Freedoms Stripped as North Dakota Legislative Ends
By Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, Inc. | May 1, 2023, 3:50 p.m.
North Dakota politicians prioritized an extreme agenda that takes away freedoms, autonomy, privacy and information
Bismarck, ND — A slew of bills attacking health care, the LGBTQIA+ community, books, and information became law this year as North Dakota politicians prioritized taking away freedoms from North Dakotans.
“This legislative session, North Dakota politicians took it upon themselves to take other people’s rights away,” said Katie Christensen, North Dakota State Director, External Affairs for Planned Parenthood North Dakota Action Fund. “It shouldn’t be controversial to chart the course of your own future – but North Dakota legislators passed laws that promote a very specific, unscientific, and inequitable agenda.”
SB 2150 bans all abortions in North Dakota, except in very narrow circumstances where a pregnant person’s life is at risk of death or substantial harm. The bill also provides an exception for survivors of rape or incest, but only until six weeks of pregnancy. This is before most people even know they are pregnant, making the exception useless at protecting survivors of sexual assault and rape. This abortion ban is one of the most extreme in the nation and is potentially unconstitutional given the North Dakota Supreme Court’s recent ruling.
The legislature also lobbied attack after attack on the LGBTQ+ community, targeting trans youth specifically. They passed a gender affirming care ban for minors that criminalizes doctors who seek to provide life-saving care. Further, they passed a transgender restroom bill, a sports bill, making life even more difficult and stigmatized for gender-expansive youth in the state.
Not satisfied with just banning health care, politicians looked toward public libraries and passed a censorship bill that prohibits public libraries from maintaining materials related to sexuality. Banning books is part of a national trend in 2023 to override people's autonomy at many levels in society.
“North Dakotans deserve to make private, personal medical decisions without government interference,” said Christensen. “North Dakotans deserve to read books without lawmakers imposing their personal values on our public library collections. North Dakotans deserve to live their lives without politicians attacking their existence. North Dakotans deserve so, so much better.”
Founded in 1992, the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization. As the advocacy and electoral arm of PPMNS, we mobilize supporters of all parties to defend and increase access to family planning services and fact based, medically accurate sexuality education. We work to inspire and engage citizens to take up the cause of reproductive health and rights through education, electoral activity, grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy.
Visit us at www.plannedparenthoodadvocate.org