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Associated Press, Published June 21 2013

Effort lacks to bring ND abortion laws to vote

BISMARCK — Backers of petitions seeking to give voters an opportunity to repeal three of North Dakota's strict new abortion laws say they are falling short of their signature goals.

Each of the three petitions needs at least 13,452 valid signatures from North Dakota voters to qualify for a statewide vote.

Committee chairman Gary Hangsleben of Grand Forks says each of the petitions is at least 2,000 signatures short and it's doubtful that they'll be gathered by the midnight Monday deadline.

Hangsleben says he's opposed to abortion but wants to give North Dakota residents a chance to vote on the new laws that would make the state the most restrictive in the nation in which to get the procedure.

North Dakota abortion rights groups have not supported the petitions.

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