North Dakota became the nationâ€™s most restrictive state on abortion rights on Tuesday as Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed a measure banning the procedure if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
Dalrymple signed two other abortion bans Tuesday that were approved by the stateâ€™s GOP-led legislature.
The first would ban abortions based on genetic defects like Down syndrome â€“ the first such measure in the country â€“ and on gender selection. The second would require that any doctor performing abortions in the state be a physician with hospital-admitting privileges.
Dalrymple said in a statement that the bill is a direct challenge to the Supreme Courtâ€™s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion until a fetus was considered â€œviableâ€ â€“ usually between 22 and 24 weeks.
â€œAlthough 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,â€ Dalrymple said. â€œBecause 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 … the constitutionality of this measure is an open question.â€
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