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The Latest: Opponents of Alabama anti-abortion bill protest

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the Alabama Senate taking up a proposed abortion ban (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

About 50 opponents of a bill that would severely restrict abortion in Alabama are demonstrating outside the Statehouse as legislators debate the measure inside.

A woman with a bullhorn led protesters in a chant of “Whose choice? Our choice” as a crowd composed mainly of journalists looked on.

Laura Stiller of Montgomery came to the demonstration dressed as a nurse and carrying wire coat hangers. She says the bill is nothing but a weapon to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

The group gathered as the Alabama Senate debated the measure before a vote expected for Tuesday night.

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4:15 p.m.

Alabama lawmakers have begun debating a proposal to outlaw most abortions in the state.

The GOP-dominated Senate is expected to vote Tuesday evening on the bill that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony.

The legislation comes after four states have approved abortion bans once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

The bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives 74-3.

Some GOP state senators have expressed discomfort that the bill doesn’t include an exception for rape and are expected seek an amendment on the bill.

Supporters say their goal is to create a court case to challenge the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Opponents have scheduled an evening protest outside the Alabama Statehouse.

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12:30 a.m.

Alabama lawmakers are headed toward a vote on a proposal to outlaw most abortions that has splintered Republicans over its lack of an exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

The GOP-dominated Alabama Senate is expected to vote Tuesday evening on the bill that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony.

The bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives 74-3, but some GOP state senators have expressed discomfort that the bill doesn’t include an exception for rape.

Others say they oppose exceptions because their goal is to create a court case to challenge the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

The legislation comes after four states have approved abortion bans once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

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