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N.D. Rallies to Protest Anti-Abortion Measures - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

N.D. Rallies to Protest Anti-Abortion Measures

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UPDATE:

The legislature has had its say, and now its up to the governor to decide on some controversial bills.

Today, hundreds of North Dakotans let Governor Jack Dalrymple know how they feel about a string of anti-abortion bills that would make North Dakota's stance on the issue the most restrictive in the country.

Rallies were held in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Minot with one common message: don't allow them to become law.

Valley News team's Hope Hanselman was at the rally in Fargo tonight, where she heard from hundreds gathered at the Civic Center.

Tempers flared as the voice of this crowd grew red-hot.

Hundreds echoed their message throughout Fargo's streets.

"We are here to say, what is going on in Bismarck?" Robin Nelson, with the Stand Up for Women North Dakota rally, shouted out to the crowd. "What is happening to my beloved North Dakota?"

Last week, state legislature passed three of four bills restricting abortions.

Today, those protestors demanded a veto.

"The big reason I'm here? I'm here to tell my legislators that these issues are none of their damn business," Nelson said.

Young and old, men and women, Republicans and Democrats put differences aside.

"This is not a political issue, this is not only a female issue, this is a personal issue," Nelson said.

North Dakota doctors joined, too, saying the bills would keep them from operating during important medical emergencies.

"The North Dakota Medical Association has opposed these bills because they violate the doctor-patient relationship and put women's lives at risk," Stephanie Dahl, a Fargo Infertility Expert, said.

But the majority of this crowd says it rallied for the freedom of choice. Legislators will ask voters on the 2014 ballot to amend state constitution to ban abortion.

But, hoping strength comes in numbers, these protestors are pooling voices and energies.

Now the clock is ticking for Governor Dalrymple. He has three days to action on those bills. He can sign them (making them legal), veto them (which could still give them a chance to pass), or do nothing (which would make them legal by default.)

If the bills do become legal, protestors say the state can expect a lawsuit by several women's rights groups.

 


 

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Abortion-rights activists plan rallies in North Dakota's biggest cities on Monday to protest a package of measures that would give the state the toughest abortion restrictions in the nation.

The newly formed Stand Up For Women North Dakota plans rallies in Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot and at the state Capitol in Bismarck.

Organizer Robin Nelson of Fargo says several hundred people are expected at the rallies. She says the intent is to show solidarity for women's rights issues.

The Legislature has passed several anti-abortion measures this session. Most are awaiting the signature of Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who hasn't yet indicated whether he supports the laws.

A Dalrymple spokesman says the governor's office is fielding a large number of calls both supporting and protesting the measures.

Those organizing the protest say they sent white carnations to all of the North Dakota legislators and those attending Monday's rally are asked to where white. The rally in Fargo will be held from 5:30-6:30 at the Fargo Civic Center Plaza.

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