The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 3, 2014

Alabama House to debate stringent abortion ban

The Alabama House of Representatives will debate four abortion bills, including one that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Representatives are scheduled to take the bills up Tuesday afternoon.

A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Both sides of the abortion debate agree the proposal could end up banning most abortions. North Dakota approved a similar ban that is being challenged in court.

Other proposals would extend the waiting period before an abortion from 24 to 48 hours, and require parents to present a birth certificate or adoption papers when giving consent for their daughter to have an abortion.

Another bill would require women seeking an abortion because of lethal fetal anomalies to be told about perinatal hospice services.

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