Gov. Burgum Signs Law Banning Most Abortions in North Dakota with Limited Exceptions

( – Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed into North Dakota law on Monday that all abortions are banned throughout most stages of pregnancy save for certain exceptions up to six weeks of gestation, which is one of the strictest laws against abortion in the country.

Burgum said the new law “clarifies and refines existing state law,” reaffirming North Dakota “as a pro-life state.”

The exceptions to the statewide ban will include cases of incest, rape, or medical emergency, and only during the first six weeks of gestation.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to overturn the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision which legalized the procedure federally across the country, which kicked the decision on how much abortions should be regulated and restricted to the individual states. Multiple states passed laws banning or further restricting abortions after the decision. There are now 13 states who have banned abortions and others have decisions on hold due to court injunctions challenging the bans.

Since the decision was kicked back to the states, Democratic governors in at least 20 states have also launched a network to fortify abortion access as well as protect those performing the procedure and those helping others flee Republican-run states to have it performed.

The new law is supposed to take immediate effect, although the state Supreme Court ruled last month that a previous ban remains blocked pending a lawsuit contesting its constitutionality. The latest bill, according to GOP lawmakers, is meant to send a message to the supreme court that most North Dakota citizens want to see restrictions on abortion, yet it will most likely also face legal challenges.

A phenomenon becoming more common in states with abortion restrictions are women crossing state lines to get the procedure in states that still allow it. With no more abortion clinics in North Dakota, since the last facility closed its doors last summer, that’s exactly what some women are doing.

The different values Americans have toward abortion are one of the most significant dividing lines within the country.

Copyright 2023,