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Published March 25, 2013, 04:24 PM

Dalrymple signs all three ND anti-abortion bills

Gov. Jack Dalrymple has signed three abortion-limiting bills passed by the North Dakota Legislature, giving the state the most anti-abortion laws of any U.S. state and setting up possible legal challenges over provisions critics say are unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple has signed three abortion-limiting bills passed by the North Dakota Legislature, giving the state the most anti-abortion laws of any U.S. state and setting up possible legal challenges over provisions critics say are unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade.

Dalrymple acknowledged the likelihood of an ensuing court battle and recommended that lawmakers set aside money for litigation.

Here is the full text of the statement released at 11 a.m. by Dalrymple:

“Gov. Jack Dalrymple today signed HB 1305, HB 1456 and SB 2305 and provided the following statements to the Legislature:

North Dakota House and Senate presiding officers:

I have signed HB 1305 which would ban abortions performed solely for the purpose of gender selection and genetic abnormalities.

I have signed HB 1456 which would ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade. Because the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed state restrictions on the performing of abortions and because the Supreme Court has never considered this precise restriction in HB 1456, the constitutionality of this measure is an open question. The Legislative Assembly before it adjourns should appropriate dollars for a litigation fund available to the Attorney General.

I have signed SB 2305 which requires admitting and staff privileges at a nearby hospital for any physician who performs abortions in North Dakota. The added requirement that the hospital privileges must include allowing abortions to take place in their facility greatly increases the chances that this measure will face a court challenge. Nevertheless, it is a legitimate and new question for the courts regarding a precise restriction on doctors who perform abortions.”

Check back later for an update on this developing story.

ORIGINAL STORY

BISMARCK — More than 300 abortion-rights activists attended a rally at the state Capitol in Bismarck to protest a package of measures that would give the state the toughest abortion restrictions in the nation.

The newly formed Stand Up For Women North Dakota also planned rallies Monday in Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot.

Organizer Robin Nelson says the intent of the rallies is to show solidarity for women's rights issues.

The Legislature has passed several anti-abortion measures this session. Most are awaiting the signature of Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who hasn't yet indicated whether he supports the laws.

A Dalrymple spokesman says the governor's office is fielding a large number of calls both supporting and protesting the measures.

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