BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Senate was expected to vote Friday on a pair of bills that could make the state’s abortion laws the most restrictive in the country.
One bill would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat was detected, something that could happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy depending on what type of method was used. A second bill would prevent women from having abortions based on gender selection or a genetic defect, such as Down syndrome.
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Guttmacher Institute spokeswoman Elizabeth Nash said North Dakota would be the only state to ban abortions based on a genetic defect. Pennsylvania, Arizona and Oklahoma ban abortions based on gender selection, she said. The institute tracks abortion laws throughout the country.
The measures have already passed the North Dakota House, and approval by the Republican-controlled Senate would send them to Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple. He has not said publicly whether he would sign them.
Action in North Dakota comes after lawmakers in Arkansas overrode Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto last week to pass a similar 12-week ban, prohibiting abortions from the point when a fetus’ heartbeat can typically be detected using an abdominal ultrasound.
Read More at OfficialWire . By James MacPherson.