The bill is the latest in a series that North Dakota lawmakers have passed this year to take away abortion rights.

Abortion rights advocates deplore the so-called "personhood'' measure as unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case legalized abortion until a fetus is "viable"- usually determined to be after 22-24 weeks of development.

A bill that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected is already awaiting the governor's signature.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.