BISMARCK, North Dakota (LifeSiteNews) — North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has signed into law a ban on most abortions throughout pregnancy, with exceptions only allowed prior to the detection of a heartbeat in cases of rape, incest, or medical emergency.
The new law, which would effectively ban any abortion after six weeks, is expected to be legally challenged.
READ: North Dakota becomes latest red state to ban transgender mutilation of children
In March, the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld a block on the state’s trigger abortion ban, which would have made abortion a felony with exceptions only for rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life, after the state’s only abortion provider sued.
As a result, abortion remained legal in the state until 21 weeks. However, the challenging state abortion provider, The Red River Women’s Clinic, had already begun the process of relocating to Moorhead, Minnesota, close to the North Dakota border, to continue abortions in case the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court decision overturned Roe v. Wade. The facility now operates only in Minnesota, leaving North Dakota without abortion mills.
House Human Services Committee Chair Robin Weisz framed the bill as a way to “help address” the state Supreme Court ruling, LifeNews reported.
READ: North Dakota’s GOP gov. finally signs bill keeping male students out of girls’ sports
“This bill clarifies and refines existing state law … and reaffirms North Dakota as a pro-life state,” Gov. Burgum said in a statement.
North Dakota joins at least 13 states that have banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy, as well as a slew of other states with laws imposing varying abortion restrictions, many of which are currently being litigated.
Gov. Burgum, a Republican, signed a law last week banning the chemical and surgical mutilation of children in the name of “gender transitions.”
Earlier this month, he also signed a pair of bills prohibiting biological males from participating on school athletic teams for girls, though he had previously vetoed a bill forbidding teachers from using a student’s “preferred pronouns” without parental consent.
MAP: Most abortions are banned in 14 states, more states to follow