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A few weeks ago, the Arkansas legislature enacted a law prohibiting all abortions after twelve weeks of pregnancy, a shocking thumb through the teeth to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has held clearly that previability abortions cannot be banned under any circumstances. The governor vetoed the bill, but the veto was overridden by the legislature and, thus, the bill became law nonetheless.

Not to be outdone, the North Dakota legislature passed even more restrictive—and more unconstitutional— provisions last week. One provision bans abortions after the fetus has a detectable heartbeat—which typically occurs only four weeks after fertilization—and another bans abortions of fetuses with severe genetic abnormalities. The governor signed both bills into law within twenty-four hours of their hitting his desk. The North Dakota legislature also queued up a personhood amendment, which says that life begins at conception for all purposes; that proposed amendment to the North Dakota Constitution will go to the state’s voters in November 2013.



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