By Elissa Berger, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU
Today, North Dakota achieved the shameful distinction of enacting the most restrictive law on abortion in any state. In addition to passing a bill that would ban abortions after only six weeks of pregnancy, Gov. Jack Dalrymple also signed into law a separate bill that targets women with medically complicated pregnancies and a bill designed to shut down the one abortion clinic in the state.
We need to make sure our elected officials know they work for us. We didn't hire them to play doctor and to pass laws that withhold medical care. And yet, some are laser focused on banning a woman's access to abortion care under any circumstances. We need to tell them to #StopTheBans.
Here's the thing: Most of us agree that we need to support and protect a woman's health and well-being. Most of us understand that many things can happen in pregnancy and that a woman should have the full range of safe and legal options available to her. And most us would say that, even if we don't agree on abortion, it is not the place of politicians to make a woman's personal, private decisions for her.
But, with the stroke of his pen, the Governor of North Dakota told us he doesn't get it. And, sadly, there are politicians in other states that don't get it either. Just a few weeks ago, Arkansas passed what was, until today, the most restrictive ban on abortion. Legislators in Kansas are pushing a bill to ban most abortions, similar to the bill North Dakota just enacted. Texas and Alabama lawmakers are pushing bills that are designed to force women's health centers to shut their doors.
Call, email and tweet your friends and ask them to tell politicians to #stopthebans. Let's all make sure the whole country hears our message.