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Red River Women's Clinic asking for a temporary restraining order on North Dakota's abortion restrictions

Attorneys for the Red River Women’s Clinic – which performs abortions – have asked a North Dakota district judge for a temporary restraining order, to prevent the state’s anti-abortion law from taking effect next Friday.

The law outlaws abortions in North Dakota, except in the case of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is threatened. It is a “trigger” law – and that trigger was the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe Versus Wade.

Lauren Bernstein is one of the lawyers representing the clinic. She told the Court the state’s Constitution guarantees a right to abortion – and that allowing the trigger law to take effect would cause “irreparable harm” to the Clinic’s patients.

"The stakes could not be higher," Bernstein told the Court. "It potentially takes away a woman's right to choose, and a woman's right to make decisions on her reproductive health, which will affect the rest of her life, and her family's life, and her economic future."

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Sagsveen argues there is no such right to an abortion in the state’s Constitution – and it would be against the will of the people of North Dakota.

"The people, through their elected representatives in the Legislature, have displayed a clear interest in the regulation and prohibition of abortion," Sagsveen argued. "The public has, time and again, articulated the interest in promoting respect for human life."

District Judge Bruce Romanick said he would have a ruling on the temporary restraining order by next Friday.

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