A 6-week abortion ban was signed into law today in North Dakota by Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple, the most restrictive of its kind in the United States.
North Dakota’s 6-week abortion ban follows a similar large abortion restriction in Arkansas, and at issue is the constitutionality of such a restriction in the state.
Of the ban, Dalrymple says that the bills have been properly presented and voted upon and that lawmakers have the right to test their viability in accordance with federal laws:
“These are bills that have passed the legislature. This is what they want to do … They have a legislative right to find out if these laws can stand.”
Opponents of the 6-week abortion ban include national reproductive rights groups including The Center for Reproductive Rights, which plans to mount a legal challenge to the bills before they come into effect on August 1 of this year.
Just one clinic serves all of North Dakota’s women for abortion services, located in Fargo. Nancy Northup of The Center for Reproductive Rights says that the Red River Women’s Clinic is at risk due to the restrictive 6-week abortion ban and pledges to fight the legislation:
“North Dakota has set a new standard for extreme hostility toward the rights and health of women, the U.S. Constitution, and 40 years of Supreme Court precedent … We will not allow this frontal assault on fundamental reproductive rights to go unchallenged.”
The 6-week abortion ban bill in North Dakota also notably provides no exception for rape and is the first in the nation to prohibit abortions obtained solely due to genetic abnormalities or fetal gender.