North Dakota judge blocks abortion ban from taking effect Friday

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A day before a near-total ban on abortion went into effect in North Dakota, a judge suspended the law Thursday afternoon, pending the conclusion of a legal challenge organized by the former only abortion clinic in the state.

Burleigh County District Judge Bruce Romanick granted a preliminary injunction in a legal challenge brought by the Red River Women’s Clinic, which was North Dakota’s only abortion clinic until she crosses state lines earlier this month. Although the trigger ban was blocked, the state will not have an abortion clinic for the foreseeable future.

The clinic moved from Fargo to Moorehead, Minnesota on August 6 to remain open in case North Dakota’s trigger ban goes into effect. Clinic director Tammi Kromenaker said the Red River Women’s Clinic would likely stay in Moorehead even if it wins its case and overturns the trip ban, because Minnesota’s abortion laws are much more permissive.

“It’s like night and day between Minnesota and North Dakota,” Kromenaker said.

Meanwhile, laws have been passed in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade on Thursday tightened abortion restrictions in Tennessee, Idaho and Texas, banning abortion from conception in Tennessee and Idaho and increasing the penalty for abortion providers in Texas. Nearly 36% of American women live in a state that bans most abortionsalthough some of these laws have been temporarily blocked by the courts and more restrictions are on the horizon.

Anti-abortion activists hailed the new restrictions, which banned abortions that were previously allowed under “heartbeat” bans in Idaho and Tennessee. These states before authorized the procedure before heart activity could be detected, which occurs around the sixth week of pregnancy – before many people know they are pregnant.

“Today we celebrate the strongest protections yet for thousands of unborn babies and their mothers across Idaho, Tennessee and Texas,” SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement Thursday. “Victory like these are made possible by the Dobbs decision that paved the way for all Americans and their elected representatives to protect life in our laws.

Abortion was already tightly controlled in those three states before Thursday’s trigger laws took effect. For months, Texas has banned abortion from conception with a small exception in cases where the life of the pregnant patient is in danger. Abortion was mostly banned in Tennessee and Idaho, but a small number of people could terminate very early pregnancies.

1 in 3 American women has already lost access to abortion. More restrictive laws are coming.

On Thursday, a trigger law took effect in Texas that increased civil and criminal penalties for doctors who perform an illegal abortion to include a $100,000 fine and up to life in prison. A new law in Idaho prohibits abortions at conception, with exceptions for victims of rape, incest or to save the life of the pregnant patient. Tennessee has also strengthened its ban to include almost all abortions, with one exception for cases where the pregnant person’s life is in danger.

Little changed in Texas on Thursday, where doctors had already been banned from performing most abortions since the state passed a six-week abortion ban known as SB 8 Last year. The state ban expanded this year to prohibit the procedure beginning at conception.

” Since [Supreme Court] decision came out, really, there hasn’t been meaningful abortion access,” said Bhavik Kumar, medical director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston.

Abortion rights campaigners have raised concerns over the tougher restrictions coming into force could jeopardize treatment for women facing pregnancy complications in those states, even though Texas, Tennessee and Idaho already had laws in place banning most abortions.

“It will have a real chilling effect on doctors caring for women in other settings,” said Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and Northern Mississippi.

Doctors must decide, in the heat of the moment, whether a life-threatening pregnancy complication like preeclampsia qualifies for an exception under the new law. “Whether he qualifies for a life-threatening exception under this total ban would be a risk for providers to take as these are criminal penalties associated with this ban,” she added.

More restrictive abortion laws are looming in the coming weeks.

Oklahoma on Saturday increased penalties for doctors who perform illegal abortions, to include a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. The state prohibits nearly all abortions, except in cases of rape or incest that have been reported to the police or if medically necessary to save the life of the pregnant patient.

On September 15, Indiana will implement the first new abortion ban be passed by a state legislature since the Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade in June. Indiana lawmakers passed the conception ban Aug. 5, with exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities and saving the life of the pregnant person.

Lawmakers in South Carolina and West Virginia are also considering bills that would tighten restrictions on abortion in special legislative sessions that lasted much of the summer.

West Virginia Republicans couldn’t agree on whether to include exceptions for rape and incest in a ban proposal the state Senate passed late last month. The State House rejected the Senate bill and asked a conference committee made up of members of both legislative houses to meet and discuss the details of a ban that might gain enough support to pass. The proposed ban has been stalled since then, although lawmakers may return to vote again.

Debate around exceptions has also been heated in South Carolina, where a bill that would not allow victims of rape or incest to terminate their pregnancies is going through the legislative process in the coming weeks. . The State House will likely vote next week, and if the bill passes, it will move on to the state Senate. The state already has a six-week ban, but that law was blocked by the South Carolina Supreme Court Last week

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