This week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear its first abortion case since conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett filled the seat of reproductive freedom advocate Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Court will review a blatantly unconstitutional 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi, which is currently blocked by the lower courts. The Court is expected to rule on this case in 2022. If it allows the ban to take effect, it could have devastating consequences for abortion access across the country and in our state.
This is the moment that anti-abortion politicians have been waiting for: by taking up this case, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is seizing their opportunity to challenge Roe v. Wade and chip away at abortion access.
So, what does this mean for North Dakota?
North Dakota’s Trigger Law
In 2007 North Dakota passed HB 1466—a bill designed to outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned. This means that if the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, abortion would immediately become illegal in North Dakota except to “prevent the death of the pregnant female” or unless the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
North Dakota’s trigger law is one of the most extreme in the nation. These narrow exceptions do not address the complex and deeply personal health care decisions individuals must make with their doctors, family, and faith. North Dakotans deserve every medical option during pregnancy because every pregnancy is unique.
Rest assured, while we wait for the Supreme Court to hear the case, abortion is still safe and legal in North Dakota. Red River Women’s Clinic, North Dakota’s sole abortion provider, remains open to provide care to patients. And no matter what fights come our way, we won't back down. Together, we'll keep fighting for reproductive freedom in North Dakota.