AP

Judge puts hold on North Dakota trigger law banning abortion

Jul 27, 2022, 2:53 PM | Updated: 4:21 pm

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota judge on Wednesday put on hold the state’s trigger law banning abortion while a lawsuit moves forward that argues it violates the state constitution, ruling that the attorney general had prematurely calculated the date when the ban should take effect.

Burleigh County District Judge Bruce Romanick sided with the state’s only abortion clinic, the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, that Attorney General Drew Wrigley “prematurely attempted to execute” the trigger language. The clinic had argued that a 30-day clock should not have started until the U.S. Supreme Court issued its certified judgment on Tuesday.

“Therefore the Court finds a temporary restraining order appropriate at this time,” Romanick wrote.

The ban had been set to take effect on Thursday. Shortly after the ruling, Wrigley said he was heading to the North Dakota Legislative Council’s office to drop off another certification of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that reversed Roe vs. Wade. He did not comment about the judge’s order.

The ruling, which comes as various states grapple with potential bans and other restrictions often backed by Republican lawmakers, will give the Red River clinic more time to relocate a few miles away to Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortion remains legal. Clinic owner Tammi Kromenaker has said she will move there if litigation doesn’t block the North Dakota ban.

Kromenaker has declined to say when the new clinic will be ready, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Planned Parenthood, which at one point had said it would step in if needed, has since said that Kromenaker has assured them that there would be no interruption in service due to the clinic’s relocation.

Attorney Tom Dickson said the clinic was gratified by the court’s ruling and looks forward to the next hearing.

Destini Spaeth, the volunteer leader of an independent group that helps fund abortions in North Dakota, said it was an “emotional day” with the prospect of Wednesday being the last day for medical procedures at the clinic. She said she screamed when she heard about the order.

“More time is what we need, in terms of getting all our ducks in a row,” Spaeth said. “I’m not going to speculate on the rest of the lawsuit. We can’t really depend on North Dakota in terms of legislation and the judicial branch. But this is a blessing.”

Meetra Mehdizadeh, attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is helping the clinic with the suit, said the plaintiffs “will do everything in our power to fight this ban and keep abortion accessible in North Dakota for as long as possible.”

As for the larger question in the suit, the clinic argues in its lawsuit that the North Dakota Constitution guarantees the rights of life, liberty, safety, and happiness, all of which protect the right to abortion. The judge did not address that part of the complaint in his order.

North Dakota’s law would make abortion illegal in the state except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

13 hours ago

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

3 days ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

3 days ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

4 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

4 days ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Judge puts hold on North Dakota trigger law banning abortion