MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama House of Representatives has voted to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
Representatives approved the bill Tuesday night by a 73-29 vote. If the legislation wins approval in the Senate, it would tie Alabama with North Dakota as having the most stringent abortion restriction in the country.
Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin of Indian Springs said the bill is needed to protect unborn life.
Opponents said it is unconstitutional and will be stopped by the courts.
North Dakota approved a similar law last year, but a federal judge put it on hold
Proponents of heartbeat laws have said they hope to eventually challenge the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion.