In late March, North Dakota became the first US state to approve a ban on abortions as soon as a baby’s heartbeat can be detected; roughly six weeks into pregnancy. Abortions for foetal genetic conditions such as Downs Syndrome and Sickle Cell Anaemia have also been banned completely.
The new state laws are scheduled to come into force on 1 August this year. The Red River Women’s Clinic (the only clinic in North Dakota to provide abortion services) is, however, vowing to fight the new legislation, with clinic director Tammie Kromenaker confident of securing, at the very least, a temporary injunction against the ban. The nearest alternative clinic is approximately 250 miles in the Twin Cities or Sioux Falls.
Arkansas recently approved a ban on abortions after 12 weeks and it is evident that the tide is slowly starting to turn against Roe v Wade, the 1973 landmark case legalising abortion in the US.