Federal court declares North Dakota's abortion law unconstitutional

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A U.S. District Court has struck down North Dakota's law banning abortions as early as six weeks after conception.

The law passed last year made abortions illegal as soon as a fetus' heartbeat could be detected. In the decision issued Wednesday Judge Daniel Hovland called the law unconstitutional.

As the Associated Press notes, Hovland wrote: "The United States Supreme Court has spoken and has unequivocally said no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability." The AP says fetuses are usually viable at about 22 to 24 weeks.

The suit challenging the law was filed last June by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the Red River Women's Clinic. That clinic in Fargo is the only North Dakota facility that provides abortions. Its director tells MSNBC the clinic serves a number of women from Minnesota and South Dakota, as well.

Tammi Kroemenaker called Wednesday's court ruling a relief and told the network: "We will continue to provide services in our state, because women still need those services.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights issued a statement lauding the ruling.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem told the AP he will take some time to digest the ruling and confer with Gov. Jack Dalrymple before deciding whether to appeal the ruling. Stenehjem said he was not surprised by Wednesday's ruling, particularly since Judge Hovland had issued an injunction last summer blocking the law from taking effect until he ruled on the legal challenge.

The measure known as the "heartbeat law" was part of a package of three bills Gov. Dalrymple signed last year that collectively gave North Dakota the strongest anti-abortion laws in the country.

Judge Hovland 's ruling is 25 pages long. It's available here.

Next Up

124906958_401361401236047_6293747214536025849_o

Pandemic pushes need for cybersecurity and I.T. professionals to forefront

University of Wisconsin-Superior is helping meet demand with online master’s programs

Screen Shot 2020-12-03 at 5.01.58 PM

Body found floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

Efforts to identify the deceased are underway.

Hennepin County Government Center

Judge finds suspect guilty in 1991 murder of young Minneapolis woman

A 58-year-old man from South St. Paul, who was 29 at the time, has been found guilty of stabbing a 20-year-old woman

northfield community education center

Northfield school fires employee who allegedly gave melatonin to infant

It's against district policies to give a child anything without a parents' permission.

state hockey tournament, mshsl

MSHSL approves 3 calendars to start winter sports as soon as Dec. 21

The start date will depend on whether the state shutdown is lifted.

hydrocodon-DEA

Drug overdose deaths up 31% in the first half of 2020

Overdose deaths started to increase sharply in March, which coincides with the state-ordered lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.

los ocampos

Video: Vehicle crashes into St. Paul restaurant

The fire department is on scene addressing a gas leak.

covid-19, coronavirus

Latest county infection rates are sky-high throughout Minnesota

Kandiyohi County is one of the hardest hit counties in the state.

Jenna Fish

Family's warning after teen's tragic death from CO poisoning at Thanksgiving

A 17-year-old girl from Delano died after Thanksgiving due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Plainview

More than $12K donated to MN gym owner who refused to close

The small business is located in town in Wabasha County.

radio station, microphone

MPR, The Current launch new weekly segment called 'The Warming House'

The program will feature feel-good entertainment amid the pandemic.

Related