Today the North Dakota House passed HB1456 by a 63 – 28 vote. Despite the no votes, though, there was no floor debate on the bill at all.
Here’s the key excerpt to the law:
Except when a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance with this subsection, an individual may not perform an abortion on a pregnant woman before determining, in accordance with standard medical practice, if the unborn child the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable heartbeat. Any individual who performs an abortion on a pregnant woman based on the exception in this subsection shall note in the pregnant woman’s medical records that a medical emergency necessitating the abortion existed.
The law would allow for an abortion if the health of the mother is at risk. A doctor violating this law is guilty of a Class C Felony. The law “does not prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a measure, drug, or chemical designed for contraceptive purposes.”
I think life begins well before the heartbeat, but if this law rolls back the point at which an abortion can be conducted, it’s a step in the right direction.