Today the North Dakota state Senate approved two bills that together would form the strictest abortion ban in the nation. Now they go to North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) for his signature.
The state Senate voted to approve a measure that would ban abortion when a heartbeat is detected. With a transvaginal ultrasound, a heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks. The state Senate passed another bill that prohibits abortion even when a fetal abnormality is detected, including severe genetic defects. Both of these measures have already been approved by the state House.
It is uncertain if Governor Dalrymple, who has been against abortion in the past, will sign the bills into law.
Media Resources: Associated Press 3/15/2013; Huffington Post 3/15/2013; North Dakota Legislative Branch 3/15/2013
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .