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Published March 22, 2013, 01:30 PM

North Dakota lawmakers pass 'fetal pain' abortion bill

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota lawmakers have passed legislation that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the disputed premise that at that point a fetus can feel pain.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota lawmakers have passed legislation that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the disputed premise that at that point a fetus can feel pain.

North Dakota's House voted 60-32 Friday.

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.

Republican Sen. Spencer Berry is a sponsor of the bill. The Fargo physician says research shows that a fetus can feel pain by 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Several Republican lawmakers from the House and Senate have introduced bills this session that are aimed shuttering the state's sole abortion clinic in Fargo and to boldly challenge the 40-year-old Supreme Court ruling.

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