Health & Human Services

Judge Halts North Dakota Abortion Law

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into pregnancy — calling the law "clearly invalid and unconstitutional."
July 23, 2013

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into pregnancy — calling the law "clearly invalid and unconstitutional."

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in Bismarck granted a temporary injunction Monday that blocks the Aug. 1 enactment of the law that abortion rights advocates call the most restrictive in the nation.

"There is no question that (the North Dakota law) is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restraints on abortion," Hovland wrote. "(It) is clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law based on the United States Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade from 1973 ... and the progeny of cases that have followed."

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