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Abortion rights rallies planned in 4 North Dakota cities

ACLU North Dakota, ERA Now, North Dakota WIN Fund, North Dakota Women’s Network, Planned Parenthood North Central States, Prairie Action ND and the Red River Women’s Clinic, North Dakota’s only abortion provider, are supporting the May 14 rallies, according to a statement form organizers.

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Protesters lined up May 8, 2022, outside the Fargo Civic Memorial Auditorium and nearby City Hall to call for protection for the right to an abortion and for women's reproductive rights.
Contributed photo
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FARGO — Backers of abortion rights will rally in four North Dakota cities on Saturday, May 14, as part of a nationwide "Bans Off Our Bodies" demonstration.

Organizers aim to send a message that "abortion access must be protected," they said in a statement.

A Fargo rally is set for 6 p.m. at City Hall.

The three other rallies are scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon. At that time, demonstrators will gather at the North Dakota Capitol in Bismarck, Independence Park in Grand Forks and Oak Park Shelter 9 in Minot.

ACLU North Dakota, ERA Now, North Dakota WIN Fund, North Dakota Women’s Network, Planned Parenthood North Central States, Prairie Action ND and the Red River Women’s Clinic, North Dakota’s only abortion provider, are supporting the rallies, according to the organizers' statement.

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The rallies come on the heels of Politico publishing a leaked draft opinion on May 2 that suggested the majority of Supreme Court justices has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 decision that forms the foundation of legal abortion in the U.S.

If the Supreme Court does dismantle Roe, abortion would be outlawed in North Dakota as a result of the state's "trigger" law .

The North Dakota Legislature passed a "trigger" law in 2007 that would ban abortion within 30 days if the Supreme Court ever changed direction on the controversial procedure.

The law would make it a Class C felony for anyone to perform an abortion, unless a pregnant female performs an abortion on herself. A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

There would be exceptions to the abortion ban if the mother's life is in danger and in cases of rape or incest.

A dozen other states have similar trigger laws, including Texas, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion rights research organization, estimates a total of 26 states, including Montana, are "certain or likely" to ban abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

If the high court overturns Roe, Congress could pass federal legislation to make abortion legal or illegal across the whole country.

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The Red River Women’s Clinic, North Dakota's lone abortion provider, is pictured on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in downtown Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

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