INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 16, 2014, 09:15 PM

Local reaction to striking down of fetal heartbeat law

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The legal battle over North Dakota's abortion laws rages on. A federal judge in Bismarck today struck down a law known as the fetal heartbeat ban.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The legal battle over North Dakota's abortion laws rages on. A federal judge in Bismarck today struck down a law known as the fetal heartbeat ban.

The law would have banned abortion once a heartbeat could be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy, and while it was ruled unconstitutional today, the battle is far from over.

The most surprising thing about this ruling might be that no one is surprised. Federal judge Daniel Hovland struck down the fetal heartbeat law passed by the North Dakota legislature in 2013.

Tammi Kromenaker, director at Fargo's Red River Women's Clinic, praised the judge's decision.

Tammi Kromenaker - Red River Women’s Clinic Director: "It just clearly is blatantly unconstitutional and would not stand. It's just been a waste of taxpayer resources, including money."

But Representative Bette Grande of Fargo says they, too expected this.

Representative Bette Grande/(R) Fargo: "We knew this was just one step in the process."

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says he will take a look at the ruling and talk to the governor and others before deciding what to do next.

Grande says it is likely that they will appeal the ruling - a step toward the larger goal of bringing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. She says it's an issue that needs re-examining because of the many medical advances made since Roe v. Wade more than 40 years ago.

Bette Grande: "We can look right into the womb, we can see all the things. Those justices didn't have that, now we do."

For now, the judge's decision means the law will not go into effect and the clinic, the only abortion provider in North Dakota, can continue its work.

Tammi Kromenaker: "Women need access to this and the judge's decision assures that."

Three other abortion laws passed last year still stand, but two are temporarily on hold. This November, a measure will appear the ballot to give personhood rights to embryos, effectively banning all abortion.

Tags: