January 24, 2013 — A dozen North Dakota Republican lawmakers are co-sponsoring legislation (HB 1305) that would ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus or genetic defects, such as Down syndrome, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
If enacted, abortion providers who terminate a pregnancy because of the fetus' sex or a genetic defect could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in prison and a maximum $2,000 fine.
On Tuesday, state Rep. Bette Grande (R) testified before the House Human Services Committee that abortions based on preferences for a certain sex or because the fetus has a genetic defect have "no place in civilized society." Grande added abortions based on the fetus' sex are usually rooted in a preference for sons, which she called "an act of gender-based violence."
Renee Stromme -- director of the North Dakota Women's Network -- noted that the bill would not allow exceptions when a fetus has a potentially fatal defect. She said that women and physicians should be able to consider every medical option available without government inference (MacPherson, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/22).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.