Supreme Court kills North Dakota heartbeat abortion ban

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The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal on behalf of North Dakota’s six-week abortion ban, effectively killing it.

The state law prohibited abortions past six weeks based on the ability to detect a fetal heartbeat. The Court’s decision leaves the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the law, that it was an impermissible burden on the pre-viability “right to choose” based on judicial precedent, the final word on the matter.

“We knew just going in it was going to be a long shot,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem admitted. “This is the end of what we can do.”

The Eighth Circuit did, however, note that “good reasons exist” for the Supreme Court, which does have the authority to reverse the precedent they felt bound to, to hear the case: “The continued application of the Supreme Court’s viability standard discounts the legislative branch’s recognized interest in protecting unborn children.”

The Supreme Court will hear a case if at least four Justices vote to hear it, meaning a maximum of just three Justices voted with North Dakota.

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