ND Senate Passes Abortion Bills - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

ND Senate Passes Abortion Bills

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The North Dakota Senate has passed a measure would make it the state the first to ban abortions based on genetic defects such as Down Syndrome.

The measure would also ban abortion based on gender selection. Three other states throughout the country already have such laws.

Bill supporters say sex-selection abortions usually target female fetuses because of preference for a baby boy.

They say sex discrimination laws should also apply to the unborn.

Senator Margaret Sitte / (R) Bismarck: "is it right to discriminate against a human being based on his or her gender, based on his or her sexuality before that person is born and in our North Dakota Human Rights Act we say absolutely not."

Senator Connie Triplett / (D) Grand Forks: "now many of these abortion bills we have passed, the majority has attempted to control what happens to a woman's body" "and that Mr. President, in my mind, is an abomination, but this goes one step further, now you are attempting to control their mind." 

Senator Carolyn Nelson / (D) Fargo: " this is not a problem that we have, and it is not our business, this is medical decision, and a medical decision is made between the parent, the mother, the doctor, and her God."

The Senate also approved a bill banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

If Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signs the measure, North Dakota would have the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S.

The measure approved by the Senate on Friday would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

It's one of several anti-abortion bills the Legislature has weighed this session.

The House is expected to vote on other abortion related bills next week.

There was a side show to the abortion debate in the Senate.

Democrat Senator Connie Triplett from Grand Forks walked out of the Senate chamber minutes after speaking out against the bill.

Minority leader, Mac Schneider says Triplett has strong feelings about the bills.

She did return after her fellow senators voted on the two abortion related bills.

It's action that is rare to see in the legislature.

Majority leader Rich Wardner says rules state if you are in the chambers you have to vote.

He says in the future if a member leaves, the full Senate will wait until that member returns to vote.

Neither leader will say Triplett left the floor in protest to the bills being passed.

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