History of abortion access in North Dakota

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 9:06 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - This week’s action from Attorney General Drew Wrigley will make abortion illegal in North Dakota for the first time since Roe v. Wade was decided nearly 50 years ago. But in that time, the state has seen other challenges to abortion access.

Pro-choice and pro-life activists have frequently demonstrated in front of abortion clinics in North Dakota. The site of the facility in Fargo has changed locations, but the divide between the two groups remained unchanged. At one time, North Dakota had three active abortion clinics — one in Grand Forks, one in Jamestown and another in Fargo.

Abortion, in a historically conservative state like North Dakota, has been met with challenges throughout its existence.

Eventually, the Red River Women’s Clinic was opened and has since been the lone abortion clinic in North Dakota.

In 1991, then-Governor George Sinner vetoed what would have been the strictest anti-abortion legislation in the nation.

In March of 2013, then-Governor Jack Dalrymple signed the “fetal heartbeat” law which banned abortion after six weeks. However, it was ultimately struck down by the courts.

In August 2018, the state instituted a law that would be triggered if Roe v. Wade was ever overturned.

The Red River Women’s Clinic will operate until July 28 when the trigger law in North Dakota takes effect. They have plans to move across the river into Moorhead, Minnesota.

On Tuesday, Wrigley activated two North Dakota laws that ban abortion, with exceptions for rape, incest, and preserving the life of the mother.

Copyright 2022 KFYR. All rights reserved.