INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 27, 2013, 05:59 PM

Two more anti-abortion bills may be on the way

Bismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - Three anti-abortion bills have been signed into law. There are two additional laws pending.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Bismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - Three anti-abortion bills have been signed into law. There are two additional laws pending.

To break down the five potential laws new to the state, two more anti-abortion measures passed the legislature last week, but require further action.

One is a resolution that life begins at conception. If passed by North Dakota voters, it would effectively ban abortion in the state altogether.

With the scratch of a pen, three bills Governor Jack Dalrymple signed into law made North Dakota's abortion laws the strictest in the country.

But two more pending laws could extend that even further.

One is a resolution that defines life as beginning at conception, in effect, giving a fertilized egg human rights.

Voters will decide on that measure when it appears on the November 2014 ballot.

Lawmakers also voted through a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on the premise that fetuses feel pain at that point. That is still awaiting Governor Dalrymple's signature.

The laws that have passed ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

They also ban abortions based on genetic factors like gender or Down syndrome, and mandate that a doctor that performs the procedure must be a physician with hospital-admitting privileges.

But those three bills don't go into effect until August 1st. Until then, it is still legal to have an abortion until the fetus is considered viable, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

And then, there's the question of whether the bills will hold up in court or be overturned.

Groups like the Red River Women's clinic are already planning legal action, and Governor Dalrymple has openly admitted the fetal heartbeat bill is a direct challenge to Roe vs. Wade.

The Governor has not addressed whether he will sign the 20 weeks bill. The ballot measure granting personhood to a fertilized egg does not require the governor's signature.

Tags: