The measure would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can bedetected – something that can happen as early as a month and a halfinto a pregnancy. Doctors performing an abortion after a heartbeatis detected could face a felony charge punishable by up to fiveyears in prison and a $5,000 fine. The women having the abortion,however, would not face charges.Abortions based on sex selection would also be banned under themeasure. Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Oklahoma already have suchlaws, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortionlaws throughout the country.The bill is sponsored by Republican Representative Bette Grande,who says abortions based on gender or genetic abnormalities have“no place in civilized society.” She added thatsex-selection abortions usually target female fetuses because ofthe preference for boys.Grande says she has a relative with children born with geneticabnormalities, and has been surprised by the discrimination she hasseen.“It takes you back to Hitler, and we know where thatwent,” she said in a statement. “He started going afterthose with abnormalities, and I think it’s an absurdity we would goback to that kind of thing.”A spokesperson for the Guttmacher Institute told AP that thebill was the latest in a “tidal wave of abortion restrictions” inthe US.“We have seen efforts to ban abortion entirely and thoseattempts have failed. Now they’re moving toward banning abortionsas early as possible,” Elizabeth Nash said.Pro-choice activists say the measures are an attempt to closethe state’s only women’s health clinic performing abortions, inFargo, and that the state should expect a legal battle if the billis made into a law.“Whether this is challenged in court is entirely up to theabortion industry,” Grande said, referring to a disputedright-wing talking point painting abortions as a profitableventure. “Given the lucrative nature of abortion, it is likelythat any statute that reduces the number of customers will bechallenged by the industry,” she told lawmakers.Pro-choicers say the so-called ‘fetal heartbeat bill’ is adirect challenge to the US Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling,which legalized abortion until a fetus was considered viable –usually at 22 to 24 weeks. But Grande disagrees. “Why would a heartbeat not beconsidered life?” she said. “It makes so much sense; we allrelate life to a heartbeat, and here we have a heartbeat, so isn’tit life?” she said.