Dial it down, North Dakota

North Dakota went a little too far, a judge has ruled.

A federal judge has struck down a North Dakota law banning abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, calling the law “invalid and unconstitutional.”

The law, passed by lawmakers in the state just over a year ago, bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy and is considered the most restrictive in the country.

Another loss for the “it’s not your body any more, IT’S THE BABY’S” crowd.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who is based in Bismarck, cited the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, saying “no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability.”

No, not even if it really really wants to.

The Associated Press writes:

“North Dakota’s heartbeat measure was among four anti-abortion bills that Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law last year with overwhelming support from the state’s Republican-led Legislature. Backed by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, the state’s only abortion clinic, the Red River Clinic in Fargo, filed a lawsuit against the heartbeat law last July.”

Note that there’s only one clinic. It’s a big state, North Dakota. Small population but big state. It must be a long drive to that clinic for a lot of people.





  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    God will smite North Dakota for this. With blizzards. In less than eight months’ time.

    You heard it here first.

  2. coragyps says

    A long drive, indeed. Seven hours on the highways from Williston, and that seven hours is just when it’s not icy. Late July and August, in other words.

  3. leni says

    @ coragyps

    And you get to make it more than once because there’s probably a mandatory “Come back after this arbitrary time period has passed, you stupid whore” period, right?

  4. Abdul Alhazred says

    You’re not cynical enough. It’s no loss at all.

    They knew it would be struck down. But the net effect is a pose of martyrdom and an energized base.

  5. Crimson Clupeidae says

    This is an almost meaningless victory, given the single clinic in ND. I think the martyr pose it affords outweighs the ‘loss’, as Abdul notes, as well.

    I really want to emigrate to a civilized country, and I’m lucky enough to live in one of the more enlightened states of the US.

  6. Jackie, all dressed in black says

    I’d say “Yea”, but such a stunt should never have made it that far.

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