Reaction Varies to Dalrymple's Signing of Abortion Bills - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Reaction Varies to Dalrymple's Signing of Abortion Bills

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North Dakota will have the strictest abortion laws in the nation.

Governor Jack Dalrymple has signed three bills approved by the legislature.

The two furthest reaching bills ban abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected, something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The Governor also signed into law another measure that makes North Dakota the first state to ban abortions based on genetic defects such as Down Syndrome or based on the sex of the baby.

Donnell Preskey has reaction from the state Capitol to this landmark legislation now law.

Governor Dalrymple declined an interview to tell North Dakotan's his reasoning for signing into law landmark legislation relating to abortion. However there are plenty of lawmakers who are willing to reflect on the Governor's actions.

"A lot of disappointment signed all three," says democratic Rep. Kylie Oversen of Grand Forks

"It's a great day for the babies of North Dakota," says republican Rep. Bette Grande of Fargo.

"I was hopeful he would veto them and extremely disappointed he didn't. They are unconstitutional," says republican Rep. Kathy Hawken of Fargo.

The emotion over North Dakota's abortion laws continues.

Hawken says the news of the Governor's approval brought her to tears..

"I heard from so many women, unbelievable stories, I feel let down. I feel let down, because I didn't do a good enough job for those women who were counting on us to make a difference," says Hawken.

"There are a good number of us who believe women and doctors can make these choices for themselves," says democratic Sen. Connie Triplett of Grand Forks.

"I never imagined, once elected, I would come here to defend my rights and privacy in healthcare," says Overson.

Supporters say they expected Dalrymple to sign the bills.

"I feel as a society, if we devalue life at any stage of development it has a societal impact to devalue life at every stage of development," says republican Sen. Spencer Berry of Fargo.

"He has stated these bills are very clear, they are about life," says Grande.

The mixed reviews of the Governor's actions follow months of testimony and emotional debate.

With Dalrymple's signature on the three bills, North Dakota has the strictest abortion laws in the nation.

"Our young people are embarrassed on what's going on, when trying to diversify economy and lifestyles, this is a huge backward step," says Triplett.

"We are showing the citizens in the nation and the world that ND believes in life of the unborn child and believes the heartbeat is life," says Grande.

In a statement to lawmakers, Dalrymple says the legislature should set aside funds to pay the legal bill if the bills are challenged in federal court.

"I don't look at as a challenge, I look at it as compliance to what the courts have asked the states to do, to look at this issue," says Grande.

However Governor Dalrymple in his statement says the likelihood of the fetal heartbeat bill surviving a court challenge remains in question. He says the bill is a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v Wade.

"I'm sure he was trying to look at what is in the best interest of this state and looking down the road to generations in how we view life," says Berry.

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