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Governor Signs Partial Abortion Ban With No Exceptions

Some of the nation’s harshest abortion rules are now in effect in North Dakota. A measure limiting abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy has been signed into law by the governor of the state. Perhaps most controversially, it does not make any allowances for rape or incest that occurred after that time.

North Dakota’s Republican governor, Doug Burgum, signed an abortion ban into law on April 24. Abortions will be illegal after the sixth week of pregnancy unless in extreme cases. Abortion will be legal in some situations if the mother’s life is in imminent danger, such as when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. After the initial six weeks, however, only medical crises will be considered an exemption. If a victim of rape or incest continues to carry over the sixth week mark, the pregnancy must be carried to term.

Since the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling in last year, many red states have passed legislation restricting abortion. Thirteen states have enacted new limitations, while others await court rulings. The new laws in North Dakota are among the toughest in the country.

Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, has signed a six-week ban into law, but it is on hold until the previous 15-week restriction is challenged in court. The new, stricter limitation will go into force if the Florida Supreme Court finds that the state may impose it. The bill Burgum recently signed is more stricter than even the law of the state of Florida. It allows abortions up to 15 weeks for victims of rape or incest, which DeSantis calls “sensible,” and makes additional exceptions when the health of the mother is at risk.

Although Florida is taking legal action, the law in North Dakota went into effect the moment it was signed. The final abortion clinic in the state shuttered last year and relocated to Minnesota, so it’s impossible to predict how much of an effect this will have. Meanwhile, Democrats are dissatisfied with the legislation. Democratic lawmaker Liz Conmy has expressed doubt that “women in North Dakota are going to accept this.” She says that the state legislature is out of touch with female constituents. But for the time being, it’s the legislators who are making the calls.

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