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Woman Who Had Abortion Weighs in on Newly Signed Laws - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Woman Who Had Abortion Weighs in on Newly Signed Laws

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"I've never thought that having an abortion is the equivalent of killing a person," says a woman after having an abortion and being satisfied with her decision. She's reacting to the abortion bills that were signed into North Dakota law Tuesday.

Governor Jack Dalrymple signed legislation banning most abortions, if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. It's one of three bills signed into law. Another makes North Dakota the first to ban abortions based on genetic defects, such as down syndrome. And the governor affirmed a requirement that doctors performing abortions have admit privileges at a local hospital. That would force the closure of the state's only clinic that performs abortions. 

"There are always moments when you wonder, 'What if?'" says a woman who wants to be known as "Beth" to keep her identity safe.

Some decisions a woman makes...

"I was so shocked because I had always been careful," says Beth.

 Are harder than others.

"As soon as I saw the positive on the pregnancy test, I knew that I wanted to have an abortion," says Beth.

This woman is afraid of backlash, she's scared of judgement and she's worried about hate.
 
Beth says, "I struggled with this because I believe the stigma around abortion is damaging."

She found herself in a bad relationship, and unable to care for a child. So at 10 weeks, she had an abortion. Because of her situation, which she says may have saved her quality of life, she's disheartened by the strict stance North Dakota has taken against abortions. But many, are in favor.

"I think we set the standard, frankly, for the rest of the United States," says Bismarck Bishop & Fargo Apostolic Administrator, David Kagan.
 
Anti-abortion supporter say, it's protecting life, standing up for an unborn child and helping those who are not able to help themselves. 

 
Pat Jahner of Fargo says, "Abortion does not bring joy, does not bring hope, does not bring happiness. It brings death to a baby and a woman who has to recover from that."

With all the opposition to abortion, Red River Women's Clinic director Tammi Kromenaker says theY're ready to fight.

"Men and women of our state are not just going to lay down and take this assault of reproductive rights," says Kromenaker.

It will be a big legal battle that will go on for many months, with even bigger emotion attached.

"People like me want to step up and say 'hey, that abortion was probably the best decision I could have made at that point in my life,'" says Beth.

The bills that Governor Dalrymple signed Tuesday will go in affect on August first. Until then, the Red River Women's Clinic says abortions are still legal and they will still perform them.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, about one in every three American women will have an abortion by the age of 45. The Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo say it does between 1200 and 1300 a year.

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