Burgum signs bill banning abortion procedure

Published: Apr. 10, 2019 at 5:38 PM CDT
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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has signed legislation that makes it a crime for a doctor performing an abortion to use instruments such as clamps, scissors and forceps to remove a fetus from the womb.

Burgum's spokesman, Mike Nowatzki, says the first-term Republican governor signed the bill Wednesday outlawing the abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation. The bill uses the non-medical term "human dismemberment abortion" to describe the second-trimester procedure.

Doctors performing the procedure could be charged with a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Opponents argue that banning the procedure is unconstitutional because it interferes with private medical decisions. Similar laws elsewhere are on hold because of legal challenges.

The bill becomes effective if a federal appeals court or the U.S. Supreme Court allows its enforcement.