Today the North Dakota Senate passed HB1305 and HB1456, both introduced by Rep. Bette Grande.
HB1456, which bans abortions in instances where a heartbeat is detected, passed with no debate on a 26-17 vote. But the real fireworks were on HB1305.
Democrats moved to divide the bill into two portions. Division A was the portion of the bill banning abortions for the purposes of gender selection, and passed with a 37-6 vote. Division B was the portion of the bill banning abortion in instances where genetic abnormalities (i.e. Downs Syndrome) are detected. That one passed on a slightly narrower 27-15 vote.
But during the debate over Division B, state Senator Connie Tripllett made some comments on the floor and then stormed off without being excused. When Division B came to a vote, Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley (acting as the President of the Senate) noted her absence and held up the the vote until Democrats moved to excuse her absence.
Despite that childish display of temper, the full bill passed on a 28-15 vote. Here’s video of the drama surrounding Triplett’s departure:
Passing these two bills puts North Dakota ahead of every other state in the nation in terms of restricting abortion, pending Governor Dalrymple’s approval (which is likely). The bills prohibit abortion for gender selection, abortion in cases where genetic abnormalities are detected and abortion if a heartbeat is detected.
That’s a big victory for the pro-life movement in the state.
Update: Here’s Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner chastising Senator Triplett for going missing, and Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider issuing a sort of sheepish half-apology at the end.