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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Idaho Governor Brad Little has signed the Fetal Heartbeat Bill into law which prohibits abortion after a baby’s heartbeat is detected, the governor’s office said in a statement.
“Governor Brad Little signed the 366 House Act today, the law commonly known as the Fetal Heartbeat Act,” the statement said Tuesday. “The bill bans abortions after a baby’s heartbeat is detected, about five to six weeks after conception.”
The bill included exceptions for abortions in the event of medical emergencies and pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest, the statement said.
The bill considers heartbeat to be a more reliable indicator of life than the concept that life begins when a baby is potentially able to live outside the womb.
A medical professional who aborts after a heartbeat is detected will face a sentence of up to 5 years in prison for a criminal abortion offense, under the new law.
An embryo’s heart starts beating around 5-6 weeks of pregnancy, according to doctors. At this point, the first visible sign of the embryo, known as the fetal pole, may also be visible.
By the 10th week of pregnancy, a fetus’s heart has fully grown.