May 02, 2018 11:32 AM
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Republican-controlled Iowa House has passed a so-called "heartbeat" bill that seeks to ban most abortions around six weeks of pregnancy.
Lawmakers voted 51-46 along party lines late Tuesday night following hours of floor debate. Six Republicans voted against the bill. No Democrats voted for it.
The measure heads to the GOP-led Senate, which passed a similar version earlier this session.
The bill would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy. It could become the most restrictive abortion legislation in the country, though it's expected to be challenged in court. A similar 2013 bill passed in North Dakota was rejected by the federal appeals court whose territory includes Iowa.
Iowa's legislation would allow abortions after a heartbeat is detected to save a woman's life and in some cases of rape and incest.
Democrats called the bill "intentionally unconstitutional." Republicans argued a heartbeat is a "recognizable sign of life."
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Updated: May 02, 2018 11:32 AM
Created: May 02, 2018 11:31 AM
(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)