North Dakota's Anti-Abortion Heartbeat Law Struck Down By Federal Court

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Calling it “an invalid and unconstitutional law,” federal court Judge Daniel Hovland struck down North Dakota’s heartbeat bill, which would disallow abortions after a heartbeat of an unborn child is detected in the womb.

That’s really not a surprise. In July of last year Hovland issued an injunction against the law, calling it “clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law” then, too.

This was expected, and the ruling will be appealed, “if need be to the Supreme Court” according to Special Assistant Attorney General Daniel Gaustad.

The pro-abortion activists in North Dakota have had remarkably few legal victories against the four controversial pro-life bills passed by the legislature in 2013. There has been no legal challenge to the ban on abortions after 20 weeks, something national polling has shown most Americans support. Even Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who rose to national prominence for her filibuster of pro-life legislation in the Texas state Legislature, has said she’d support a 20 week ban on abortions.

In North Dakota pro-abortion activists say they didn’t challenge the law because the state’s only abortion clinic doesn’t do abortions after 16 weeks.

A law requiring abortion doctors operating in the to obtain hospital admitting privileges in the state also stands after a lawsuit claiming it was an unfair burden on supposed abortion rights was canceled. The reason it was canceled is because Sanford Health, a Fargo hospital, gave abortion doctors in Fargo admitting privileges, proving that the law wasn’t all that burdensome after all. A similar law in Texas has since been upheld by the courts.

The last law passed by the legislature actually isn’t law yet. It’s a constitutional amendment recognizing a right to life existing at every stage of human development, including those stages which occur in the womb. The amendment is Measure 1 on the November ballot. Legal challenges to it will likely come after voters approve it, if they do.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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