North Dakota Governor Signs Near-Total Abortion Ban into Law


North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed a bill into law on Monday protecting unborn babies from abortion with limited exceptions.

Burgum said the bill, Senate Bill 2150, “reaffirms North Dakota as a pro-life state.” The state Senate passed Senate Bill 2150 42-5, and the state House passed it 76-14 before sending it to his desk.

“North Dakota has always been pro-life and believed in valuing the moms and children both,” the bill’s sponsor Republican Sen. Janne Myrdal said, according to the Associated Press. “We’re pretty happy and grateful that the governor stands with that value.”

The bill protects unborn babies throughout pregnancy but has an exception for abortions “deemed necessary based on reasonable medical judgment which was intended to prevent the death or serious health risk to the pregnant female.” The bill also included exceptions for rape and incest before six weeks of pregnancy.

The bill amends the state’s trigger law to address issues brought up by the North Dakota Supreme Court in a ruling blocking a previous ban during ongoing litigation and is designed to take effect immediately. Previously, abortion had been allowed up to 20 weeks of pregnancy in the state under the court’s injunction. 

The Associated Press noted that the state no longer has any abortion clinics. 

“Last summer, the state’s only facility, the Red River Women’s Clinic, shut its doors in Fargo and moved operations a short distance across the border to Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortion remains legal,” according to the report. “The clinic’s owner is still pursuing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of North Dakota’s previous abortion ban.”

Democratic Rep. Liz Conmy, who voted against the legislation, told the outlet she hoped Burgum would not sign the bill. 

“I don’t think women in North Dakota are going to accept this, and there will be action in the future to get our rights back,” Conmy said. “Our Legislature is overwhelmingly pro-pregnancy, but I think women in the state would like to make their own decisions.”

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America’s Western Regional Director Adam Schwend celebrated its passage, calling North Dakota a “compassionate state.”

“North Dakota is a compassionate state that believes in protecting the lives of unborn children and standing side by side with mothers,” Schwend said in an emailed statement. “We applaud Gov. Burgum and legislators for enacting the will of the people in passing a law to protect babies with beating hearts and who can feel the pain of abortion. By addressing the concerns put forward by the state Supreme Court last March, this measure will save lives.”


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