ND Supreme Court Hears Arguments Tied to Abortion Law
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
The legal fight over North Dakota's abortion ban continues, and oral arguments about one element of the case were heard by the state Supreme Court yesterday.
North Dakota's highest court will decide whether a preliminary injunction should remain in place while a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ban moves forward.
The state contends a district judge erred in temporarily blocking the law, including an opinion suggesting there's a "substantial probability" the overall challenge will succeed.
Meetra Mehdizadeh, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights which represents the Red River Women's Clinic, feels the opinion has merit, noting North Dakota has one of the strictest abortion laws in the country.
"It's incredibly important that we recognize that this kind of law furthers no state interest," Mehdizadeh asserted. "It's just going to harm people."
Mehdizadeh argued lifting the injunction would harm not only patients, but physicians and hospitals. At the heart of the case, the state said abortion is not a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. The main challenge is from the Women's Clinic, which was the only facility in North Dakota providing abortion care and has since moved across the border into Minnesota.
Even though the clinic has moved, Mehdizadeh argued there is still a need for protections because of the different layers of reproductive health.
"Given that this is one of the most extreme laws in the country, it'll be really interesting to see how the court interprets that," Mehdizadeh pointed out. "And how it interprets that in light of the broad protections for liberty that the North Dakota Constitution has."
Adopted in 2007, North Dakota's ban was one of several so-called "trigger laws" designed to take effect in the event federal protections were overturned, which happened this summer.
The state's law states an abortion is a felony unless it is necessary to prevent the woman's death or in cases of rape or incest. It is unclear when the state Supreme Court will decide on the injunction.
get more stories like this via email
It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …
A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…
By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…
By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …
A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …
As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …
A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…
With Pennsylvania's primary election less than 60 days away, a nonpartisan group is stepping up the pace to educate people on voting by mail and by …