JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a proposal in Mississippi to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Anti-abortion groups are applauding the Mississippi Legislature's passage of a 15-week abortion ban.

The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Phil Bryant, who says he is eager to sign it into law.

The conservative-leaning Mississippi Center for Public Policy helped craft the bill and praised lawmakers for passing it.

Acting President Jameson Taylor said the bill protects maternal health and "further(s) the state's interest in protecting unborn human life." He added that the Center is "thrilled" for having played a role.

Anti-abortion group Pro-Life Mississippi said fetuses in the womb "deserve the right to life, which is supported by this bill."

The group said in a statement that it appreciates legislators' efforts to pass anti-abortion bills "that are grounded in science and protect human life."

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3:20 p.m.

Pro-abortion-rights groups are voicing opposition to a Mississippi bill that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Adrienne Kimmell is vice president of communications and strategic research for the national nonprofit NARAL Pro-Choice America. She says the bill brings Mississippi women "one dangerous step closer to losing their constitutional right to access abortion."

Shivana Jorawar is state legislative counsel for the national nonprofit Center for Reproductive Rights. She says the bill sends a message to women "that their state legislature is out to undermine their abortion access and reproductive health."

Jennifer Riley Collins is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi. She says the "real agenda" of lawmakers is to ban abortion altogether, and that the measure will "seriously harm low-income women, women of color, and young women."

The Mississippi House approved the bill 75-34 Thursday. The Senate passed the measure on Tuesday.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant on Thursday reiterated an earlier pledge to sign the bill.

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2:15 p.m.

Mississippi's attorney general says it could be tough to defend a bill lawmakers have passed banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Jim Hood says he expects "an immediate and expensive legal challenge" to the bill, which has now passed both Republican-controlled chambers of the legislature. The Democratic attorney general notes that measures in other states banning abortions after 20 weeks have been struck down. Mississippi also has such a ban, but it has not been challenged yet.

Hood's comments Thursday came shortly after the House approved by a 75-34 vote what could become the nation's most restrictive abortion law. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant on Thursday reiterated his previous pledge to sign the bill.

The owner of Mississippi's only abortion clinic has vowed to sue.

There are two exceptions to the bill: if the fetus has a health problem that would prevent it from surviving outside the womb at full term, or if the pregnant woman's life or a "major bodily function" is threatened by the pregnancy. Pregnancies as a result of rape and incest would not be exempt.

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2:15 p.m.

Mississippi's governor says he hasn't changed his mind: He will sign into law a bill that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant reiterated his intentions in a statement Thursday, saying he wants "Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child."

The state House on Thursday approved what could become the nation's most restrictive abortion law by a vote of 75-34. The Senate had approved the measure on Tuesday.

The owner of Mississippi's only abortion clinic has pledged to sue.

There are two exceptions to the bill: if the fetus has a health problem that would prevent it from surviving outside the womb at full term, or if the pregnant woman's life or a "major bodily function" is threatened by the pregnancy. Pregnancies as a result of rape and incest would not be exempt.

Mississippi now prohibits most abortions after 20 weeks.

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12:45 p.m.

Mississippi lawmakers have passed what is likely to be the nation's most restrictive abortion law.

The House on Thursday approved by a vote of 75-34 a measure that would make most abortions illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said he'll sign the bill. The Mississippi Senate passed the measure on Tuesday.

The bill could spark a court challenge focusing on whether states can ban abortions before fetuses can survive outside the womb. The owner of Mississippi's only abortion clinic has pledged to sue.

There are two exceptions to the bill: if the fetus has a health problem that would prevent it from surviving outside the womb at full term, or if the pregnant woman's life or a "major bodily function" is threatened by the pregnancy. Pregnancies as a result of rape and incest would not be exempt.

Mississippi now prohibits abortion after 20 weeks.

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1 a.m.

For decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has been telling states that they can't ban abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb on its own.

But states continue to try to restrict abortion before viability. One of the most recent is Mississippi, where lawmakers are on the brink of approving a measure that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks.

House Bill 1510 passed the Mississippi Senate on Tuesday and is likely to become law. Legal experts say its passage is an invitation to the Supreme Court to revisit its previous rulings.

Supporters of abortion rights say they doubt the court would do so. But backers of the bill say they're hopeful the court will clarify its stance and allow states to begin restricting abortion earlier in pregnancy.