North Dakota Doctors Call on Governor to Veto Abortion Ban

March 19, 2013 10:38 am

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Medical Professionals Urge Legislature Not to Pass Any Further Bills Blocking Access to Women’s Health Services

March 18, 2013

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FARGO, N.D. – At a press conference held today, thirteen physicians and other medical professionals in North Dakota called on the governor to veto a law that would ban most abortions in the state and urged the legislature not to pass proposed laws that would ban all abortions, prohibit IVF activities and force abortion providers in the state to close.

“As a physician, I treat complicated patients, including cancer survivors who are facing infertility from chemotherapy. These patients often require IVF to achieve their dream of having a family,” said Dr. Stephanie Dahl, a medical doctor in Fargo. “These laws would force me to turn families away. As a doctor and a North Dakota citizen, I am deeply dismayed that legislatures are limiting women’s access to reproductive health care.”

Last week, the North Dakota legislature passed a bill that, if signed into law by the governor, would be the strictest abortion ban in the country. The ban takes effect very early in pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant. In addition to the press conference, doctors and medical professionals signed a letter to the legislature opposing the slate of proposed laws that would place further limits of reproductive health care. The North Dakota Medical Association also opposes the bills.

“These dangerous laws do nothing to protect the women and families of North Dakota,” said Zach Packineau of the ACLU of North Dakota. “Nobody can predict what will happen during a pregnancy, and a woman should have the peace of mind knowing that all safe medical options are open to her if she and her doctor have to make a difficult decision.”

The North Dakota ban was passed a week after the Arkansas legislature passed another extreme ban over that governor’s veto. The Arkansas ban prohibits almost all abortion care after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

“Every woman, no matter where she lives in our country, has the right to make deeply personal decisions about her family and her health without the intrusion of politicians,” said Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “Medical professionals also have the right to treat their patients in accordance with their best medical judgment, not with legislators’ political judgment. Lawmakers around the country need to pay attention to doctors, and get politics out of the exam room.”

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