BISMARCK, N.D. (CNS) — North Dakota’s Catholic bishops called a decision by a state judge that a 2011 law prohibiting the use of one of two drugs used in nonsurgical abortions violates the state and U.S. constitutions.
North Dakota Judge Wickham Corwin July 15 said the two-year-old law was “simply wrongheaded” and that “no compelling state interest justifies this infringement.”
But Bishops David D. Kagan of Bismarck and John T. Folda of Fargo said in a statement that with his ruling, Corwin recognized a right to abortion in the state constitution “more expansive than that recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“A lone judge sitting in Fargo has declared that the North Dakota Constitution makes abortion a ‘fundamental’ right subject to practically no limitations,” the bishops said July 16. “In fact, the right ‘found’ by … Corwin is more expansive than that used by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“As a result, the opinion could put all of the state’s laws on abortion in jeopardy, including its parental consent laws, health and safety requirements, and conscience protection,” they said.
The case “is not just about drug-induced abortions,” the bishops said. At stake from this ruling are all of the state’s pro-life and pro-women laws, such as parental notification, health and safety requirements, and conscience protection for health care providers.”
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem plans to appeal Corwin’s ruling to the North Dakota Supreme Court.
An AP story quoted him as saying that the state Supreme Court has never addressed the issue of a so-called “right to abortion.”
“This should be ruled on not by one trial judge but by the North Dakota Supreme Court. That’s only appropriate,” said Stenehjem.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: