Judge overturns b.s. ban on medical abortion

northdakotacapitolHere’s some good ovaries-related news, for a change. A North Dakota judge struck down a ban on medical abortions Monday. East Central Judge Wickham Corwin ruled that the 2011 state law outlawing the two drugs used in medical abortions was “simply wrongheaded” and violated the North Dakota and United States Constitution. Corwin wrote that “no compelling state interest justifies this infringement …” He also criticized an expert witness for the defense, Dr. Donna Harrison, the president the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, whose “opinions lack scientific support, tend to be based on unsubstantiated concerns and are generally at odds with solid medical evidence.”

This is great news for the state’s only abortion clinic, the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, and the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), which is representing them. Medical abortions make up approximately a quarter of abortions in the first nine weeks and are considered safe and effective. According to the CRR, the ban  “needlessly forc[es] women seeking an abortion to undergo surgery even when such a procedure may be medically inadvisable.”

This sucks (yay!) for the state, which has spent over $52,000 trying to defend the law and, you know, take away women’s reproductive and constitutional rights.

But there’s more work to be done. The CRR has filed a lawsuit against North Dakota’s draconian fetal heartbeat bill, which bans abortion at as early as 6 weeks and would make North Dakota the only state outlawing the abortion of a fetus with a genetic defect. Really, North Dakota? In the words of Frances McDormand’s North Dakotan character Marge Gunderson in the film Fargo, “I just think I’m gonna barf.” (quote at 1:36)

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