State's Sole Abortion Clinic Sues to Stop Ban

North Dakota law took effect after Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 7, 2022 5:15 PM CDT
North Dakota Clinic Fights Abortion Ban
An abortion protester stands outside the Red River Valley Women's Clinic in Fargo in 2013. The clinic is suing to fight North Dakota's abortion ban.   (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack, File)

North Dakota's sole clinic that provides abortion services filed a lawsuit in state court Thursday seeking to block a law that banned abortion following the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Red River Women's Clinic argues that the ban violates the rights to life, safety, and happiness guaranteed by the state constitution that protect the right to abortion. It said the ban also infringes on the right to liberty because it "deprives patients of the ability to control decisions about their families and their health," the AP reports.

The North Dakota lawsuit is just the latest litigation to take aim at restrictions on abortions after the Supreme Court said the procedure was no longer protected by the US Constitution. The suit also questions Attorney General Drew Wrigley's statement that the ban would take effect July 28. The clinic argued that the Supreme Court released its opinion on June 24 but has not yet issued its judgment, which it said is a necessary step to trigger the state ban. The clinic said the high court typically takes that step at least 25 days after the opinion is released. In certifying the closure date, Wrigley said "there's not any ambiguity" in the Supreme Court decision. He said in a statement Thursday that his office is reviewing the complaint.

Tammi Kromenaker, owner and operator of the Red River Women’s Clinic in downtown Fargo, has said that the facility would move across the river to Moorhead, Minnesota, if necessary but that she would explore ways to keep it open in North Dakota. "We have faced relentless attacks from North Dakota lawmakers who have long wanted us gone," Kromenaker said in a statement. "But we will fight this draconian ban like the other outrageous bans and restrictions that came before it." The clinic will remain open in the meantime, she said. Wrigley and Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick are named as defendants. Burdick said he hasn't discussed the suit with Wrigley and could not comment specifically on it. "We will follow North Dakota law, and any orders made by the court," Burdick said.

(Read more anti-abortion laws stories.)

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