Anti-Choice Measures to Look Out for in North Dakota

North Dakota is currently the center for two debates concerning the right to choose.
The first decision at hand was made on Tuesday, when the state Supreme Court passed a measure banning abortion drugs.

The abortion pill is the safest and earliest method of the procedure and is only available for women within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. North Dakota currently has only one remaining clinic (yes, there is only one) that performs the procedure, thus this anti-choice legislation drastically reduces access to safe, early and legal abortion for women across the state.

Then there is the ongoing debate over Measure 1, an initiative that will be on the ballot next Tuesday, November 4th. This anti-choice ‘personhood’ measure states that life begins at conception. If the court’s decision over the drugs effectively outlaws abortion, this measure would completely stamp it out in the state. It is up to the voters of North Dakota to determine the fate of the measure.
Personhood laws, by declaring that life begins at conception, outlaw abortion and put access to other forms of reproductive health care, including birth control and in vitro fertilization at risk by defining life as beginning at fertilization. This means that once an egg is fertilized it has all the same rights as the other citizens of the state, creating many legal blockades for women to obtain the care they need. Dangerous personhood measures have been rejected by voters in previous years in Montana, Colorado and Mississippi – and in Mississippi the effort was rejected by a landslide.

North Dakota is already home to some of the nation’s harshest abortion restrictions, and once even tried to put a dangerous six-week ban ban in place, before many women even know they are pregnant. although that was later overturned by a federal judge.  While North Dakota is home to some of the nation’s most radical anti-choice laws, it is also home to one of our strongest pro-choice Republican advocates, state representative Kathy Hawken. Rep. Hawken has been a voice for choice in the statehouse, and we hope that others in her state will stand behind her when it comes to these attempts to clear out the right to choose from North Dakota.

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