North Dakota, leading the way in fighting for life, may be about to pass the strictest abortion laws in the country. Friday, the North Dakota Senate approved legislation that would ban abortions completely as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. All that is required for implementation is the signature of Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
If the fetus has a heartbeat, it would be likely an abortion would be banned; a doctor who performed an abortion after a heartbeat was proven to exist could face 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Any pregnancies where the child would have genetic defects would also be protected from abortion. In addition, abortion based on sex selection would be banned. The main sponsor of the bill, Fargo Republican Rep. Bette Grande, has two children with "genetic disabilities."
Some supporters of the bill are hoping to ultimately challenge the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. That law allowed abortion until the fetus was considered viable, at roughly 5 months.
Dalrymple has not stated whether he will sign the bill. He has four daughters.