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 us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. 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: