Judge Grants Clinic's Request To Drop Parts of Lawsuit Over New N.D. Antiabortion Laws

September 12, 2013 — A federal judge on Monday granted a North Dakota abortion clinic's request to drop parts of a lawsuit challenging a state law that bans abortions based on the sex of the fetus or genetic defects, AP/ABC News reports (MacPherson, AP/ABC News, 9/11).

The decision comes in a lawsuit filed in June by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the Red River Women's Clinic of Fargo, which is the only abortion clinic in the state (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/23).

The suit continues to challenge another state law that prohibits abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as six weeks of pregnancy. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland temporarily blocked that law in July, saying it is "clearly invalid and unconstitutional."

Red River Women's Clinic has said the law on sex selection and genetic defects does not affect it because it does not perform abortions for those reasons.

Hovland dismissed the section of the lawsuit without prejudice, which means the clinic could revive a challenge later (AP/ABC News, 9/11).