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Rallies held to protest ND anti-abortion measures

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 25, 2013 at 9:00 pm •  Published: March 25, 2013
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The measure requiring doctors with hospital-admitting privileges to perform abortions, the genetic defects bill and the so-called fetal heartbeat measure were the first to reach Gov. Jack Dalrymple's desk Monday afternoon. The Republican, who hasn't yet indicated whether he supports the measures, has three legislative days to act on the bills.

The proposed North Dakota legislation is aimed at shutting down the state's sole abortion clinic in Fargo and backers say it's a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, which is usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

The demonstration Monday took place both outside the Capitol and inside the building while the Legislature was holding floor sessions in both chambers. An increased number of North Dakota state troopers patrolled the Capitol during the rally. No incidents were reported.

Dina Butcher, a private investigator from Bismarck, drew loud cheers after telling the crowd that the lawmakers should not be "legislating women's reproductive rights." The demonstrators could be heard by lawmakers who were meeting in their chambers down the hall.

"I am a Republican who believes in the very conservative principle of less government intrusion in my life," she said. "Where are the real conservatives when you need them?"

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