The House of Representatives in North Dakota has just passed two new anti-abortion measures, making the state’s anti-choice climate even worse. North Dakota has only one operating abortion clinic and has been rated the worst state in the country for women.
HB1305 was the first of the controversial bills to be passed. This bill is intended to prevent women from having selective abortions based on gender selections or genetic problems, like Down Syndrome. Representative Kathy Hawken, a Republican, spoke out against HB1305:
“This bill … tell(s) me and other women what to do with our bodies.”
A second bill, HB1456, introduced by Republican representative Bette Grande, would require women who wanted an abortion to have fetal heartbeat testing prior to undergoing the procedure.
Remember the outrage over the death of Savita Halappanavar, the woman who was denied an abortion in Ireland, despite the fact that she clearly needed it for medical reasons? Well, under the auspices of this new law, if she was in the same medical situation in North Dakota (with a fetal heartbeat present, as it was in her case) she would also be denied an abortion. That doesn’t seem like a law that values the lives of fetuses—it seems like one that disvalues the lives of living women.
In addition, North Dakota’s only abortion clinic, Red River Clinic, has stated they currently have no equipment to use to test for a fetal heartbeat. Critics of these laws say they are obviously aimed at closing the clinic.
These bills won’t be passed into law until they are also passed by the state Senate. Let’s just hope North Dakota state senators aren’t nearly as hell bent on limiting the bodily autonomy of the women in their state.