North Dakota Human Heartbeat Protection Act (HB 1456)
This law was last updated on Aug 20, 2013
HB 1456 requires that an abortion provider attempt to detect a fetal heartbeat using “acceptable medical practice” prior to an abortion. An abortion is prohibited if a fetal heartbeat is detected, unless there is a medical emergency, and an abortion is necessary to prevent the death of a pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks of pregnancy—two weeks after a woman’s first missed period—and well before many women even realize that they are pregnant.
The term “acceptable medical practice” is vague, but generally, such practice would require the use of an intrusive vaginal ultrasound.
Signed into law by Gov. Dalrymple on March 26, 2013.
A federal court blocked enforcement of this bill pending resolution of the lawsuit. (See MKB Management, Inc. v. Burdick.)