Prairie Action ND

North Dakota Legislators Set to Copy & Paste Texas Abortion Ban

September 5th, 2021

By now you have heard the news, the state of Texas has implemented the most extreme abortion ban in the county. It is an unconstitutional law that bans abortion at six weeks, well before most women even know they are pregnant. In Texas, as in most states, 85 to 90% of abortions are after 6 weeks. Now women are left to travel hours out-of-state for abortion care, seek ways to self-administer illegal abortions, or be forced to carry a pregancy to term even if that pregancy was the result of rape or incest. 

In lieu of government enforcement of this sweeping restriction, private individuals can sue abortion providers or people who assist abortion. This “sue thy neighbor” law means that anyone- literally ANYONE- from a neighbor, a distant relative, a spurned friend, or even an anonymous anti-choice activist from behind their computer screen in another state. Each successful claim carries a $10,000 reward. 

While this bill is extreme, it’s part of a national agenda to end access to abortion in this country. In fact, yesterday in North Dakota it was reported that anti-choice legislators are not only celebrating this dangerous Texas law, but they intend to replicate it here at home. 

Who are these anti-choice politicians representing? It is clearly not the American people. Polls repeatedly and reliably show that 7 out of 10 Americans do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. And, let us not forget that in 2014 North Dakota voters went to the voting booth to soundly reject an abortion ban at a rate of 2:1

How did we get to this place where the will of the people is not only dismissed but where politicians champion policy completely antithetical to our values? The answer is simple. Complacency of leadership. Our legislative leaders have allowed a very vocal, often nefarious, always aggressive minority to manipulate the process and platforms. More simply, the ND Republican party has allowed their bully to win.  

It’s not just reproductive rights being bulldozed by these far-right bullies: its public health, public education, higher education and even local government control. It is time to stop wringing our hands and shaking our heads every time Sen. Janne Mydral and her cohort open their mouths. It’s time to call them out for their atrocious abuse of power and push back on their manipulations. Enough is enough. 

Amy Jacobson
Executive Director
Prairie Action ND