Abortion rights activists in North Dakota are spearheading a drive to get three anti-abortion bills — signed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple last week and considered the strictest in the nation — up before voters.
The activists have submitted requests to the North Dakota Secretary of State to have petitions approved for signature drives on the measures.
“We just thought we’d take the issue to the people,” activist Gary Hangsleben told the Bismarck Tribune
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“[With a vote], everybody can get involved, not just a few attorneys on each side … You can’t ask for anything more democratic than that.”
The laws, which take effect Aug. 1, will require doctors to check for a fetal heartbeat.
In addition, abortions will be banned after 20 weeks, and they won’t be able to be performed based on gender or genetic abnormalities.
If the petition drive is approved by the state, each petition would require 13,452 signatures by June 24.
Fargo Rep. Bette Grande, a Republican, said a referendum is okay with her.
“If they want to take these to a vote of the people, great, let’s have that vote,” she told the Tribune.
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