Federal judge delays North Dakota abortion law

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm •  Published: July 22, 2013
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"This ruling means that women won't have to rush in and make a decision," Kromenaker said of the injunction. "Now they have more time to talk to their loved one, their pastor — whoever the need to talk to — while weighing their decision to have an abortion."

Jeff Zent, a spokesman for Dalrymple, said the governor would not comment on the federal judge's ruling.

"It's our standing policy not to comment on litigation," he said.

The clinic's lawsuit also is challenging another new measure that would make North Dakota the only state to prohibit women from having an abortion because a fetus has a genetic defect, such as Down syndrome.

Kromenaker said the clinic wants that law overturned but didn't seek an immediate injunction to block it because abortions are not performed there for that reason.

The clinic is not challenging another new North Dakota law that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain by then. Texas Gov. Rick Perry last week signed into law a 20-week ban and other abortion restrictions for that state.

Kromenaker said the 20-week ban, which she believes is unconstitutional, does not apply to North Dakota because no abortions are performed at the clinic after 16 weeks.

Another measure would require a doctor who performs abortions to be a physician with hospital admitting privileges. A lawsuit challenging that law has been combined with another one challenging a 2011 North Dakota law that outlaws one of two drugs used in nonsurgical abortions. A state judge ruled last week that the 2011 law violates the state and U.S. constitutions. A judge hasn't yet issued a ruling on the new law requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges.

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