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Both Sides Weigh In On Abortion Legislation - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Both Sides Weigh In On Abortion Legislation

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Many women in North Dakota are left wondering what their rights really are when it comes to their bodies. The North Dakota legislature has passed a resolution that would essentially ban abortion by defining human life as beginning at conception. Some say it's protecting the unborn, but others are arguing that it's unconstitutional.

Red River Women's Clinic Director, Tammi Kromenaker, says, "It's extremely secretive because it's so stigmatized."

They're silent, yet powerful words. Cards on a board in the back of the Red River Women's Clinic, encourage and thank Kromenaker and the rest of her crew for their work.

Kromenaker says, "We see women from every walks of life, we see professionals, we see students. It's extremely common"

But many others want the only abortion clinic in North Dakota to shut down.

Kromenaker says, "Both senators and representatives have said, these bills are unconstitutional. These bills fly in the face of federal legislation."

Representative Al Carlson, (R) of Fargo says, "Your vote on the floor is your choice in this issue, and that's between you, and your conscience and your gut."

It's a heated battle, and a proposed constitutional amendment, known as a personhood measure, is just one of three abortion-restricting measures passed by the legislature today. The new wording states that life begins at conception. The house also passed legislation that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Another bill that already made it through legislation bans abortions as early as 6 weeks.

Kromenaker says, "By setting that early of a limit, some women may think that they are pregnant and make an appointment, hurry in to get an abortion before they've had time to think about all of their options."

Rep. Carlson says, "However it goes, it goes, but I know where I'm going to sit. I'm going to defend the life of North Dakotans."

Each side, giving so much of their heart and soul, fighting for what they believe is right for someone else's. 

Kromenaker says the Red River Women's Clinic performs between 1200 and 1300 abortions every year. Those who are in favor of these bills argue that they would be saving the lives of those thousands of unborn children. If these amendments are passed, it would make North Dakota the most restrictive state when it comes to abortion. Governor Jack Dalrymple is expected to take action next week.

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