North Dakota Judge Scraps Tough Anti-Abortion Law
Fetal heartbeat measure would have effectively barred the procedure after 6 weeks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 16, 2014 4:50 PM CDT
In this March 25, 2013, photo, abortion-rights supporters rally at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D.   (AP Photo/James MacPherson, File)

(Newser) – A federal judge today overturned a North Dakota law that bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before many women know they're pregnant. US District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled that the law is "invalid and unconstitutional" and that it "cannot withstand a constitutional challenge." The state attorney general said he was looking at whether to appeal. North Dakota is among several conservative states that have passed new abortion restrictions in recent years, but abortion rights supporters called North Dakota's fetal heartbeat law the most restrictive in the country.

A fetal heartbeat law passed in Arkansas would ban abortions at 12 weeks into pregnancy, but it was overturned by another federal judge. The state's attorney general has said he will appeal. North Dakota's heartbeat measure was among four anti-abortion bills that Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law last year with overwhelming support from the state's Republican-led Legislature. The state's only abortion clinic, the Red River Clinic in Fargo, filed a lawsuit against the heartbeat law last July.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 248 comments
BrushMan
Apr 17, 2014 11:27 AM CDT
Anti-choicers support post-birth abortion however; they are the ones cheering up in the balcony during an execution.
BinThereDunThat
Apr 17, 2014 10:48 AM CDT
I've heard I don't know how many women say they don't want to use BC pills because it will make them fat. So they'd rather get pregnant and REALLY get fat?? I don't understand that way of thinking. I took them for years and didn't get gain weight. I sure knew I didn't want to get pregnant and end up with a child I couldn't afford.
Chris Farley
Apr 17, 2014 7:19 AM CDT
OK. Lifers. If you want to reduce abortions try to adress the underlying conditions. I support choice as all humans have choice. When 95% of abortions are due to money or the lack of, its easy to see where some help can be given. (get the economy back on track). Free contraception for women is a start and maybe it will reduce unwanted pregnancies. I have this crazy opinion that if male conraception was free, and maybe evenually had more options than a 100 year old invention, it would also go down. but thats just my opinion. And for the pro-choicers, acnowledge the fact that some are using abortions as a lazy form of birth control.