Civil Liberties

ND Might Set Tightest Abortion Rules in the Country

No terminations after six weeks


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 nonemergency 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.