BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into pregnancy, calling the law “clearly invalid and unconstitutional.”
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in Bismarck granted a temporary injunction Monday that blocks the law from taking effect on Aug. 1.
“There is no question that (the North Dakota law) is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restraints on abortion,” Hovland wrote. ” (It) is clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law based on the United States Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade from 1973 … and the progeny of cases that have followed.”
New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Fargo’s Red River Women’s Clinic, filed the lawsuit after the law was passed this year by the North Dakota Legislature. It would outlaw the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before some women even know they are pregnant.
It’s back! The Republican-mandated invasive transvaginal ultrasound has returned in Arkansas (they never stop trying), where Sen. Jason Rapert (yes! Rapert was his name-o!) is hiding the ultrasound requirement in … yet another “fetal heartbeat” anti-abortion bill: Spread ‘Em, Ladies: Rapert Toughens Anti-Abortion Bill.
The new Rapert bill would prohibit an abortion if a heartbeat is detected, a limitation that moves the potential prohibition in Arkansas law to the 5th week of pregnancy, far beyond the pre-viability protection period that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld. Viability has generally been considered at the 23rd to 24th week, though anti-abortion legislatures have tried to move that to 20 weeks, a move that is under challenge in court. Such legislation is being offered again in Arkansas and could be considered in committee this week. It’s even meaner in some ways than Rapert’s bill — no exception for rape and incest or mental health of mother.
The new Rapert bill would require a check for heartbeat by “standard medical practice, including the use of medical devices as determined by standard medical practice.” The bill doesn’t spell it out, but at the earliest stage of a pregnancy, this requirement would mean a transvaginal probe. To get an abortion under the Rapert legislation, a woman in the earliest stage of pregnancy (when most abortions are sought and performed) would be forced to submit to a vaginal probe rather than a standard ultrasound passed over the abdomen. And, if five weeks pregnant and a heartbeat was detected, a woman would be told an abortion was illegal.
Abortions to save a mother’s life are excepted as are pregnancies resulting from rape and medical emergencies. But instrumental rape is OK.
It would be a Class D felony for a doctor to perform an abortion after detecting a heartbeat. The woman would not be subject to prosecution.
The Republican Party of Ohio is being forced to give up their latest attack on women’s rights, as their absurd and deceptive “heartbeat” bill has been abandoned.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio bill that would have imposed the most stringent restriction on abortions in the nation met its end Tuesday.
Senators don’t plan to vote on the so-called “heartbeat bill” before the end of the legislative session next month, Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus said, citing concerns the resulting law might have been found to be unconstitutional.
The bill proposed banning abortions after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy. It had fiercely divided Ohio’s anti-abortion community, while energizing abortion rights proponents who protested against it.
Backers hoped the stringent nature of the bill would provoke a legal challenge with the potential to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.
An “audible heartbeat” was also the reason why an Irish Catholic hospital recently refused an abortion to a woman suffering a miscarriage — and allowed her to die instead: Irish Hospital Refuses to Perform Abortion, Lets Woman Die.
This is the future the Republican Party has in store for America.