North Dakota Poised to Set Earliest U.S. Abortion Limit - Bloomberg
North Dakota lawmakers are poised to ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, the narrowest window of any U.S. state, and become the first to bar terminations sought because of genetic abnormalities.
House Bill 1456 would make it a felony for a doctor to perform a non-emergency abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as five or six weeks. House Bill 1305 would prohibit abortions sought because a fetus has been or could be diagnosed with any genetically inherited defect, disease or disorder.
The Republican-led state Senate will vote today on the measures, said state Representative Bette Grande of Fargo, who co-sponsored the bills in the Republican-controlled House, where both have passed. Grande said she expects the Senate to approve both and the governor, also a party member, to sign them.
“The heartbeat is society’s marker for life,” Grande, a Republican, said by telephone from Fargo.
Passage of the restriction would make North Dakota the latest state to test how far lawmakers can go in limiting when and how women can terminate pregnancies. It would also set a record.