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Senate passes 'clean-up' abortion bill

Janne Myrdal
North Dakota Legislative Council
Sen. Janne Myrdal (R-Edinburg)

The State Senate has passed what supports say is a “clean up” bill for North Dakota’s abortion restrictions.

The measure was introduced after the US Supreme Court’s “Dobbs” decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade.

The bill’s main sponsor, Sen. Janne Myrdal (R-Edinburg), said the bill only reflects the abortion restrictions the North Dakota legislature has put in place — including allowing abortion in the cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is in danger. Abortions are banned after six weeks.

"It does not enact new bans on abortions — I cannot state that stronger," Myrdal said. "All the prohibitions that are in Senate Bill 2150 were already in code."

Myrdal said ultimately, the question is not about whether a person supports or opposes the abortion bans.

"It's about whether we want a clear and better statute," Myrdal said.

The floor vote was 43 to 4 in favor of the bill. Senate Minority Leader Kathy Hogan (D-Fargo) was one of the “no” votes.

"For a person who has just gone through a major violation of their bodily autonomy, in the form of sexual violence, being unable to access health care, is really a violation of their human rights," Hogan said. "It compounds the initial trauma."

Hogan said nearly 70 percent of Americans say abortion should be legal, if pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

"This bill hurts sexual abuse victims in ways that will impact their lives forever," Hogan said.

The bill will now be considered in the House.

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