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North Dakota Abortion Laws


Abortion is legal in North Dakota through 22 weeks. Thereafter, abortion is legal only if necessary to protect the life of the mother.


In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which returned to the states the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion. In 2007, North Dakota enacted a "trigger ban," which, in the case Roe were overturned, prohibits abortions except for those necessary to save the life of the mother or in the cases of rape or incest. A state district court enjoined enforcement of the trigger ban while the court considers the case on the merits, and the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld the injunction.

North Dakota Abortion Laws: Overview

The following chart contains details about abortion laws in North Dakota, with links to related sources. See FindLaw's Abortion section for additional articles.

Code Section 14-02.1-01 to 12; 12.1-31-12
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion Abortion" means the use or prescription of any substance, device, instrument, medicine, or drug to intentionally terminate the pregnancy of an individual known to be pregnant. The term does not include an act made with the intent to increase the probability of a live birth; preserve the life or health of a child after live birth; or remove a dead, unborn child who died as a result of a spontaneous miscarriage, an accidental trauma, or a criminal assault upon the pregnant female or her unborn child." 
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Abortions necessary to save the life of the mother or those in the case of rape or incest
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion Class C Felony
Physician Licensing Requirements Licensed M.D. using professional judgment

Note: State laws change rather frequently, usually through the enactment of new legislation but sometimes through the decisions of higher courts or other means. You may want to contact a North Dakota family law attorney or Constitutional law attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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North Dakota Abortion Laws: Related Resources

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