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First State Bans Abortions Based on Down Syndrome, Gender

(UPDATED) Federal judge blocks North Dakota's new ban on abortions after as few as six weeks of pregnancy.

Update (July 22): The Associated Press reports that a federal district court has struck down North Dakota's new abortion law, which would have banned the procedure "as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before some women know they are pregnant."

North Dakota's only abortion clinic filed the lawsuit after the state legislature passed a series of laws this spring that would have made North Dakota "the most restrictive state in the nation in which to get an abortion," according to the AP.

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Update (May 14): The Associated Press reports that Red River Women's Clinic, North Dakota's only abortion clinic, has filed the first lawsuit challenging the state's new, restrictive anti-abortion law that "requires doctors who perform abortions to obtain hospital-admitting privileges."

According to the AP, Red River Women's Clinic argues that the law "could effectively make abortion illegal in North Dakota."

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Update (April 19): Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed a new "anti-abortion bill that creates new restrictions on the procedure and defines life as beginning 'at fertilization,'" according to Reuters.

The Associated Press adds that "the declaration that life begins at fertilization is embodied in 'personhood' measures in other states," including Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and North Dakota.

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Update (April 9): As of Tuesday, Alabama is the latest state to tighten its abortion restrictions, the Washington Post reports.

Local Alabama news reports that the bill, which was signed into law by the governor this morning, "requires abortion clinics to use doctors who have hospital admitting privileges in the same city where they do abortions, which supporters of the bill said is an important requirement for follow-up care when women have complications."

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Update (April 4): The Washington Times notes the growing pro-life split between "purists" and "incrementalists" in conservative states.

CT previously has examined the pro-life split in its extensive earlier coverage of abortion, which includes several articles on disagreements between pro-life groups on legislative strategy at the state level.

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Update (Mar. 28): The Washington Post has an interesting interactive graphic that allows viewers to visually explore abortion laws by state.

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Conservative states seem to be competing for status as the most restrictive on abortion. Just weeks after Arkansas lawmakers approved a ban on abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, North Dakota has signed a new law prohibiting some abortions as soon as six weeks.

The New York Times reports that the measure, which is scheduled to take effect in August, will "ban nearly all abortions," including "abortion once a fetal heartbeat is 'detectable,' which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy." In addition, the law also would ban sex-selective abortions and abortions based on genetic defects, such as Down Syndrome.

But the Associated Press also reports that the state is already 'gearing up' for "an inevitable legal challenge."

Governor Jack Dalrymple, who signed the Congress-approved measure, said "'this bill is ... a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade,'" which "legalized abortion up to until a fetus is considered viable—usually at 22 to 24 weeks."

CT regularly reports on the topics of abortion and Roe v. Wade. CT previously covered the passage of Arkansas' 12-week abortion ban.

In addition, CT's extensive earlier coverage includes several articles on disagreements between pro-life groups on legislative strategy at the state level.

Related Topics:Abortion
Posted:March 27, 2013 at 10:32AM
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First State Bans Abortions Based on Down Syndrome, Gender