North Dakota Supreme Court Says “Trigger” Ban is Likely Unconstitutional

North Dakota Supreme Court
North Dakota Supreme Court(KFYR-TV)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 7:00 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - On Thursday, March 16, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled that the state’s total abortion ban violates the state constitution and should remain blocked.

After the U.S. Supreme court overturned Roe v. Wade last June, North Dakota attorney general Drew Wrigley certified North Dakota’s trigger law that would effectively make abortion illegal in the state.

This kicked off a lawsuit brought by the red river women’s clinic, the only abortion clinic in the state, as they challenged the ban.

Autumn Katz, the Interim Director of U.S. Litigation at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that after Thursday’s decision to keep the state abortion ban blocked, she feels the state is taking a step in the right direction.

“The court’s decision today was a very positive development because the court recognized abortion is healthcare, and that under some circumstances, abortion is life saving and health preserving care,” Katz said.

Katz said even though they’ve been fighting for months, they will continue the battle as long as they need.

“Just because an individual becomes pregnant, doesn’t mean that they have forfeited their constitutional rights,” Katz said. “We’re going to continue to make sure that people’s constitutional rights aren’t trampled, and that people can continue to receive the healthcare they need.

And Katz isn’t the only one.

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota released a statement on Thursday saying, “The court’s decision today is an enormous victory for doctors, pregnant people, and all North Dakotans. People need and deserve access to abortion care, and today the court said that remains possible. The decision about whether, when, or how to become a parent is one of the most important life decisions we make. A person should have the right to make decisions about their reproductive health care and future, not politicians.”

Katz says that whether you’re a health care professional, or someone seeking service, the decision is one that should be appreciated.

“I think everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, and know that abortion is going to continue to be available when necessary to protect a patient’s life and health,” Katz said.

The decision was a preliminary decision, meaning it’s not final. At this point the case will back to the district court, where there will be an opportunity for both sides to further develop any evidence or additional arguments.