North Dakota Passes Most Restrictive Abortion Bills In Nation

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North Dakota’s Senate passed a pair of anti-abortion measures Friday that are considered to be the most restrictive in the nation, including one that would prevent women from having an abortion based on a genetic defect.

The measures now to go to Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple who has indicated he will sign them.

The new state laws are even more strict than one finalized last week in Arkansas that would make the procedure illegal after 12 weeks of pregnancy. One North Dakota measure would prevent women from having abortions based on a genetic defect, like Down syndrome. The other would ban doctors from performing an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as five or six weeks.

Republican state Rep. Bette Grande of Fargo sponsored both bills. Grande, a ninth-term legislator, is one of the more conservative lawmakers in the state. She’s pushed for controversial right-to-life issues and has been vocal about the issues.

Grande recently said she had relatives who had children born with genetic abnormalities and has been surprised at the discrimination she’s seen. “It takes you back to Hitler, and we know where that went,” she has said. “He started going after those with abnormalities, and I think it’s an absurdity we would go back to that kind of thing.”

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