North Dakota governor signs law banning nearly all abortions

North Dakota on Monday adopted one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the country as Republican Gov. Doug Burgham signed into law a law banning procedures during pregnancy, with minor exceptions up to six weeks pregnant. bottom.

In the early weeks, abortion was allowed only in cases of medical emergencies such as rape, incest, or ectopic pregnancy.

“This bill clarifies and refines existing state law and reaffirms North Dakota’s position as an anti-life support state,” Brugham said in a statement.

Last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation triggered several state laws prohibiting or restricting the procedure. Many faced legal problems. At least 13 states now ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy, and others are pending court injunctions. Meanwhile, Democratic governors in at least 20 states this year launched networks aimed at improving access to abortion.

The North Dakota law is designed to take effect immediately, but last month the state Supreme Court ruled that the previous ban remains blocked while the case over its constitutionality goes on. Last week, lawmakers said they intended to introduce the latest bill to the state’s superior court as a message that North Dakota people want to limit abortion.

Proponents say the measures signed Monday will protect all human lives, but opponents say it will have dire consequences for women and girls.

North Dakota no longer has an abortion clinic. Last summer, the state’s only facility, the Red River Women’s Clinic, closed its doors in Fargo and moved operations just across the border to Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortion is legal. The clinic’s owner is still suing to challenge the constitutionality of North Dakota’s previous abortion ban.

This new ban is also expected to be subject to legal challenges.

Republican Senator Janne Myrdal of Edinburg sponsored the latest state law.

“North Dakota has always believed in pro-life and valuing both mothers and children. I have.”

Democratic Rep. Liz Commey voted against the bill, saying she hoped Burgham would not sign it.

“I don’t think women in North Dakota will accept this. There will be action in the future to take back our rights,” Conmey said. I support it, but I think women in the state want to make their own decisions.”


Trisha Ahmed is a member of the Associated Press/Reports for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover hidden issues.

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