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UPDATED: Appeals court finds ND 'fetal heartbeat" anti-abortion law unconstitutionall

A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court decision – striking down North Dakota’s ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

The law was considered the most restrictive in the country.

The 2013 law was dubbed the “fetal heartbeat bill.” Supporters say at six weeks, a heartbeat can be detected. There were no exceptions to the abortion ban for rape or incest. A federal judge in North Dakota ruled it unconstitutional – and now, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

Janet Crepps is the senior council with the Center for Reproductive Rights.

“The fact that today’s decision reaffirms that the Constitution protects women from this kind of Legislative attack is very important – not just to women in North Dakota, but to women across the country,” said Crepps.

In a statement, North Dakota’s Attorney General says he’s reviewing the ruling.

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