By Dave Andrusko
As NRL News Today reported, on September 13, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland granted the request of the AMA and the Red River Women’s Clinic, the state’s only abortion clinic to “block the new North Dakota law requiring doctors to inform women seeking medical pill abortions about abortion reversal if they change their minds.”
Represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the AMA and the abortion clinic also went after a part of the state’s 1975 Abortion Control Act which requires physicians to inform women that an abortion will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.
The Abortion Pill Reversal Informed Consent bill requires abortion facilities to provide information to any woman seeking an abortion about how she can potentially save her baby if she changes her mind after taking the first medication, but not the second. Eight states have such laws.
What follows is an update about what has transpired since, including today.
On November 26, a federal district court allowed lawyers for Heartbeat international to intervene in defense of the law. Their answer was filed today. How and why was Heartbeat International affected?
“Heartbeat International, which has two affiliated pregnancy centers in North Dakota and operates the international Abortion Pill Rescue Network, filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit, which the court granted on Nov. 26,” according to Denise Harle. “The Abortion Pill Reversal program comprises more than 600 health care professionals across the United States who are willing and able to administer an FDA-approved drug that has successfully stopped abortions after a mother requests intervention. Heartbeat’s work would be affected by the lawsuit’s outcome, and its research is already at issue in the litigation.”
With respect to the portion of the 1975 law the AMA is contesting, the brief, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, Western Division, refers to the pivotal Supreme Court case of NIFLA v. Becerra, which “reaffirmed that such accurate, relevant information is lawfully part of informed consent to abortion.”
The NIFLA decision guarantees that Heartbeat and its members cannot be forced to speak a message unrelated to the medical services they provide; at the same time, it ensures that women undergoing abortion (or any other medical procedure) will be protected by longstanding canons of medical ethics requiring that they be told about the risks, alternatives, and consequences of the procedure. …
This Court’s proper consideration of NIFLA is necessary to safeguard the pregnant women who will be hearing the Human Being Disclosure and APR Disclosure before consenting to a life-altering medical procedure—women who may soon be contacting Heartbeat for information, medical treatment, or support.