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ND House passes 2 anti-abortion measures

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 9, 2013 at 9:43 am •  Published: February 9, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota House has passed a bill that would ban doctors from performing an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Bette Grande, R-Fargo, was passed Friday. It would require testing for a heartbeat prior to a planned abortion.

Doctors who perform an abortion after a heartbeat is detected would face a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Women who have an abortion after hearing a heartbeat would not be charged.

Medical experts say a so-called fetal tone can be detected as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy.

The House also passed a bill Friday that would prevent women from having abortions based on gender selection or a genetic defect like Down syndrome. The measures are among a package of anti-abortion bills proposed by Republican lawmakers this session.

The state Senate passed several bills Thursday aimed at sending a message that the state is anti-abortion. One of the measures would require a doctor who performs abortions to be an OB-GYN with hospital-admitting privileges — a move that opponents say is designed to close the state's sole abortion clinic in Fargo.


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