Senate OKs ban on abortion after fetal heartbeat

Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi senators have passed the final version of a bill that would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, about six weeks into pregnancy.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant promises he will sign the bill , which will give Mississippi one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws. The 34-15 Senate vote Tuesday was largely along party lines, with most Republicans voting yes and most Democrats voting no.

Efforts to pass similar bills are underway in several states, including Georgia and Tennessee. Abortion-rights supporters are expected to sue to try to block such laws.

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Abortion opponents are emboldened by a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court and are seeking a case that could challenge the high court’s 1973 decision that legalized the procedure nationwide. Sen. Sally Doty of Brookhaven voted for the bill.