ND Supreme Court Reviews Constitutionality of Abortion Law - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

North Dakota Supreme Court Reviews Constitutionality of Abortion Law

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One of the most controversial topics in the nation is once again at the forefront in North Dakota.

It's now up to The North Dakota Supreme Court to decide whether a law aimed at limiting abortion drugs violates the state constitution.

Wednesday morning, the justices heard opposing arguments about that very issue.

It all stems from a district judge ruling in July that the 2011 state law banning certain drugs used in an abortion, is unconstitutional.

Assistant North Dakota Attorney General Douglas Bahr urged justices this morning to reverse the judge's ruling.

"We are saying in the Constitution, there is no constitutional right to have an abortion under the North Dakota constitution and therefore the rational basis standard applies to any review under the North Dakota constitution of a statute regulating, addressing, prohibiting, abortion..." says Douglas Bahr, Office of Attorney General.

Autumn Katz with the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights is representing North Dakota's sole abortion clinic in Fargo.

She says the decisions of how medications should be prescribed are best left to physicians and not politicians.

"Physicians on their own because of their oath and their duty to serve their patients best interests, physicians provide medicine according to the standard of care, according to the best available treatment and what this law would do is take away women and to take away that option from physicians." says Autumn Katz, Center for Reproductive Rights Attorney.

Governor Jack Dalrymple signed three bills into law this spring that means North Dakota now has the strictest abortion laws in the nation.

The two furthest reaching bills ban abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected, something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

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