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Law that could close North Dakota’s last abortion facility halted by judge

Ben Johnson
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FARGO, ND, July 31, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A judge has stopped a North Dakota law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges to local hospitals on the grounds that it might cause the state's only abortion facility to close.

East Central District Judge Wickham Corwin will sign a preliminary injunction against the law tomorrow, the day it was to take effect.

The Red River Women's Clinic's contended that meeting the regulation, designed to protect women in the event that an abortionist injures a client so badly that she needs medical treatment, would put it out of business.

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has received death threats for signing this measure, along with a spate of other pro-life bills.

The facility, which filed a lawsuit in May, performs an estimated 1,200 abortions a year.

Judge Corwin argued that the U.S. Constitution guarantees “reproductive rights” based on “the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the controlling word is 'liberty.'" 

In the last month, judges in Alabama and Wisconsin have erected legal roadblocks to similar laws. In Mississippi, a judge allowed one such law to go into effect – but disallowed the state from penalizing the state's lone abortion facility. 

Earlier this month, Judge Corwin also declared a law prohibiting the off-label use of misoprostol to induce a chemical abortion unconstitutional, one year after suspending its implementation.

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Wickham Corwin currently stands accused of sexually harassing a court reporter, something he calls a “colossal misunderstanding.” A panel has 60 days to determine his guilt of innocence. If found guilty, he could be forcibly retired.

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