The North Dakota Senate on Friday approved banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, sending what would be the most stringent abortion restrictions in the U.S. to the state's Republican governor for his signature.
The measure would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The House already approved the measure. Gov. Jack Dalrymple generally opposes abortion but has not said whether he will sign the bill into law.
It's one of several anti-abortion measures the state Legislature has weighed this session. The vote came with almost no debate in the Senate and after the same chamber approved another measure that would make North Dakota the first to ban abortions based on genetic defects such as Down syndrome.
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