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Mississippi considers abortion ban after fetal heartbeat

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi lawmakers are considering what could become one of the strictest abortion laws in the country. Bills that passed legislative committees Tuesday would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

Supporters and opponents anticipate a court fight.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said he will sign one of the bills that are moving to the full House and Senate for more work.

An Iowa judge struck down a similar law there last month.

Mississippi last year enacted a law banning abortion after 15 weeks. A federal judge declared it unconstitutional. The state is asking an appeals court to overturn that ruling.

Several states could consider tighter abortion restrictions to get a legal challenge up to the more conservative U.S. Supreme Court.

Emily Wagster Pettus, The Associated Press