A few short weeks ago, Arkansas adopted what was then the country's strictest ban on abortion — no procedures allowed after 12 weeks. But on Friday, North Dakota one-upped the classically red state by passing a bill that is twice as restrictive, banning most abortions after just six weeks into pregnancy.
But what is different about this new North Dakota ban is that the state has redefined what it means for a fetal heartbeat to be "detectable." The 12-week mark comes with the assumption that a heartbeat cannot be heard before that time while using "standard medical practice," otherwise known as an abdominal ultrasound. However, North Dakota has tweaked that definition of "standard medical practice" to include an intrusive, pelvic ultrasound, detectable at just six weeks.
Along the same lines as Arkansas' 12-week ban, national abortion rights groups are up in arms as to the federal constitutionality of this new, record-breakingly stringent measure. According to the Supreme Court, women have the constitutional right to an abortion until roughly 24 weeks, in which the fetus is animate outside the womb.
There's a trend brewing here, and we're not sure whether the Supreme Court is soon to stop it in its tracks before more states follow suit. We'll be watching this development every step of the way.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
16 Dreamy Spring Pieces I Can't Stop Thinking About
Warm-weather trends are in full bloom.
By Emma Walsh
For Deepica Mutyala, Entrepreneurship Is Worth the Sacrifice
The Live Tinted founder talks having it all—but not all at once.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
"It's Been Hell on Earth": Inside Alabama's Fertility Crisis
Last week, the state's Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are legally considered children. 'Marie Claire' spoke with affected women who are grappling with an uncertain future.
By Jessica Goodman
36 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
It's just one of the many ways women still aren't equal to men.
By Brooke Knappenberger
EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization
Under Butler's leadership, the largest resource for women in politics aims to expand Black political power and become more accessible for candidates across the nation.
By Rachel Epstein
Want to Fight for Abortion Rights in Texas? Raise Your Voice to State Legislators
Emily Cain, executive director of EMILY's List and and former Minority Leader in Maine, says that to stop the assault on reproductive rights, we need to start demanding more from our state legislatures.
By Emily Cain
Your Abortion Questions, Answered
Here, MC debunks common abortion myths you may be increasingly hearing since Texas' near-total abortion ban went into effect.
By Rachel Epstein
The Future of Afghan Women and Girls Depends on What We Do Next
Between the U.S. occupation and the Taliban, supporting resettlement for Afghan women and vulnerable individuals is long overdue.
By Rona Akbari
How to Help Afghanistan Refugees and Those Who Need Aid
With the situation rapidly evolving, organizations are desperate for help.
By Katherine J. Igoe
It’s Time to Give Domestic Workers the Protections They Deserve
The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, reintroduced today, would establish a new set of standards for the people who work in our homes and take a vital step towards racial and gender equity.
By Ai-jen Poo
The Biden Administration Announced It Will Remove the Hyde Amendment
The pledge was just one of many gender equity commitments made by the administration, including the creation of the first U.S. National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence.
By Megan DiTrolio