North Dakota passed one of the nation’s strictest anti abortion law on Monday when Republican Government Doug Burgum signed a law banning the procedure during pregnancy, with few exceptions up to six weeks into pregnancy.
Abortion would only be permitted in cases of rape, incest, or a medical emergency such as an ectopic pregnancy. This bill clarifies existing state law reaffirms North Dakota as a pro-life state.
North Dakota law is designed to take effect immediately, but last month the state’s highest court ruled that the previous ban should remain blocked while a lawsuit over its constitutionality continues. Last week, lawmakers said they intended to pass the latest law as a message to the state’s highest court that signals North Dakotans want to restrict abortion.
Supporters said the measure signed Monday protects all human lives, while opponents say it will have dire consequences for women and girls.
North Dakota action against abortion law
North Dakota no longer has any abortion clinics. Last summer, the state’s only facility, the Red River Women’s Clinic, closed its doors in Fargo and moved operations just over the border to Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortions are legal. The clinic’s owner is still fighting a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of North Dakota’s previous abortion ban.
This new ban is also expected to be subject to legal challenges. Republican Sen. Janne Myrdal of Edinburg sponsored the latest state legislation.
“North Dakota has always been pro-life and believed in valuing both mothers and children,” Myrdal said in an interview. “We’re quite happy and grateful that the governor stands behind that value.”
Democratic Rep. Liz Conmy voted against the bill, saying she hoped Burgum wouldn’t sign it. “I don’t think the women of North Dakota are going to accept this and move forward to get our rights back,” Conmy said. “Our legislation is overwhelmingly pro-pregnancy, but I think women in the state would like to make their own decisions.”
Written by: Vaishali verma