Judge puts hold on North Dakota trigger law banning abortion

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota judge on Wednesday put on hold the state’s trigger law banning abortion while a lawsuit moves forward that argues it violates the state constitution.

Burleigh County District Judge Bruce Romanick ruled in a lawsuit brought by the state’s only abortion clinic, Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, that Attorney General Drew Wrigley “prematurely attempted to execute” the trigger language, which was improper until the U.S. Supreme Court issued its certified judgment on Tuesday.

The ban had been set to take effect on Thursday.

The clinic argues in its lawsuit that the North Dakota Constitution guarantees the rights of life, liberty, safety, and happiness, all of which protect the right to abortion.

Romanick’s ruling will give the Red River clinic more time to relocate a few miles away to Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortion remains legal. Clinic owner Tammi Kromenaker has said she will move there if litigation doesn’t block the North Dakota ban.

North Dakota’s law would make abortion illegal in the state except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Dave Kolpack, The Associated Press

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