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In brief: North Dakota governor signs limit on abortion

Wed., April 17, 2013, midnight

Bismarck, N.D. – Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law a measure that outlaws abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the disputed premise that at that point a fetus can feel pain.

The law signed Tuesday is the latest among a raft of measures passed in North Dakota this session that are meant to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

Abortion-rights advocates have called the laws blatantly unconstitutional and have promised a long legal fight that they say the state can’t win.

Dalrymple last month signed a law that bans abortion as early as six weeks, or when a fetal heartbeat is detected, making North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation in which to get the procedure.

Dalrymple also signed into law last month other measures that make the state the first to ban abortions based on genetic defects such as Down syndrome and require a doctor who performs abortions to be a physician with hospital-admitting privileges. The measures also ban abortion based on genetic selection.

Storm dumps snow across Rockies, Plains

DENVER – A slow-moving spring storm is bringing much-needed moisture to parts of the Rockies and the Plains, but winds are raising the wildfire danger to the south.

Rocky Mountain National Park has already gotten more than 2 feet of snow and more is expected to fall through today. Southeastern Wyoming could also get up to a foot. It was also snowing in western South Dakota and Nebraska, and the storm is expected to push farther into Nebraska and Colorado’s plains tonight.

The first round of the storm came Monday, when Cheyenne, Wyo., received 6.9 inches of snow, breaking the old record of 6 inches set back in 1890.

The heavy blanket of snow does squash daffodils and other plants that have started to bloom, but any precipitation will be welcomed by dryland farmers on the Plains.

The snowpack in both Colorado and Wyoming is below average but has risen in the last week to 77 percent of average in both states.


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