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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published March 27 2013

Gov’s office fields phone calls regarding anti-abortion bills

BISMARCK – As soon as Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed three anti-abortion bills Tuesday, the phone started ringing.

Lauren Strinden, executive assistant for the governor, said calls from people wanting to express their opinions came flooding in at about the same time she heard he had signed the bills.

“I couldn’t believe the news would travel that fast,” Strinden said. “But it did.”

The governor’s office has received more than 3,000 communications regarding the abortion bills, including calls and emails, said spokesman Jeff Zent.

On Monday, callers wanted to give their opinion on how Dalrymple should act, and on Tuesday they called with reaction, Strinden said. Some of the callers were emotional, particularly after Dalrymple signed the bills.

“Some of the calls have been a little extreme in the messages, but for the most part people want to let the governor know their feelings,” Zent said.

The governor’s office had not received death threats, Zent said Wednesday afternoon.

Calls came from across North Dakota and around the country, and were equally balanced on both sides of the issue, said Patty Moser, another executive assistant who helped field the calls.

Interview requests from national and international media outlets also poured into the governor’s office, Zent said.