At abortion clinic’s request, Judge dismisses part of lawsuit against North Dakota Law

By Dave Andrusko

RedRiverclinicAt the request of the plaintiff, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland has dismissed that part of a lawsuit that challenged a new North Dakota law that bans abortions because of the child’s sex or “genetic defect.”

The judge granted the Red River Women’s Clinic’s request on Monday. “The clinic has said the ban doesn’t affect it because it doesn’t perform abortions for that reason,” the Associated Press’s James MacPherson reported.

In a statement Janet Crepps, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights which is representing the abortion clinic, said that “it is not clear that the measure will have a direct impact on any women seeking abortion services at the Red River Women’s Clinic at this time.”

On its face that does not seem to be a crystal-clear assurance that the CRR’s client is not performing abortions for these reasons. In either case, no proof was provided to the judge.

This part of the lawsuit was dropped “without prejudice,” meaning the Red River Women’s Clinic can bring it up again at a later date.

As NRL News Today reported previously, the state’s new Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection became law April 16 when the CRR did not dispute that law in court. The law says babies cannot be aborted from the point that compelling medical evidence demonstrates the child can feel pain—20 weeks.

The CRR offered a similar rationale for not challenging the law: it says it does not perform abortions pass the 16th week.

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North Dakota joined Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and Arkansas in enacting laws that say that babies cannot be aborted from the point that compelling medical evidence demonstrates the child can feel pain—20 weeks.

In April Mary Spaulding Balch, JD, National Right to Life’s Director of State Legislation and architect of the model law, told NRL News Today, “It is hugely significant and shouldn’t be overlooked that a fifth of the states now have the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on their books.” (See (“North Dakota’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act takes effect, pro-abortionists choose not to challenge law in court,” http://nrlc.cc/17tZNbM.)

Other pro-life North Dakota laws are working their way through the legal system.

“Another new law requires a doctor who performs abortions to be a physician with hospital admitting privileges,” MacPherson wrote. “A lawsuit challenging that measure has been combined with another one challenging a 2011 North Dakota law outlawing one of two drugs used in nonsurgical abortions. East Central Judge Wickham Corwin ruled in July that the 2011 law violates the state and U.S. constitutions.”

Hovland has also issued an injunction blocking the state’s law that bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected.

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