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ND appeals ruling on fetal-heartbeat abortion ban

BISMARCK -- North Dakota is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that permanently blocked a state law that would have banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The appeal was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bismarck on behalf of Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled April 16 that the law would essentially ban all abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy and “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge.”

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case.

More than 60 North Dakota lawmakers signed a letter sent to Stenehjem last month urging him to appeal Hovland’s ruling blocking the law, which would have been the strictest abortion ban in the nation.

Mike Nowatzki

Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.