BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — The Burleigh County District Court heard arguments today on the abortion trigger ban.
The argument: whether to issue a preliminary injunction blocking North Dakota’s trigger law.
The abortion ban is set to go into effect on August 26.
Soon after Roe v. Wade was overturned, the last remaining abortion clinic in North Dakota filed a lawsuit.
In court today, Lauren Bernstein, attorney for the Red River Women’s Health Clinic argued that the ban violates the state constitution, and she requested the court to block the law while litigation proceeds.
The clinic argues the ban is and will cause irreparable harm.
“It’s hard to imagine a harm more irreparable than losing your state constitutional rights: to make free choices about having children, the choice of whether or not to have children,” Bernstein says.
The plaintiff went on to say those consequences could be financial or emotional.
She also brings up research showing pregnancy and giving birth is 14 times more dangerous than abortion.
However, the state rebutted saying the injunction should be denied, because there is no fundamental right to abortion.
“The court should reject this argument. The first step in analyzing this issue is to determine whether or not the fundamental right to abortion expressly or impliedly exists in the language of the Constitution,” State Attorney Matt Sagsveen says.
He says the language is broad.
District Judge Bruce Romanick pointed out that the state presented no facts, hard evidence, or affidavits.
“I’ve got two affidavits from the plaintiff, mostly focusing on the clinic. Some reference to doctors being impacted and of course patients of doctors are being impacted. I’ve got nothing from the state. No affidavits countering their affidavits. No evidence on your side. I have an argument, I get that,” Judge Romanick said.
The state replied by saying they only had 7 days to reply to the motion, and that their argument relies primarily on the law.
The plaintiff’s attorney ended by saying:
“North Dakota does not want the state to restrict their personal health care choices. The Cromwell decision from the state Supreme Court in 1943 explains what this happiness rate means, and the court in that decision – in a very lengthy decision – explains that happiness is an extensive right that is not capable of definition or limitation, and it includes the privileges of the family at home. Losing this right is very difficult, to think of a harm that’s more irreparable than that,” she said.
District Judge Bruce Romanick, told the court he will have a decision on the motion by the end of next week before August 26th.
If Judge Romanick motions the injunction, it will go into effect and the restraining order would come off.
If he denies the restraining order, then it will go off and the statute will go into effect.
KX News will continue to keep you updated.