(BISMARK, N.D.) — The state senate in North Dakota Friday approved the most restrictive abortion bill in the country.
Once a fetal heartbeat can be detected — usually at around six weeks — abortion would become a crime under the bill passed by lawmakers in North Dakota.
Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion laws around the United States says six weeks is very early, possibly too early, and some health impacts are not yet known.
“There is really no way to determine whether there are problems with the pregnancy or with the woman’s health at that point generally. So, this type of abortion ban really restricts woman’s ability to access abortion,” she says.
State lawmakers also passed legislation that would prohibit abortions based on genetic defects or gender.
Fargo Republican Bette Grande, the bill’s sponsor, said aborting a baby for a generic defect has no place in modern society.
“Every law is valuable. Every life is important, and we are not to pick and choose who is a valuable person in our society,” she said Friday.
“I have three children. Two of them, I mean, they have a vitamin deficiency, and … the whole thing is that can be listed as a genetic disability,” Grande added.
Both bills require a signature from Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple to take effect.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Sonia Moghe and Wayne Drash, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Michael Nedelman, CNN