(RightWing.org) – North Dakota now has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country. The state’s governor has signed a bill that restricts abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy. Controversially, it makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest after that time period.
JUST IN: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed a bill that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, making it one of the strictest abortion restrictions in the country. The law does not provide exceptions in the case of rape or incest. https://t.co/oJvNTVwecY
— The Hill (@thehill) April 24, 2023
On April 24, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed a bill that outlaws most abortions. However, in the first six weeks after conception, some abortions will be allowed in exceptional circumstances. For example, if there’s a medical emergency that endangers the mother, or if the pregnancy occurred through rape or incest, abortion will be available. However, after the six-week limit, the only exception will be for medical emergencies. Victims of rape or incest who carry the pregnancy past six weeks will need to go to full term.
Many red states have moved to tighten abortion laws since the Supreme Court struck down the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling last year. So far, 13 states have changed their laws; several others are waiting for court decisions on new restrictions. North Dakota’s new rules are among the strictest.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has also signed a six-week ban, but it’s currently on hold while the existing 15-week ban faces a legal challenge. If the Florida Supreme Court rules the state can impose that restriction, the new, tighter one will go into effect. However, even Florida’s law isn’t as strict as the one Burgum just signed. It allows abortions for rape or incest victims up to the 15-week point, which DeSantis says is “sensible,” along with exceptions where the mother’s health is threatened.
Florida might be fighting legal challenges, but North Dakota’s law came into force immediately. It’s hard to say how much actual impact it will have, though; the state’s last abortion clinic closed last year and moved to Minnesota. Meanwhile, Democrats are unhappy about the bill. State Representative Liz Conmy (D) said she doesn’t think “women in North Dakota are going to accept this.” She claims there’s a disconnect between the legislature and the state’s women. So far, though, it’s the lawmakers who are deciding what’s going to happen.
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