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North Dakota Poised To Enact Six-Week Abortion Ban, The Most Stringent Restriction In The Nation

Posted by on Mar. 15, 2013 at 12:45 PM
  • 92 Replies

North Dakota Poised To Enact Six-Week Abortion Ban, The Most Stringent Restriction In The Nation

Not to be outdone by Arkansas lawmakers — who recently overrode their governor to impose a 12-week abortion ban, the strictest in the country — abortion opponents in North Dakota want to go even further.

So far this year, anti-choice lawmakers in Arkansas and North Dakota have practically tripped over each other to see which state can impose more abortion restrictions. Arkansas initially pulled into the lead by imposing two stringent restrictions, a 20-week abortion ban and, later, a stricter 12-week ban. But North Dakota may be ready to raise the stakes once again. Republican lawmakers are advancing a “fetal heartbeat” measure to outlaw the procedure after just six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even realize they’re pregnant, and they expect to have enough support to push it though:

House Bill 1456 would make it a felony for a doctor to perform a nonemergency abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as five or six weeks. House Bill 1305 would prohibit abortions sought because a fetus has been or could be diagnosed with any genetically inherited defect, disease or disorder.

The Republican-led state Senate will vote today on the measures, said state Representative Bette Grande of Fargo, who co-sponsored the bills in the Republican-controlled House, where both have passed. Grande said she expects the Senate to approve both and the governor, also a party member, to sign them.

“The heartbeat is society’s marker for life,” Grande, a Republican, said by telephone from Fargo.

So-called “fetal heartbeat” bans are blatantly unconstitutional. Even though Roe v. Wadeguarantees the right to legal abortion services until the point of viability, typically around 23 or 24 weeks of pregnancy, heartbeat bans narrow that window by as much as 17 weeks. North Dakota’s heartbeat measure will also have the unintended consequence of mandating transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions, since there’s no other way to detect a fetal heartbeat at such an early stage of pregnancy.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only egregious affront to reproductive rights that women in North Dakota have to worry about. State lawmakers are also considering an even more radical “personhood” measure that would outlaw abortion altogether, as well as some forms of contraception. And, despite the fact that there’s just one abortion clinic left in the state, anti-choice Republicans are attempting to advance legislation that would force it to close its doors.

Testifying against the mounting abortion restrictions currently moving through the legislature, one Fargo-area doctor warned that North Dakota’s attacks on choice will ultimately force women in the state to resort to dangerous, “backroom” abortion procedures. Unfortunately, even while Roe technically still stands, North Dakota lawmakers could essentially roll back the clock to a time before women had the right to safely determine their own reproductive decisions.

by on Mar. 15, 2013 at 12:45 PM
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Replies (1-10):
romalove
by Roma on Mar. 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM
4 moms liked this

People need to wake up and stop electing legislators who want to take away their rights.

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Mar. 15, 2013 at 12:54 PM
1 mom liked this

Too bad for the three people who live there. Maybe they think this is the only way to bring up their population numbers? (sarcasm font people)....

I really just have a big eyeroll for this. These will be overturned by the court. Good luck trying to enforce it.

Neon Washable Paint

lilbit53009
by on Mar. 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM
2 moms liked this

6 weeks? most people don't find out their pregnant till they're around 5-6 weeks


all this will do is make people go out of state if they want one past 6 weeks

momaof8
by Bronze Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 1:00 PM
1 mom liked this
Finally woot woot
catrig
by Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM
That is ridiculous.
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chloedee
by Bronze Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 1:17 PM
5 moms liked this

There's no way this would stand up in court with Roe v. Wade. Seems like baiting just to get it taken there.

Some good ol' fiscally responsible Republicans, who apparently have no priorities more pressing than the lengthy and costly court and legal battle this would cause.

Pema_Jampa
by SxyTaco on Mar. 15, 2013 at 1:19 PM

I had no idea I was pregnant at 6 weeks with my first. Are these people for real? 

tscritch
by Silver Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM

 RIDICULOUS!

 

neveensaffron
by Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 1:25 PM
1 mom liked this
That's exactly why they chose that time table.

By the time a woman figures out she's pregnant, it's too late.


Quoting lilbit53009:

6 weeks? most people don't find out their pregnant till they're around 5-6 weeks


all this will do is make people go out of state if they want one past 6 weeks


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Arroree
by Ruby Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 1:25 PM



Quoting tscritch:

 RIDICULOUS!

 



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