North Dakota Governor Signs Near Total Abortion Ban

The state Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling last month and said the state constitution protects abortion rights in certain circumstances.

“North Dakota lawmakers are trying to bypass the state constitution and the court system with this blanket ban,” said Elizabeth Smith, state policy and attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Red River Clinic. “They made the exceptions a little narrower, but basically tried to repackage the trigger ban.”

Mrs. Smith said the center is still studying the new law and “has not decided what the next steps will be.”

Tammy Kromenecker, director of the Red River Clinic, called the new law “an assault on bodily autonomy and abortion rights.”

“This law does not apply to the people of North Dakota,” said Ms. Kromenaker.

Red River Women’s Clinic stopped providing abortions in the state, instead moving a short drive to Moorhead, Minn., in August. But lawyers representing the clinic say it’s important to ensure the ban doesn’t go into effect so patients facing medical emergencies can get abortions at hospitals and from their doctors.

“North Dakota was pro-life before the state and before Roe,” said Republican Senator John Myrtle, a sponsor of the bill. “I’m passionate about protecting women, but also their unborn children, and that goes hand in hand.”

Most states with abortion restrictions provide A few exceptions to save a mother’s life, but translating those exceptions has sown confusion and turmoil among doctors and patients. Roe v. In the months since Wade’s repeal, very few exceptions to these new abortion bans have been granted, according to a New York Times review of available state data and interviews with dozens of doctors, lawyers and lawmakers.

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In an opinion last month, the North Dakota Supreme Court raised concerns that the abortion ban could violate the “fundamental right to an abortion in limited instances of life-saving and health-preserving circumstances.”

Amy Schoenfeld Walker Contributed report.

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