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[WATCH] Judges Temporarily Block Abortion Bans in North Dakota and Wyoming

[WATCH] Judges Temporarily Block Abortion Bans in North Dakota and Wyoming

Judges in North Dakota and Wyoming blocked enforcement of “trigger” bans on abortions on Wednesday, allowing abortion providers in those states to resume services after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion which allowed states to prevent women from terminating their pregnancies, promoting a flurry of litigation in state courts. The near-total ban bars pregnancies from being terminated in most cases, with exceptions for cases of rape, incest or to protect a pregnant woman’s life. It also makes it a felony for doctors to perform the procedure.

Those two states join others including Kentucky, Louisiana, and Utah where judges have blocked abortion bans, providing at least a temporary victory for abortion rights advocates following their defeat at the federal level.

In the North Dakota ruling, Red River Women’s Clinic, the last abortion clinic in that state, can resume abortion care as the case proceeds in Burleigh County District Court. In 2007, lawmakers in North Dakota put in place the so-called “trigger” law intended to take effect if the high court reversed its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed access to abortion in the United States. The Red River clinic contends the law violates its patients’ rights to life, safety, and happiness under the state constitution. A technicality in the state law gave the clinic at least a 30-day reprieve.

Separately on Thursday, attorneys for 15 cities and counties, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and others, wrote to the U.S. departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Transportation urging them to prohibit federal cooperation with state abortion bans, including any attempts to criminalize abortion or travel to receive abortion services.

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