fetal heartbeat abortion ban fetal heartbeat abortion ban
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fetal heartbeat abortion ban

Over two dozen abortion-rights supporters attend a rally outside the South Carolina State House in Columbia, S.C., on Aug. 23, 2023. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled to uphold a law banning most abortions except those in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. James Pollard/AP hide caption

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James Pollard/AP

'Something needs to change.' Woman denied abortion in South Carolina challenges ban

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A view of the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. One Republican state lawmaker has introduced a restrictive abortion bill that is drawing comparisons to the ban recently enacted in Texas. Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

The term "fetal heartbeat," as used in the anti-abortion law in Texas, is misleading and not based on science, say physicians who specialize in reproductive health. What the ultrasound machine detects in an embryo at six weeks of pregnancy is actually just electrical activity from cells that aren't yet a heart. And the sound that you "hear" is actually manufactured by the ultrasound machine. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Texas abortion ban hinges on 'fetal heartbeat.' Doctors call that misleading

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The bill, which was signed on Thursday, would prohibit abortion as soon as cardiac activity can be detected with an ultrasound, except in cases of rape, incest or when a mother's life is in danger. Jeffrey Collins/AP hide caption

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Jeffrey Collins/AP