Judge Blocks N. Dakota Abortion Ban
Says ban on abortions after a heartbeat is detected is 'invalid and unconstitutional'
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2013 4:51 PM CDT
An abortion-rights rally at the state Capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota.   (AP Photo/James MacPherson, File)

(Newser) – A federal judge has temporarily blocked the new North Dakota law that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, calling it "clearly invalid and unconstitutional," the AP reports. The law was set to go into effect at the beginning of August but the judge granted the temporary injunction after the state's only abortion clinic filed a lawsuit. Fetal heartbeats can be detected as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. The Red River Women's Clinic says the ban will put it out of business by outlawing 90% of the abortions it performs, Reuters reports.

The lawsuit argues the ban is unconstitutional and will put women's health at risk. If Red River closes, women will have to travel about 250 miles to neighboring states to have the procedure. "The United States Supreme Court has unequivocally said that no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability," the judge wrote in his ruling, per the Washington Post. The lawsuit is also fighting another new measure that prohibits women from having an abortion because their fetus has a genetic defect, such as Down syndrome, reports the AP.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Judge Blocks N. Dakota Abortion Ban is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 165 comments
Jul 23, 2013 6:55 AM CDT
Finally a judge that knows what he is doing..
Jul 23, 2013 3:53 AM CDT
In the wilderness, a mama Grizzly will destroy you if you come between her and her cubs. From the comments I see here, it looks like a human female will destroy you if you try to keep her from killing her 'cubs'. So much for being better than the animals.
Jul 23, 2013 3:52 AM CDT
I'm waiting for the first law suit in which parent(s) prevented from aborting a child with genetic defects sues a state for life long financial support for medical care, various therapies, specialized educational expense not provided by the school district, hired caregivers, home modifications to accommodate a wheel chair, van with lift to transport a wheel chair etc, etc. If someone were to win that law suit, I predict a sudden conversion by legislators to a pro-choice stance.