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North Dakota Second State to Pass Bill Criminalizing Abortions After Heartbeat is Detected

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Mar 18
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Legislators in North Dakota have passed one of the strictest abortion bans in the nation, criminalizing any abortionist that kills a baby after a heartbeat is detected, the Christian News Network reports. Senators voted to approve the "Heartbeat Bill" Friday, sending the legislation to Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple for signing. Dalrymple, who is pro-life, has not yet indicated whether he will sign the bill into law. According to reports, the bill would require any abortionist in the state to check for a fetal heartbeat, which can be detected by medical equipment as early as 12 weeks -- though fetal development experts state that an infant's heart begins beating just 20-25 days after conception. If the abortionist performs an abortion despite the existence of a heartbeat, he or she would face felony charges and could spend up to five years in prison and/or pay up to $5,000 in fines. The mother would not face any criminal charges. The bill includes exceptions for the physical impairment or death of the mother, but no exceptions for rape or incest. "The images and heartbeat from the womb provide strong and overwhelming evidence of -- at the very least -- potential life," said Sen. Spencer Berry, a sponsor of the bill. "And we have been instructed by the Supreme Court to protect that very potential." North Dakota becomes the second state in the nation to pass the "Heartbeat Bill"; legislators in Arkansas voted the week prior to override the veto of their Democratic governor and make the bill state law.