Fargo Physicians Stand Against Abortion-Related Bills - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo Physicians Stand Against Abortion-Related Bills

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Extreme and dangerous. Some Fargo physicians used those words Monday to describe six bills in the North Dakota legislature that are either waiting for more debate, or awaiting the governor's signature.

The doctors are upset and say the bills will affect couples wanting to have families.

"This is abhorrent to the highest degree," according to Dr. Ted Kleiman.

Twelve doctors united in one mission: To let people know what they call the horrible ramifications of six bills making their way through the North Dakota legislature.  They describe all six as abortion-related, and say all are opposed by the state medical association.

"This legislation need to be overturned, Kleiman says. "It's intent has profound consequences."

Four of the bills have passed in the Senate and will be looked at by the House this week. The two others have passed both houses, and await the governor's decision.

This group says all six will impact women, families and their doctors in one way or another.

"There are no exemptions for pregnancy termination for victims of rape or incest, explains Dr. Stephanie Dahl. "A woman who has been sexually assaulted will be forced to carry her pregnancy to term, regardless of the nature of assault."

Couples using in vitro fertilization to get pregnant are upset their process could be interrupted.

Dr. Steffen Christensen: We'd have to cease and desist any IVF treatments in North Dakota."

The physicians say these bills ignore the doctor-patient relationship and that doctors will leave the state rather than face criminal charges and potential prison time for doing their jobs. They question whether voters in North Dakota want lawmakers to tell them what to do.


Here are the group's full viewpoints on each bill going through North Dakota Legislature:

Restricting Access to Reproductive Health Care

SB2303 A ‘personhood' bill relating to the definition of a human being and the application to certain medical procedures.

Status: Passed by the Senate with a vote of 25-22. It goes to the House for a vote now.

SCR 4009 A personhood measure that, if approved at the ballot, would add a new section to the North Dakota Constitution that says, "The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected." The measure would go on the ballot in November 2014 if approved by both houses.

Status: Passed by the Senate with a vote of 26-21. It goes to the House for a vote now.

SB 2305 is a TRAP, targeted regulation of abortion providers, bill and could ban abortion in North Dakota.  Based on an identical law in Mississippi, it is clearly intended to regulate abortion out of existence in North Dakota by imposing medically unjustified requirements that any physician providing an abortion have admitting privileges in a local hospital.

Status: Passed by the Senate with a vote of 30-17. It goes to the House for a vote now.

HB1456 This bill would ban almost all abortions with no regard for women's individual circumstances. It states that if a fetal heartbeat is detectable no abortion can be preformed, unless a medical emergency exists and is documented in her medical records. The bill contains at Class C felony charge for doctors who perform abortions.  

Status: This bill has passed both the House and Senate. It awaits the Governor's signature or veto.

HB 1305 This bill prohibits a physician from performing an abortion under the threat of criminal penalties if he or she believes that the patient is making a decision based on sex or based on a diagnosis of a genetic abnormality.

Status: This bill has passed both the House and Senate. It awaits the Governor's signature or veto.

SB 2368 A 20 week abortion ban. Contains a limited exception for the life of the mother but imposes severe criminal and civil penalties on physicians for providing women with abortions necessary to preserve their health. 

Status: Passed by the Senate with a vote of 30-17. It goes to the House for a vote now.

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