On Tuesday, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) officially signed into law three of the most radical anti-abortion bills in the nation. It will now be illegal for women in North Dakota to get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, while the only abortion provider in the state will likely be forced to shut down entirely. The governor also signed a law specifically forcing women whose fetuses have genetic defects to carry them to term.
Dalrymple signed the bills even after protests erupted all over the state yesterday to stand against the extreme anti-choice restrictions. Republican lawmakers broke from their party to speak out against the bills, warning they go too far. While testifying in front of the North Dakota legislature, one doctor warned that these new restrictions would force women to seek out the dangerous, backroom abortions that were common in the pre-Roe era.
North Dakota now leads the charge in state-level attacks against women’s rights; their new “fetal heartbeat” ban surpasses even Arkansas’ 12-week ban. The new restrictions also expose the state to costly legal battles, as the laws stand in direct opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court’s iconic ruling on Roe v. Wade.
Dalrymple will also consider signing a widely debunked “fetal pain” bill passed by the legislature.
Planned Parenthood blasted the new laws with the following statement:
“North Dakota’s governor today effectively banned abortion in the state, with an outrageous and unconstitutional law that will not stand. This is just one of hundreds of bills across the country that would severely limit women’s access to safe and legal abortion. The unprecedented attacks on women’s rights and health across the country are a wake-up call. It is simply not acceptable that women’s basic rights will depend on their zip code, with women in some states being treated as free agents and full citizens while other women lose the right to make their own health care decisions.”