July 28, 2022
On July 27, 2022, a judge in the South Central Judicial District of North Dakota granted Weil pro bono client Red River Women’s Clinic’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO), blocking North Dakota’s trigger ban, which was otherwise due to take effect on July 28, 2022. The ban, if it had gone into effect, would have immediately prohibited nearly all abortions in the state and imposed a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine on abortion providers. Now that the TRO has been granted, abortion care will continue for the time being at Red River Women's Clinic, the only abortion clinic in North Dakota.
In granting the motion filed by Weil and its co-counsel, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Tom Dickson or Dickson Law Office, the judge agreed with the plaintiffs that the North Dakota Attorney General prematurely certified to the North Dakota legislative council that the Supreme Court issued a judgment overturning Roe v. Wade. Although the opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade, was published on June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court’s judgment in the case was not issued until July 26, 2022, a distinction that rendered the attorney general’s certification invalid.
Meetra Mehdizadeh, Staff Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights and Weil’s co-counsel in the case, said, "We're relieved that a North Dakota state court has blocked its devastating trigger ban for now. If allowed to go into effect, this near-total abortion ban would close the state's sole abortion clinic, leaving North Dakotans with no clinic within the state to turn for essential health care. We will do everything in our power to fight this ban and keep abortion accessible in North Dakota for as long as possible."
The Weil team includes Litigation counsel Lauren Bernstein and associates Colin McGrath, Ali Olsewski, Naz Akyol, Alex Blankman, Casey D’Alesandro, Liz Grefrath and Lauren Kelly in New York, and is led by Litigation partners Luna Barrington, Todd Larson and Caroline Zalka in New York.