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Judge Voids North Dakota ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Law

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April 17, 2014

Alison Howard



Judge Voids North Dakota ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland ruled Wednesday that North Dakota’s abortion law, the first of its kind to ban most abortions once a heartbeat is detected, was “unconstitutional.” The law, which would have banned abortions, except in cases of medical emergency, once a fetal heartbeat was detected, was signed by the state’s governor last year. Concerned Women for America of North Dakota has been actively engaged in the fight to protect life in the state and has responded below, alongside CWA President and CEO Penny Nance.

Penny Nance, CEO and President, Concerned Women for America:

“North Dakota has taken the lead in the battle to protect life, and we stand in support of the right of the state’s citizens to apply their values to their laws, particularly laws that protect women and children. A detectable heartbeat is a universal sign of life. North Dakota citizens sought to create public policy to reflect that truth.”

Janne Myrdal, State Director, Concerned Women for America of North Dakota:

“It is once again disappointing to see radical out-of-state special interest groups use federal courts to thwart justice and the will of the people of North Dakota. It is demoralizing to the people of North Dakota to see this law struck down after it passed with a majority bipartisan vote in the North Dakota Legislature. Science has leaped forward since Roe v. Wade decision over 40 years ago, and North Dakota’s conscience is catching up to that science by promoting commonsense laws that protect women and children. Ignoring such scientific fact and its application in law is denying women and children their due justice under the law.

We fully expect North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to appeal this ruling. Let it also be noted that, though this law was a federal lawsuit and, therefore, would not be directly affected by the ND Human Life Amendment on the ballot in November as Measure #1, we see the urgent need to protect the will of the people in our state against outside special interest groups seeking to invent an unfettered ‘right to abortion’ in our North Dakota Constitution. Measure #1 will protect the legislature’s prior laws as well as give them the ability to enact commonsense North Dakota values in laws protecting women and children.”

If you would like an interview with Penny Nance, Janne Myrdal, or a Concerned Women for America spokesperson, please contact Alison Howard at or 202-266-4816.

Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with 500,000 participating members across the country, over 450 Prayer/Action Chapters and Home Teams, 600 trained leaders and over 30 years of service to our nation.

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