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'Triggered' abortion law in North Dakota on hold

KFGO Radio, Fargo

A reprieve – of sorts – for North Dakota’s lone abortion clinic.

A district judge in Bismarck issued a temporary restraining order, preventing the state’s “trigger law” from taking effect. The law – passed in 2007 – bans abortions, except in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the woman – but only takes effect 30 days after the Supreme Court overturns Roe versus Wade.

The Supreme Court did do that, in a ruling issued in late June.

Right after that, North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley said the new law would take effect July 28 – and the Fargo abortion clinic would have to cease operations.

The clinic and abortion rights groups sued, saying Wrigley didn’t properly follow procedure, as outlined in a 2019 measure, passed by the Legislature. The measure said such a law would take effect 30 days after the ruling was certified. That certification happened Monday.

District Judge Bruce Romanick agreed, and issued the temporary restraining order.

Last night, Wrigley filed a recertification with the North Dakota Legislative Council, which means the law would take effect August 24th.

Romanick did not address the plaintiffs’ claim that the law is unconstitutional. That claim says the law violates the clinic’s patients' rights to life, safety and happiness under North Dakota’s Constitution.

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