N.D. Conference Committee Drops Amendment Targeting Sex Education Research

April 4, 2013 — A North Dakota conference committee on Tuesday dropped an amendment that would have prohibited the use of public funds to contract with "entities performing, inducing, referring for, or counseling in favor of, abortions," the AP/Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports (MacPherson, AP/Journal Constitution, 4/2).

The amendment -- which had been attached to a bill (SB 2368) that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy -- threatened to block a three-year, $1.2 million federal grant awarded to North Dakota State University professors to launch a sex education program that would be run by Planned Parenthood (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/21).

The state Senate approved the underlying bill in February, and the House endorsed it last month, after adding the amendment. The House will now vote on whether to accept the conference committee's recommendations.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) -- who recently approved bills that include the earliest abortion ban in the nation -- has suggested that he would sign the 20-week measure into law if it reaches him (AP/Journal Constitution, 4/2).