North Dakota enacts sweeping abortion ban

 April 25, 2023

Abortion is virtually illegal in North Dakota after the state's Republican governor signed a sweeping ban Monday. 

“This bill clarifies and refines existing state law ... and reaffirms North Dakota as a pro-life state,” Governor Doug Burgum said in a statement.

North Dakota's ban includes limited exceptions for rape and incest during the first six weeks of pregnancy, and broad exceptions for when a mother's life or health are seriously threatened.

North Dakota bans abortion

The ban passed by overwhelming margins in both chambers of the state legislature. North Dakota already has a "trigger ban" on the books, but it is currently blocked in the courts.

The new law adds an exception for when a mother's health is at "serious" risk, an apparent response to the state Supreme Court's recent indication that it would recognize a "fundamental right" to an abortion in "life-saving and health-preserving circumstances."

North Dakota joins a handful of red states that have virtually banned abortion since the Supreme Court ended Roe v. Wade, clarifying that there is no constitutional right to an abortion.

"North Dakota has always been pro-life and believed in valuing the moms and children both,” Republican state Senator Janne Myrdal said. “We’re pretty happy and grateful that the governor stands with that value.”

The last abortion clinic fled North Dakota last year for neighboring Minnesota, which is a more liberal state.

Abortion politics divides GOP

The politics of abortion has divided Republicans since Roe fell, with some urging moderation and others doubling down.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R), who is widely expected to announce a presidential run soon, signed a six-week abortion ban earlier this month.

While some have blamed the GOP's recent electoral setbacks on a backlash against strict abortion limits, others, like senator Lindsey Graham (R-Sc.), say the party should embrace the issue and shift the conversation to the "barbaric" extremism of the left, where abortion is championed as a positive good.

"Abortion up to the moment of birth, taxpayer-funded, I think is barbaric,” he told CNN. “I think the Republican Party will be in good standing to oppose late-term abortion like most of the civilized world.”

Most recently, Democrats have been up in arms over a legal challenge to abortion pill access, including through the mail. The United States Supreme Court has allowed the pill to remain on the market, for now.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.