Governor of North Dakota signs “heartbeat” bill banning abortion after 6 weeks

alt-jp-DAKOTA-3-popupGovernor Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, a Republican, (duh!) signed three bills into law that would ban almost all abortions. Here are the three bills, all of which were passed by the Republican-controlled (duh!) legislature:

1. A requirement that doctors who perform abortions get admitting privileges at a local hospital. This could have the effect of closing the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, the state’s only abortion provider.

2. An unprecedented ban against abortion in the case of genetic defects.

3. A ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is “detectable,” which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy when a transvaginal ultrasound is used.

The last bill, is unlikely to stand because it violate Roe v. Wade’s finding that abortions are allowed until the fetus was viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks. Even Dalrymple concedes the legal frailty of the bill, saying,

“Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.”

At least he’s honest about what he’s trying to do: subvert Roe v. Wade.


Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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