U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland granted a temporary injunction August 1 of the law that was to take effect August 1, writing in his ruling that there was “no question” the law, duly passed by North Dakota's legislature in April, “is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restraints on abortion. [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.”
In his ruling that was harshly critical of North Dakota's efforts to protect defenseless pre-born children, Hovland wrote that the state “has extended an invitation to an expensive court battle over a law restricting abortions that is a blatant violation of the constitutional guarantees afforded to all women. The United States Supreme Court has unequivocally said that no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability.”
The New York-based abortion activist group Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) filed suit against the law on behalf of Fargo's Red River Women's Center, the state's only abortion clinic. “The nation's most extreme abortion ban has been blocked,” declared the abortion group's spokesman, Bebe Anderson, “and the message to hostile politicians could not be clearer: the rights of women guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution and protected by 40 years of Supreme Court precedent cannot be legislated away.”
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