North Dakota Anti-Abortion Law Ruled Unconstitutional

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

North Dakota’s law banning all abortions was struck down by a state judge this week who ruled the 2011 statute was unconstitutional.


The law was supposed to take effect in August 2011, but the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Red River Women's Clinic, based in Fargo, arguing that the law unconstitutionally restricted women’s access to abortion.


District Court Judge Wickham Corwin said the state failed to demonstrate any need to regulate medical abortion, “much less a compelling need. He also ruled that the purpose and means for imposing such a law was “contrived and pretextual.”


Autumn Katz, the lead attorney for the CRR, told The Guardian that the decision will not affect anti-abortion laws in other states, but it adds to “a growing list of court cases that are striking down totally unnecessary and restrictive laws.”


“The only reasons these laws are passed is to restrict women's access to abortion care,” she added.


State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem intends to appeal the ruling before the North Dakota Supreme Court. Doctors at the Red River Women's Clinic reportedly perform between 1,200 and 1,300 abortions annually.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

North Dakota Law Banning Medical Abortion Struck Down (by Karen McVeigh, The Guardian)

North Dakota Anti-Abortion Laws Part of Wave of Restrictions (by John Whitesides, Reuters)

North Dakota Beats Arkansas for Most Extreme Anti-Abortion Bill (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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