Port: North Dakota Republicans replace Democrat-backed abortion ban with something more moderate


MINOT, N.D. — Yes, I’m being specious with the headline, but it’s on purpose.

Yesterday Gov. Doug Burgum signed into law Senate Bill 2150, a new near total ban on abortions, and it made a lot of national news, but missing from that was some context.

This replacement really is more moderate than the “trigger ban” already on the books. That law hasn’t been enforced yet — it’s been held up by the courts since Roe v. Wade was overturned — but it represents a total ban on abortion with no exceptions. Doctors performing abortions to save the mother’s life, or in cases of rape or incest, would only have an “affirmative defense” against criminal charges.

When it became clear that this abortion ban could become law, in the wake of the Dodds decision, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL called it “evil,” though when it was introduced as legislation back in 2007, the sponsors were two Democrats.

Nine Democrats voted for the bill in the Senate in 2007; 14 said yes in the House.

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