In North Dakota

After Roe in North Dakota, abortion will be illegal in almost all circumstances. Connect with your local family policy council to stay up-to-date on the pro-life movement in your state—now and after Roe. Then, keep reading to find out more about what abortion law would be in your state after Roe.

Connect with North Dakota Family Alliance


After Roe, will my state ban nearly all abortions or allow nearly all abortions?

North Dakota will ban nearly all abortions after Roe is overturned because it has a “trigger law” already part of its Century Code. N.D. Cent. Code. § 12.1-31-12.

North Dakota also has heartbeat statutes (N.D. Cent. Code. §§ 14-02.1-05.1; 14-02.1-05.2) that are currently barred by the courts from taking effect. North Dakota would need to assess how to ensure this law can go into effect post-Roe by addressing the case MKB Management Corp. v. Stenehjem 795 F.3d 768, 772 (8th Cir. 2015) (NO. 14-2128). There, the 8th Circuit Court based its decision in part on both the Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey line of cases. This means the heartbeat laws have a chance of being reinstated after Roe.



What is my state’s next step in the fight for life, once Roe is overturned?

Once Roe is overturned, our top priority is to review existing trigger laws and see if their thresholds are met. If determined so by the Attorney General, they can go into effect, but will still need interpretation and administrative rules that will need to be worked out. Also, we will focus on pro-life laws currently enjoined by the courts to decide how to proceed with them.


Below, we’ve summarized what abortion laws would be in your state after Roe.

Abortion Limits, Exceptions and Enforcement

Limitations on abortions

plus icon
minus icon

If my state won’t ban all abortions, what are the limits to abortion?

Because North Dakota has a trigger law that would ban almost all abortions after Roe, North Dakota’s other, lesser limitations and regulations currently in their law on abortion would no longer be necessary. If the North Dakota Attorney General were to decide that the conditions for the trigger law to take effect are not sufficient, all existing abortion limits would still apply.

Exceptions to any limitations

plus icon
minus icon

Are there any exceptions to those limitations placed on abortion?

The trigger law contains exceptions if the abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life or the pregnancy “resulted from gross sexual imposition, sexual abuse of a ward, or incest”. N.D. Cent. Code. § 12.1-31-12.3.

Penalties for performing an illegal abortion

plus icon
minus icon

What are the penalties to abortion providers for committing an illegal abortion (one of the forms of abortion that my state has limited under the law)?

Violations of the trigger law are a class C felony. N.D. Cent. Code. § 12.1-31-12.2.


plus icon
minus icon

When abortion laws are violated, who can file a lawsuit to enforce their rights and the law?

The mother can bring an action for a violation of the heartbeat statutes for up to $10,000 punitive damages and triple the actual damages of an abortion performed. N.D. Cent. Code. § 14-02.1-03.2.

Special standards of care

plus icon
minus icon

Does my state impose a special medical standard of care on abortion providers?

Yes. When the abortion provider determines that a post-viability abortion is necessary, he or she must take all reasonable steps to preserve the life of the child. N.D. Cent. Code. § 14-02.1-05.

Protecting Fundamental Rights


plus icon
minus icon

Does my state give parents the right to consent for their child to get an abortion?

Yes. Consent from both parents is required; however, this state has a method where a minor can obtain permission from the courts to receive an abortion without parental notice or consent. N.D. Cent. Code. § 14-02.1-03.1(1)(a).

Medical professionals

plus icon
minus icon

Does my state have conscience protections for medical professionals who do not want to participate in abortions?

Yes. North Dakota protects the conscience rights of both hospitals and individuals. N.D. Cent. Code. § 23-16-14.

Babies Born Alive

plus icon
minus icon

Are there legal protections for babies born alive following a botched abortion in my state?

A physician other than the abortion provider must be standing by, when abortions are performed post-viability to “take control and provide immediate medical care” to the child who survives.  Both physicians have a duty to preserve the life and health of the unborn child in this scenario, as far as possible “in keeping with good medical practice.” N.D. Cent. Code. § 14-02.1-05. A child who survives an abortion is considered a ward of the state if the child’s parents do not claim him/her. N.D. Cent. Code. § 14-02.1-08.

Safety & Health of Women

Physician-only requirement

plus icon
minus icon

Does an abortion have to be provided by a licensed physician in my state?

Yes. N.D. Cent. Code. § 14-02.1-04.

Informed consent

plus icon
minus icon

Does my state’s law require that a woman give informed consent and/or receive counseling prior to allowing an abortion to be performed?

Yes, counseling is required.  N.D. Cent. Code. § 14-02.1-02.1.

Abortion facilities must display the following on a sign clearly legible: “NOTICE: No one can force you to have an abortion. It is against the law for a spouse, a boyfriend, a parent, a friend, a medical care provider, or any other person to in any way force you to have an abortion.”  N.D. Cent. Code. § 14-02.1-03.4.

Waiting period

plus icon
minus icon

Does my state place any waiting requirement on abortion so that a mother has more time to decide?

Yes, a 24-hour waiting period is required. N.D. Cent. Code. § 14-02.1-02(11)(b).