Tags: Abortion | North Dakota | abortion laws

North Dakota Abortion Laws and How They Compare Nationally

By    |   Monday, 03 Aug 2015 10:42 PM

North Dakota is among the states with the strictest abortion laws. The courts and voters in the state have prevented even stronger measures to curb abortion.

The state legislature passed a law in 2013 to ban abortions when the heartbeat of the fetus could be detected, which could occur as early as six weeks into the pregnancy, the New York Post reported. Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple described the move as a legitimate way “to discover the boundaries” of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling to legalize abortion. However, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law in July 2015, agreeing with an earlier ruling that it was unconstitutional.

Vote Now: Do You Support Tougher Regulations on Abortion Clinics?

North Dakota voters were given the opportunity to consider adding language to the state constitution that would have equated an embryo at any stage with human life. The proposal, called Measure 1, was soundly defeated in 2014, according to Pro Publica.

The state is still considered to be friendlier to pro-life interests than many states. Both North and South Dakota were given F grades by NARAL Pro-Choice America, which ranks states according to their permissive abortion laws. In contrast, California, Maryland and Vermont received high grades for their lenient abortion requirements and few major restrictions. California received an A+ rating from the pro-choice group while Maryland and Vermont received A grades.

North Dakota’s requirements before an abortion include a state-directed counseling program that the Guttmacher Institute describes as discouraging women as much as possible from having an abortion. Women are then required to wait 24 hours before undergoing the procedure. South Dakota requires a 72-hour waiting period.

Private health insurance policies and plans for public employees only cover abortion in cases of life endangerment. Private companies are allowed to include optional riders for abortion at additional costs as is the case for health plans under the Affordable Care Act. Public funds only cover abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.

North Dakota’s other bordering states, Montana and Minnesota, have far more liberal abortion laws. Both require notification of a parent when a minor wants an abortion. Minnesota has a similar state-sponsored counseling program before the procedure.

Urgent: How Do You Feel About Stronger Regulations on Abortion Clinics?

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North Dakota is among the states with the strictest abortion laws. The courts and voters in the state have prevented even stronger measures to curb abortion.
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Monday, 03 Aug 2015 10:42 PM
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