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Published February 18, 2013, 03:10 PM

North Dakota Senate passes 2 anti-abortion bills

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Senate on Monday approved two anti-abortion bills that would ban the destruction of human embryos and outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Senate on Monday approved two anti-abortion bills that would ban the destruction of human embryos and outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Senators voted 30-17 to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the disputed premise that at that point a fetus can feel pain. The measure is a challenge to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

The embryo measure narrowly passed 24-23. The measure's aim is to regulate in vitro fertilization and prohibit intentional destruction of embryos.

The bill also defines a human being as a fertilized egg and requires the state to expand Medicaid coverage to all pregnant women.

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