‘Let’s Be Strong’: North Dakota Enacts Robust Pro-Life Bill
On Monday, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed S.B. 2150 into law, a measure that protects most unborn babies from abortion at the moment of conception. Republican lawmakers are hailing the legislation as a bold step toward instilling a strong pro-life, pro-woman culture in America.
The bill protects all unborn babies, with exceptions for those conceived in rape and incest before six weeks gestation. It would also allow the procedure after six weeks for medical emergencies such as ectopic or molar pregnancies.
With the new law, North Dakota joins a growing list of red states that have enacted robust pro-life protections over the last 10 months. The new law makes North Dakota the 13th state to put in place pro-life protections since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was handed down in June of 2022, which overturned Roe v. Wade.
As North Dakota State Senator Janne Myrdal (R) explained on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Thursday, the bill is an affirmation of pro-life laws that have existed in North Dakota for decades.
“These are laws that were actually on the books for about 20 years in North Dakota but [were] held hostage by Roe,” she noted. “And when the Dobbs decision came, we went to work along with a lot of pro-life organizations here in North Dakota. We … said, ‘Okay, let’s now clean up … our abortion language and let’s undergird what’s been since before statehood in North Dakota. … [This bill] protects women and children. We’ve also done several other laws that are giving alternatives to abortion programs and undergirding women after those babies are born as well.”
Myrdal further observed that the measure is an attempt to “get ahead of the curve” of legal challenges that are ensnaring previously enacted pro-life legislation.
“We’ve been in lawsuits back and forth for the last eight, 10 months,” she explained. “Our Supreme Court, strangely, a few weeks ago found a right in our Constitution to abortion in the word ‘health.’ And they decided that on a 1914 medical journal [article], apparently — so, not very much jurisprudence. But we said, ‘No, we’re going to pass this law. We’re going to make it effective immediately with an emergency clause.’ … We … worked with the medical associations. And the only one that opposed this was Planned Parenthood. And you know why? [They’re part of a] $1 billion abortion industry.”
When asked what advice she would give to fellow Republican state legislators who are hesitant to move pro-life protections forward, Myrdal was unequivocal.
“I would say be bold. We are on the right side of this issue. … I think this is the time. … If we don’t get this one right, it doesn’t matter how much oil we pump or how much agricultural product we produce in North Dakota. … Because if we don’t get this fundamental thing of the protection of the unborn, which is the civil rights issue of our generation, if we don’t get that right, God is not going to bless our states and bless our economy. So be bold. I mean, what do you have to lose? … This is the season to do what is right for the unborn and for women.”
Myrdal went on to underscore the inherent strength that women and society have to handle unplanned pregnancies.
“Women are strong. We’ve gone through reproductive hardships and blessings for thousands of years. But we’re strong enough. We don’t need to kowtow to the abortion industry and lower ourselves to the lowest common denominator and kill our offspring … in order to be successful or to have a good life, even in crisis. Honestly, I think the abortion industry belittles women, and that’s one of the messages I’ve said over and over again. Let’s be strong. … [W]e can handle [unplanned pregnancies] and then let the community … and the churches and the state come around those people in crisis and walk through it together. We can do this.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.