Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill Wednesday banning dilation and evacuation abortions, a second-trimester abortion method.
North Dakota is now the third state to effectively ban the abortion method, according to USA Today.
Dilation and evacuation is a procedure used for second-trimester abortions when women are between 13 and 24 weeks pregnant. The method involves pulling apart the limbs of the fetus so that they can be extracted from the womb. Dilation and evacuation abortions are usually performed after 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Suction, or vacuum aspiration, is another second-trimester abortion method. Suction is the most common procedure used for abortions when women are between 14 and 16 weeks pregnant, according to Planned Parenthood. The method uses “gentle suction to empty your uterus,” Planned Parenthood says, and in-clinic abortions usually take less than 10 minutes.
Under the new North Dakota law, doctors are prohibited from using forceps, clamps, scissors or other medical instruments to remove the fetus from the womb, according to USA Today. Physicians who violate the law face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The law includes an exception for medical emergencies.West Virginia and Mississippi also ban dilation and evacuation abortions, according to USA Today.
Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill in December 2018 outlawing dilation and evacuation into law. Kasich did, however, veto bills in 2016 and 2018 banning abortions in the presence of a fetal heartbeat.
Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas have also passed bans on the second-trimester abortion method, but the laws are currently barred from enforcement following legal challenges, USA Today reported.
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