Public testifies on bill that would punish abortion providers

Local News

A controversial bill dealing with abortion had a hearing on Tuesday with passionate testimony from both sides.

House Bill 1313 would charge abortion providers with murder, and it would also criminalize anyone who “knowingly aids, abets, facilitates, solicits, or incites another person to commit an abortion.”

Opponents say if the bill passes and gets challenged in court, it could end up costing a lot of taxpayer money to litigate. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jeff Hoverson, who says a court challenge isn’t the intention of the bill, but ending abortion in the state is.

“It saddens me to see that there are abortion facilities, slash murder mills on American soil. Thankfully North Dakota only has one of these death camps unlike the many that are peppered across our nation,” Jasahd Steward, a staunch supporter of the bill, said.

On the other hand, those who opposed the bill say it goes against a constitutional right that the Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade. Plus, they say the bill could blur the lines for doctors who may feel they can’t have open conversations with patients about their options during pregnancy.

A maternal-fetal medicine doctor at Sanford Health says in situations like ectopic pregnancy, for example, this bill may make it hard for doctors to intervene if ending the pregnancy would save the mother’s life.

“This legislation is concerning to me because that embryo usually still has a heartbeat when we’re intervening, so there’s significant concern about what this bill would mean to intervene in those circumstances,” Dr. Ana Tobiasz said.

The committee did not yet vote on the bill.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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