NEAR-TOTAL WITH DELAYED EFFECTIVE DATE ("TRIGGER" BAN)
In 2007, North Dakota enacted a near-total ban on abortion, to become effective if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. The ban prohibits the use of any "substance, device, instrument, medicine, or drug" with the intent to procure an abortion, unless necessary to preserve the woman's life or the pregnancy is caused by rape or incest. A person who provides a prohibited abortion could be imprisoned for up to five years. N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-31-12 (Enacted 2007).
AFTER 12 WEEKS
North Dakota has an unconstitutional and unenforceable ban that outlaws abortion procedures as early as 12 weeks. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 14-02.6-01 to -03 (Enacted 1999).
North Dakota's ban is unconstitutional according to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000). In Stenberg, the court held that a similar ban, which had no exception to protect a woman's health and was written so broadly as to ban more than one procedure, placed an undue burden on a woman's right to choose.
North Dakota's unconstitutional law makes any abortion procedure that falls within a broad definition a felony unless: (1) in the physician's medical judgment, the measures are necessary to preserve the life of a woman endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury; (2) every reasonable precaution is taken to preserve the fetus' life; and (3) the physician first certifies in writing the facts relied upon in making the judgment that such measures are necessary. This law does not apply to a sharp curettage or suction curettage abortion. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 14-02.6-01 to -03 (Enacted 1999).
There is also a Federal Abortion Ban, which applies nationwide regardless of state law. The federal ban prohibits certain second-trimester abortion procedures and has no exception for a woman's health. In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban, making it the first time since Roe v. Wade that the court has upheld a ban on a previability abortion procedure. Click here to read more about the Federal Abortion Ban.