Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

ACLU of ND ready to push back against imminent ban on abortion

North Dakota implemented a trigger law that would ban abortions if Roe vs Wade was overturned.

Libby Skarin is Campaigns Director for the ACLU of North Dakota. She says the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe vs. Wade will have devastating implications.

"This decision - I think it's important for folks to know that this is truly unprecedented. That what we have seen today is the Supreme Court unsettle law that has been settled for quite some time, and essentially revoking a fundamental right that women and pregnant people have had for over fifty years."

Skarin says people need to prepare for the types of proposals that may come as a result of this decision.

"There's a lot of speculation, a lot of discussion around the country - but we've heard a variety of states saying they want to do things like increase penalties for abortion, create penalties for abortion that don't just go against the provider, but the pregnant person getting the abortion, or folks who are helping others get an abortion through practical support and donation, or giving advice or helping them travel. To be clear; that is not something that is in effect right now. But there is a potential that we could see that type of legislation in North Dakota, so I think folks really have to be prepared and ready to fight back and to get deeply involved in the political and legislative process."

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday the Court could also reconsider past rulings on contraceptives, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage. Skarin says with today’s ruling, these scenarios are real possibilities.

"I think we need to think about this moment as something that really opens the door for overturning these long standing precedents in the Supreme Court. And I think folks really need to recognize that this is a possibility, that we need to prepare for it, and do everything in our power to make sure that it doesn't happen."

North Dakota enacted a trigger ban on abortion in 2007, which means the legislative council must approve a recommendation from the attorney general to outlaw abortion. The ban would take effect after 30 days.