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Weil Assists with Challenge to North Dakota’s Restriction on Reproductive Rights

State Court Holds Challenged Provisions Barred by North Dakota’s State Constitution
A Weil Pro Bono team, partnering with the Center for Reproductive Rights, represented the Red River Women’s Clinic in its successful challenge to the constitutionality of an amendment to North Dakota’s Abortion Control Act that would have effectively banned the provision of medication abortion in the state of North Dakota.

The focus of North Dakota’s House Bill 1297, signed into law in 2011, was the protocol involved in the administration of one of the two drugs used in medication abortions. The bill would have required a return visit to the clinic for the second drug, which could have jeopardized the health of women, as well as significantly increased the cost of the procedure. North Dakota state court district Judge Wickham Corwin granted a preliminary injunction in 2011 enjoining the law from going into effect pending the outcome of challenges to the amendment.

Following a three-day trial in early April 2013, Judge Corwin ruled from the bench that all challenged provisions of the law are unconstitutional under the North Dakota constitution, holding that a woman’s reproductive rights under the state constitution must be protected and recognized as fundamental. Judge Corwin indicated that he will issue a written opinion at a later date.

The Weil team included partner Jared Bobrow and associates Carmen Bremer, Margaret Allen, Amy Reed, and Brandon Fuqua.