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Lawmakers Want Appeal of Ruling Against N.D. 'Heartbeat' Abortion Ban

Lawmakers Want Appeal of Ruling Against N.D. 'Heartbeat' Abortion Ban

May 14, 2014 — Sixty-one North Dakota Republican and two Democratic lawmakers are urging the state attorney general to appeal a ruling that overturned a state law (HB 1456) banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, the AP/Washington Times reports (AP/Washington Times, 5/12).

Last month, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland struck down the law, declaring that it is "invalid and unconstitutional." The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the lawsuit in June 2013 on behalf of the Red River Women's Clinic of Fargo (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/17).

In an interview with the Associated Press, which obtained a copy of the lawmakers' letter to North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (R), state Rep. Bette Grande (R) said the letter "was specifically sent as an encouragement and there is no hidden agenda behind it." Grande added, "We just want to let (Stenehjem) know that nothing has changed."

According to the AP/Times, the state has 30 days to appeal Hovland's ruling, which means the deadline would be the end of this week (AP/Washington Times, 5/12).