Abortion laws in this country face a major challenge as North Dakota becomes the first state to pass legislation banning nearly all abortions.
The new law bans abortions if a fetal heart-beat is detected; something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
'Right to life' advocates have fought for stricter abortion laws in South Dakota for years but have hit obstacles along the way; including two statewide ballot measures that failed when South Dakotan's voted no to impose restrictions on abortion in 2006 and 2008.
Pro- choice groups hope North Dakota's new laws won't trickle down into South Dakota.
"We're starting to see unprecedented attacks on access to abortion across the country, and SD is no exception. So we hope in the future we'll stop seeing such attacks and that legislators will actually focus on issues their constituents want them to be working on rather than continuing to challenge access to abortion services," said Alisha Sedor, Executive Director at NARALPro-Choice, South Dakota.
Numerous attempts to reach out to Pro-Life groups for comment went unanswered.
When we reached out to Planned Parenthood, they sent the following statement:
The following is a statement by Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota President and CEO, Sarah Stoesz.
"What's left of the legislature's all-out assault on women's health is what will no doubt be a grueling, months-long battle over "personhood" leading up to the 2014 election. "Personhood" measures are so extreme even the most conservative states, like Mississippi, have rejected them. North Dakotans know that decisions about pregnancy and abortion are deeply personal and very complex. The grassroots uprising we saw in Bismarck and Fargo was just a taste of what's to come as voters in the state learn about the dangers of this constitutional amendment. In 2014, North Dakotans will have the opportunity to stand up to these politicians and say ‘enough is enough.'"