North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has signed into law a bill that would prohibit most abortions, with an exception for rape and incest victims, but only during the first six weeks of pregnancy.
Speaking after assenting to the bill, the governor told Rapid City Journal, “This bill clarifies and refines existing state law which was triggered into effect by the (U.S. Supreme Court) Dobbs decision and reaffirms North Dakota as a pro-life state”.
The law, which makes it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion, makes exceptions for saving the mother’s life or when her health is in grave danger.
However, rape and incest victims would be required to carry their pregnancies to term unless “the probable gestational age of the unborn child is six weeks or less,” according to Senate Bill 2150.
The bill passed with veto-proof majorities in both houses of the North Dakota legislature and is the latest to pass in a Republican-led state since the United States Supreme Court overturned the federal right to abortion last year, allowing states to impose restrictions.
At least 13 states have banned abortion, and North Dakota joins a number of other states in prohibiting abortion after a certain gestational period, ranging from six to twenty weeks.
More states, including North Dakota, have abortion restrictions that have been temporarily blocked by judges pending the outcome of underlying lawsuits.
In the meantime, abortion rights are protected in many Democratic-led states.
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