By Elissa Berger, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU
Update: The North Dakota legislature passed a bill today that bans most abortions in the state. Should this bill be signed into law by the governor, North Dakota will become the first state in the nation to ban most abortions.
Some politicians in North Dakota are so intent on taking away a woman’s ability to make personal, private decisions they are pushing a package of bills that, together, would ban abortion, prevent women’s health centers from providing comprehensive care, and block many people’s attempts at even starting a family.
A bill to ban abortion as early as six weeks, before a woman may even know she is pregnant is poised to pass the legislature this week. A bill that would grant legal rights to fertilized eggs, thereby banning abortion and restricting IVF, could also pass any day now. There is also a bill intended to regulate abortion clinics out of existence in North Dakota by imposing medically unjustified requirements on doctors that perform abortions.
I recognize that we don't all feel the same way about abortion, but we should be able to agree that this personal decision is best made by a woman and her family, not politicians. First, in Arkansas, now in North Dakota, politicians seem to have completely lost sight of this. It’s up to us, women and men across this country to remind them. If we don't, one thing is sure: North Dakota won't be the last.