Federal Judge Blocks Part of North Dakota Abortion Law

| by Emily Smith
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U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland dismissed part of a lawsuit challenging a North Dakota law that blocks abortions based on unwanted gender or a genetic defect Monday, after the state’s only abortion clinic challenged it.

“There is no question that [the law] is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restraints on abortion,” Hovland wrote.

Hovland granted an injunction that blocks the law temporarily.

The Red River Women’s Clinic argued that the ban doesn’t effect them, since it does not perform abortions for that reason. The clinic’s attorney, Janet Crepps, said it is unclear whether the measure would impact any woman seeking abortion services at Red River.

The lawsuit was dropped without prejudice, meaning the clinic can take up a legal challenge again later. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said the state will ask the court for a trial, and has already hired an attorney to argue the case.

“We have our job to do,” Stenehjem said. “We need to convince [Hovland] why the Legislature wanted to enact the law.”

The measures are among four that Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law this year.

A spokesman for Dalrymple said the governor had not commented on the judge’s decision.

Sources: ABC News, Aljazeera