Injunction against abortion ban upheld by North Dakota Supreme Court – Minnesota Attorney

BISMARCK, ND — The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a state ban on abortion will remain blocked while a lawsuit over its constitutionality proceeds.

The ban should take effect once the US Supreme Court Roe v. Wade had picked up. But a district judge had put it on hold this summer while the Red River Women’s Clinic (RRWC) ​​filed a lawsuit arguing that the state’s constitution protects abortion rights.

“While regulation of abortion is the jurisdiction of the legislature under the North Dakota Constitution, RRWC has demonstrated probable success in establishing that there is a fundamental right to abortion in the limited circumstances of life-saving and health-preserving circumstances. and the law is not narrowly tailored to withstand rigorous scrutiny,” Chief Justice Jon J. Jensen wrote in the decision.

The law — one of many abortion-restricting measures passed by state legislatures in anticipation of the US Supreme Court’s Roe decision — includes exceptions to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape or incest. Otherwise, a doctor who performs an abortion would face charges of a crime that abortion rights advocates say could discourage doctors from performing abortions even when the mother’s health is at risk.

The Red River Women’s Clinic — the state’s only abortion clinic — closed its doors this summer, relocating operations a short distance from Fargo to Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortion remains legal. But the owner of the clinic is still pursuing the lawsuit.

“The court made the right decision and sided with the people of North Dakota today,” clinic director Tammi Kromenaker said in a statement. “Those seeking abortion treatment know what is best for themselves and their families and should be able to access such essential services if and when they need them. While I am heartbroken that we have been forced to close our doors here in Fargo, we will continue to serve the region at our new clinic in Moorhead, Minnesota.”

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Republican Attorney General Drew Wrigley criticized the verdict. He said in a statement that the state Supreme Court “took a path of its own in noting that there is now also an undefined ‘health’ exception to the abortion rule.”

He added: “Our Supreme Court has done so without express support from our state constitution and without support from any bill in our history of abortion regulation. In doing so, the North Dakota Supreme Court seems to have taken on the role of a legislative body, a role that our Constitution does not allow it.”

Wrigley noted that state legislatures are working on legislation “that will reshape North Dakota’s abortion laws, and they will now have the opportunity to implement the will of North Dakota residents as they comply with recent rulings by the North Dakota Supreme Court.” Dakota are aware”.

He had argued that the ban should be enforced while the lawsuit proceeds, saying Burleigh County District Judge Bruce Romanick erred in granting the injunction. Romanick said that the Red River Women’s Clinic has a “substantial likelihood” of winning its lawsuit, but said there is no “clear and obvious answer” as to whether the state constitution provides an abortion right.

The clinic’s lawyers had argued that Romanick’s decision to block the ban was correct.