ND bills could make abortion rules strictest in US


The North Dakota Senate is considering a pair of bills that could make the state's abortion laws the most restrictive in the country.
   One bill would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected. That can happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
   A second bill would prevent women from having abortions based on gender selection or a genetic defect, such as Down syndrome.
   The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote on both bills Friday, sending them to Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who hasn't said whether he will sign them.
   Arkansas last week banned abortions at 12 weeks, the point when a fetus' heartbeat can typically be detected using an abdominal ultrasound.
   Abortion-rights advocates say a costly legal battle is certain if the North Dakota measures become law.
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