North Dakota governor signs ‘fetal pain’ measure

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North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (AP Photo)

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (AP Photo)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law a measure that outlaws abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the premise that at that point a fetus can feel pain.

The law signed Tuesday is another in a list of North Dakota bills passed this session meant to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

Dalrymple already has signed a law that bans abortion as early as six weeks, or when a fetal heartbeat is detected, making North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation in which to get the procedure. The laws are not yet in force and are likely to face court challenges.

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