State Bans Use of Drugs Causing Abortions - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

State Bans Use of Drugs Causing Abortions

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When the state legislature passed some laws that placed some restrictions on abortions, lawmakers knew the issue would end up in the state supreme court. And this morning, it was.

The topic before the court is the law passed in 2011 that bans the off label use of the two drugs used in medicine-induced abortions. A district court earlier ruled against the state, saying that the law violates the U.S. constitution. The state is arguing that the law should be upheld.

"All the state asks this court to do on this appeal is to apply the well-established law when interpreting the provisions of the North Dakota constitution and when interpreting the provisions of 2011 HB 1297," says Doug Bahr. 

The state claims that North Dakota's constitution should take precedence.

"I understand your objection," says Justice Gerald VandeWalle. "But if the trial court was right in its premise in that our constitution can't be read to give anything less than the federal constitution, then it would have to examine the federal law to see what the federal constitution allows, wouldn't you?"

"Yes, of course. But the trial court was not right," says Bahr.

Opponents of the state law argue that even without bringing the U.S. constitution under review, the state gives women the right to make medical decisions, which includes abortions.

"I don't think this court has to find a separate constitutional right to abortion per say to recognize that in this case the affect of the law is to violate women's right to equal protections, to violate doctors rights to equal protections and to violate a woman's right to bodily integrity," says Autumn Katz. 

She says that she believes the law serves no purpose but to make it more difficult for a doctor to perform an abortion.

The justices will now review the case and provide a ruling at a later date.

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