North Dakota Governor Signs Nation's Most Restrictive Abortion Law

Gov. Jack Dalrymple, a Republican, signed three anti-abortion bills Tuesday, one of which bans abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which could be as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

The New York Times: New Laws Ban Most Abortions In North Dakota
Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota approved the nation’s toughest abortion restrictions on Tuesday, signing into law a measure that would ban nearly all abortions and inviting a legal showdown over just how much states can limit access to the procedure (Eligon and Eckholm, 3/26).

Reuters: North Dakota Governor Signs 'Heartbeat' Abortion Ban
North Dakota on Tuesday adopted the most restrictive abortion law in the United States, as the governor signed a bill that bans the procedure in most cases once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks. Supporters of abortion rights said they would challenge the measure in court (Thompson, 3/26).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: North Dakota GOP Governor Signs Bill Banning Most Abortions As Early As 6 Weeks Into Pregnancy
The Republican governor signed three anti-abortion measures on Tuesday — including one banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, or when a heartbeat can be detected. By doing so, Dalrymple positioned his oil-rich state as a primary battleground in the decades-old fight over abortion rights (3/27).

The Wall Street Journal: North Dakota Adopts Strict Abortion Law
The law, which prohibits an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, is expected to face a court challenge from abortion-rights advocates who say it conflicts with U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, a Republican, said it is unclear whether the law would survive a court challenge, but that it stands as "a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries" of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's 40-year-old abortion rights ruling (Peters, 3/26).

Politico: Activists Push Abortion Issue Forward
Anti-abortion activists are pushing earlier and earlier bans on abortion, with at least one state outlawing the procedure at the first sign of a detectable heartbeat. Arkansas’s new law limits most abortions at 12 weeks, and a North Dakota law signed by the governor Tuesday bans most after six weeks (Smith, 3/26).

CNN: North Dakota Governor Signs Law Banning Most Abortions
What is being called the nation's toughest anti-abortion measure -- a law that bans most abortions after six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be first detected -- was signed into law on Tuesday by North Dakota's governor. The law sets the stage for an almost guaranteed legal showdown, with proponents saying the law is intended to test the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal. … The governor directed the legislature to set aside funds to cover the cost of the expected legal battle, which opponents vowed to mount if the governor signed the measure into law (Carter and Hassan, 3/27).

Meanwhile, in other states --

Georgia Health News: Senate Limits Abortion Coverage In State Health Plan
A bill that would allow the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to provide its own insurance plan added a surprise amendment Monday that would restrict abortion coverage for state employees. The amended legislation passed on a 34-15 vote in the Republican-dominated Senate. It would bar coverage for abortion in the 650,000-plus-member State Health Benefit Plan. The only exception would be for situations in which the life of the mother is in danger or it's needed "due to the mother's medical necessity." The bill still must be reconciled with the House version of the legislation, which does not address abortion. The Georgia World Congress Center recently left the state health plan, which covers teachers, other school personnel and state employees, along with dependents and retirees (Miller, 3/26).

Los Angeles Times: Following In Dr. George Tiller’s Footsteps
The [Wichita, Kan.] clinic had been closed for nearly four years. Two weeks before the clinic's reopening, Burkhart pushes open the silver double doors to the empty surgical room. Her pace slows. A sadness flickers across her eyes. This room has been a symbol for decades of a fierce national fight over abortion, and that battle is about to return to her city, her doorstep. But then, just as quickly, she shakes it off. The political activist in her takes over. There is work to be done (Deam, 3/26).

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