From the AP:

The North Dakota Senate on Friday approved banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, sending what would be the most stringent abortion restrictions in the U.S. to the state’s Republican governor for his signature.

Currently there is a single abortion clinic in North Dakota. Supporters of the measure have acknowledged that the bill is designed to shut the clinic down permanently.

If the governor signs the bill, it would become the strictest anti-abortion law in the nation.

North Dakota’s measure doesn’t specify how a fetal heartbeat would be detected. Doctors performing an abortion after a heartbeat is detected could face a felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Women having an abortion would not face charges.

Women who have had abortions in North Dakota: not yet criminals.

Women Organized to Resist and Defend have created a petition urging North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple not to sign the bill; you can view it here.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]