April 25, 2023 -North Dakota on Monday adopted one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country as Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed legislation banning the procedure throughout pregnancy, with slim exceptions up to six weeks’ gestation.
In those early weeks, abortion would be allowed only in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency, such as ectopic pregnancy.
“This bill clarifies and refines existing state law … and reaffirms North Dakota as a pro-life state,” Burgum said in a statement.
Last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide has triggered multiple state laws banning or restricting the procedure. Many were met with legal challenges. Currently, bans on abortion at all stages of pregnancy are in place in at least 13 states and on hold in others because of court injunctions. On the other side, Democratic governors in at least 20 states this year launched a network intended to strengthen abortion access in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that eliminated women’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy and shifted regulatory powers over the procedure to state governments.
Supporters have said the measure signed Monday protects all human life, while opponents contend it will have dire consequences for women and girls.