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North Dakota abortion law blocked by federal judge

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A federal judge has temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fatal heartbeat is detected - as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in Bismarck granted a temporary injunction Monday that blocks the law from taking effect on Aug. 1.

The law was passed this year by the North Dakota Legislature. It would outlaw the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before some women know they are pregnant.

The law was one of four that the Republican-controlled Legislature and GOP Gov. Jack Dalrymple passed this year that combined make North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation in which to get an abortion.

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