North Dakota District Court Judge Wikcham Corwin ruled to keep an existing injunction on a law banning medical abortions in the state, indicating that the law, which would completely ban medical abortion, violates the state constitution. Judge Corwin’s ruling will stand until a decision is reached on a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the Red River Women’s Clinic, the state’s only abortion clinic, located in Fargo.
Judge Corwin stated that the law would serve as an “insurmountable barrier” to women seeking abortions in the state since it would require that any drug used for abortion to clearly state on its label that it is meant to be used for abortion. This would outlaw misoprostol, used following mifepristone for medical abortions, because misoprostol labeled as a treatment for stomach ulcers by the FDA.
“North Dakota women already face too many barriers when seeking a safe, legal abortion. The ban on an effective and less invasive procedure is just another way to make it impossible for women to exercise their fundamental reproductive rights,” said senior staff attorney Suzanne Novak from the Center for Reproductive Rights.
A quarter of all abortions performed within the first trimester are medical abortions. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, medical abortions are safe.
The Daily Report 2/21/12; Associated Press 2/16/12; Center for Reproductive Rights 2/16/12 Press Release; Huffington Post 1/27/12