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North Dakota to outlaw abortion starting July 28

Attorney General Drew Wrigley on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, certified that the U.S. Supreme Court allowed North Dakota to prohibit abortion in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision issued last week.

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Attorney General Drew Wrigley on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, certified that the U.S. Supreme Court allowed North Dakota to prohibit abortion in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision issued last week.
Kyle Martin / The Forum
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BISMARCK — Abortion will become illegal in North Dakota on July 28, Attorney General Drew Wrigley announced on Tuesday, June 28.

In 2007, the North Dakota Legislature passed a "trigger" bill sponsored by former Democratic Rep. James Kerzman that would ban abortion in the state within 30 days if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Wrigley set off the 30-day countdown on Tuesday by certifying that the high court allowed states to prohibit abortion in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision issued last week.

The state law will make it a Class C felony for anyone to perform an abortion, unless a pregnant female performs an abortion on herself. A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Performing an abortion would still be allowed if the mother's life is in danger and in cases of rape or incest.

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Wrigley told Forum News Service in May that local state's attorneys would be charged with prosecuting violations of the abortion ban, but special prosecutors from his office would also have jurisdiction.

The Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo is North Dakota's lone abortion provider. The clinic performed 1,171 abortions in 2020, including 833 on North Dakota residents.

Clinic Director Tammi Kromenaker told Forum News Service last week the clinic will continue to operate across the Red River in Moorhead with little to no disruption in abortion services, though she declined to disclose the location of the new clinic.

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Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Women's Clinic, is seen June 24, 2022.
Chris Flynn/The Forum

The clinic only performs abortions on Wednesdays, leaving it up to five days to carry out the procedures in North Dakota. Kromenaker declined to comment on whether the clinic will perform abortions until the trigger law takes effect, saying she had to speak with her attorneys.

The clinic has so far raised more than $765,000 through a GoFundMe online fundraiser.

A dozen other states have similar trigger laws, including South Dakota, Texas, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming.

The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion rights research organization, estimated a total of 26 states are "certain or likely" to ban abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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