North Dakota abortionists sue to block portion of state pro-life law

North Dakota

A North Dakota abortion business is suing the state and asking a judge to block a portion of the state law that protects nearly all preborn children from abortion.

Current state law only allows abortions in cases where the mother’s life is in jeopardy or she faces a “serious health risk.” There is also an exception for cases of rape and incest in the first six weeks of pregnancy.

On Tuesday, several physicians and a former abortion business in the state, Red River Women’s Clinic, filed the lawsuit, asking the judge to place a temporary injunction on the portion of the law that would penalize doctors who commit abortions for pregnancy complications that “pose a risk of infection, hemorrhage, high blood pressure, or which otherwise makes continuing a pregnancy unsafe.” The plaintiffs suggest that the “serious health risk” language is “so vague” that they “don’t know at what point a condition rises to the level of being what the statute calls a ‘serious health risk.”

“Physicians want to be able to provide treatment for their patients before their health declines and before they experience serious and potentially life-threatening complications,” said Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Meetra Mehdizadeh. “Because of the restrictions placed on abortion access in North Dakota, they don’t know whether they can do that legally.”

Red River Women’s Clinic used to be the state’s only abortion business, but it shut its doors and moved to Minnesota after Governor Doug Burgum signed the legislation in April making most of the state’s abortions illegal. It also previously sued to stop the state’s pro-life laws, filing a lawsuit against the state’s trigger law that went into effect following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Though that lawsuit did succeed in the court, blocking the law from taking effect, lawmakers bypassed the block by passing further pro-life legislation in April.

State Sen. Janne Myrdal, who sponsored the pro-life legislation, called news of the lawsuit “sad.”

“We can do a lot better in North Dakota than what these people who are suing us are intending to do, so we’re going to stand firm and continue to protect life,” she said.

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