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North Dakota Senate Opts for Special Vote to Rule on Abortion

The North Dakota Senate voted last Thursday to change a bill that would have banned abortions if the Supreme Court were to change its position on abortion. Instead, a measure was proposed and approved that calls for a special session to convene if the Supreme Court does, in fact, overturn its previous ruling in Roe v. Wade.

The original ban, which passed in the House (HB 1466) by a vote of 61-26, would have been an abortion ban “trigger law” put into effect immediately upon the overturning of the Supreme Court’s previous decision. The bill would have outlawed abortions in all cases except to save the life of a woman and threatened a $5,000 fine and 5-year prison sentence to anyone who provided abortions.

Members of the Senate decided, however, that the ban was preemptive and should only be voted on if and when it is necessary. Sen. Tracy Potter, who proposed the change, said, “This is really what we want to do if Roe v. Wade is overturned. We want to deal with that issue then. We don’t want to do it beforehand,” the Bismarck Tribune reports.

Sources:

Bismark Tribune 4/9/07; Associated Press 4/5/07; Life News 4/6/07