Statement on Proposed Abortion Clinic Zoning Bill

Emily Bisek

Fargo— North Dakota Lawmakers introduced SB 2323, a bill that would prohibit any new clinics offering abortion from opening within 30 miles of a public or private school.

Statement from Katie Christensen, North Dakota State Director of External Affairs, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund:

“This zoning law would effectively prohibit new clinics from opening in North Dakota, because it places an unjustified and unreasonable rule on the location of health centers that provide abortion. It is yet another bill in the broader effort to end abortion in the state.

Current North Dakota Law requires abortion providers to be within 30 miles of a hospital. The abortion zoning bill would require clinics be more than 30 miles from a school. This zoning bill is arbitrary and impossible to achieve—and it provides no justification for the arbitrary 30-mile barrier it imposes on abortion providers. This distance is not about protecting schools: it’s about creating arbitrary restrictions to make it more difficult to access abortion in our state.  

Furthermore, North Dakota does not impose this kind of school-based distance restriction on businesses that pose actual threats to young people in our communities. North Dakota does not prevent the sale of guns within 30 miles of a school. North Dakota does not prevent the sale of alcohol within 30 miles of a school.

There is no rational justification for this bill—it is nothing more than anti-abortion legislators shaming and stigmatizing abortion providers and patients.”

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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