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North Dakota legislature approves conditional abortion ban

[JURIST] The North Dakota Legislative Assembly [official website] passed a bill [PDF text] Monday prohibiting abortion [JURIST news archive] in the state if the US Supreme Court [official website] ever declares that such a move would be constitutional. The measure, which Governor John Hoeven [official website] is expected to sign, passed the state House 68-24 and the Senate 29-16. In the event that the US Supreme Court overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade [LII backgrounder; opinion] decision, the bill would subject anyone performing an abortion to a prison sentence of up to 5 years, a $5,000 fine, or possibly both. An exception would be made in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother was in danger.

North Dakota has become the second state to pass this type of abortion law; Mississippi approved a similar measure [FMF report] last month. Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem [official website] denied that the North Dakota bill was influenced by last week's Supreme Court decision upholding a federal 'partial birth' abortion ban [JURIST report]. The Bismarck Tribune has more.

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