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Legislature rejects two anti-abortion bills


The North Dakota Legislature has rejected two anti-abortion bills.

The House has rejected an anti-abortion bill – that would have made abortion a class-AA felony.

The only exception would be to save the life of the woman.

Another section of the bill said a person who aids or assists in an abortion would be guilty of a class-C felony.

Minot Republican Representative Matt Ruby told the House he is “pro-life,” but this isn’t the way to end abortion.

"For those of you that believe abortion should be illegal, a 'no' vote doesn't mean we aren't pro-life," Ruby said. "It means we believe in a different strategy."

The vote on the measure was taken in two divisions. The first – including the “AA” felony language – failed 70 to 22. The second – the “C” felony language – failed on an 86 to 4 vote.

Meanwhile, the state Senate has rejected a bill that would prohibit the zoning of an abortion clinic within 30 miles of a school.

Opponents of the measure say it would supersede the authority of local governments to make zoning decisions.

Turtle Lake Republican Senator Howard Anderson says if the bill passed, the state would, in effect, be “banging its head against a wall.”

"If we pass this bill, there would only be perhaps one or two places in the state where this zoning would apply," Anderson said. "Those people wouldn't want it, either."

Anderson said that would lead to a court saying the state has effectively said "no" to everything.

"And we're back in court again, spending maybe another $1 million of taxpayer money defending something which we knew was going to happen when we pass this bill," Anderson said.

No one spoke in favor of the measure. It failed 33 to 13.

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