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North Dakota Bans Second-Trimester Abortion Procedure Method


North Dakota codified into law Wednesday a bill banning dilation and evacuation abortions, a second-trimester abortion method.

Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed the bill into law Wednesday, making North Dakota the third state to effectively ban the abortion method, according to USA Today.

Dilation and evacuation is a procedure used for second trimester abortions when women are between 13 and 24 weeks pregnant. The method involves pulling apart the limbs of the fetus so that they can be extracted from the womb. Dilation and evacuation abortions are usually performed after 16 weeks in pregnancy.

Suction, or vacuum aspiration, is another second trimester abortion method. Suction is the most common procedure used for abortions when women are between 14 and 16 weeks pregnant, according to Planned Parenthood. The method uses “gentle suction to empty your uterus,” Planned Parenthood says. In-clinic abortions usually take less than 10 minutes and work 99 out of every 100 times, according to the abortion organization.

Under the new North Dakota law, doctors are prohibited from using forceps, clamps, scissors or other medical instruments to remove the fetus from the womb, according to USA Today. Physicians who violate the law face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The law includes an exception for medical emergencies.

West Virginia and Mississippi ban dilation and evacuation abortions, according to USA Today.

Ohio also passed passed a bill in December 2018 outlawing dilation and evacuation abortions after then-Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the measure into law. Kasich did, however, veto bills in 2016 and 2018 banning abortions in the presence of a fetal heartbeat.

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Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas have also passed bans on the second trimester abortion method, but the laws are currently barred from enforcement following legal challenges, USA Today reported.

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