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Associated Press, Published April 12 2013

ND joins other states to pass 'fetal pain' bill

BISMARCK — North Dakota has joined a growing list of at least 10 states that have passed bills outlawing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that point.

The law in Idaho was struck down by a U.S. district judge in March. The laws in Georgia and Arizona have been temporarily blocked by judges pending further court proceedings.

This week, Texas lawmakers debated a similar ban. That bill's sponsor says that technological breakthroughs provide evidence that a "developing unborn child is capable of feeling pain."

But abortion rights activists say that scientific studies have given no evidence to support the contention.

The bill in North Dakota next goes to Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who has hinted he will sign it into law.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.