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Abortion Rights Attorney Compares Recent Victory in North Dakota to Texas Law

David Martin Davies
TPR News

The lead attorney for abortion rights supporters in North Dakota says the recent ruling in that state’s abortion fight is similar to what is likely to happen in Texas.  

On Monday, the U.S. District Court  in North Dakota announced it was blocking a recently passed law in that state that banned abortion after six weeks when doctors could detect a fetal heartbeat.  Janet Crepps, the lead attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, is one of the people who built the case in North Dakota.  She says U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled that states cannot ban abortion before viability, which 24-weeks.

“The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals looked at an Arizona law that also banned abortion after 20-weeks," Crepps said, "[they] said this violates clear rules that have been established by the Supreme Court, which are that states can’t ban abortion prior to viability.  So there should be no difference if the challenge was brought to the Texas 20-week ban.”

Crepps said Hovland went beyond the six-week ban, which she said should be similar to how the courts rule in Texas once a lawsuit is filed.

Crepps continued, “interestingly he also cited a couple of laws from other states that require doctors to obtain privileges which is part of what is going on with the Texas law.” 

Crepps said those ambulatory-surgical requirements and mandating admitting privileges for abortion doctors creates the same effect, which is to restrict abortions by limiting the number of clinics. 

“He’s recognizing that where a law is really going to block women from obtaining abortions either because it makes them illegal or because it puts unnecessary restrictions on providers that cause them to stop providing abortion services, you still get to the same place."

An announcement about a lawsuit in Texas is expected early this fall. 

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.