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North Dakota Passes Slew of Anti-Abortion Legislation

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Photo: Eric Wagner/flickr

North Dakota could be headed towards banning abortion in the state after the state legislature passed a so-called "personhood" resolution on Friday, the latest in a series of legislation chipping away at women's reproductive rights.

While the House did not pass Senate Bill 2303, a bill that would have defined a human being “as an individual member of the species homo sapiens at every stage of development,” it did pass Senate Concurrent Resolution 4009, which would amend their constitution with language that could effectively ban abortion in the state. It heads to voters in November 2014. The Grand Forks Herald reports:

Senate Concurrent Resolution 4009, known as the “personhood bill,” passed the House by a 57-35 vote. Sponsored by Sen. Margaret Sitte, R-Bismarck, would be put on the 2014 general election ballot if signed into law by the governor. If passed by the voters, the constitution will include the language, “The inalienable right to life at every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”

If voters pass the resolution, North Dakota would be the first state in the nation to have a "personhood" ban.

The House passed two other bills limiting abortion access, one, Senate Bill 2368, bans abortion after 20 weeks.  On this bill, RH Reality Check reports:

[...] it would seem as if the politicians might want to try a little harder to stop unwanted pregnancies in the first place. The best way to do that is through a combination of comprehensive sex education programs, and universal access to reproductive health care, including affordable contraception. Instead, the legislature has amended the 20 week “fetal pain” abortion ban bill to block what would have been over $1 million in sex ed funding to North Dakota State University to help at risk teens avoid pregnancy and STIs.

The House on Friday also passed Senate Bill 2305, which, the Grand Forks Herald reports, "would require a physician performing an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility."

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