Us judge overturns 6-week abortion ban


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a North Dakota law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before many women know they’re pregnant.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who is based in Bismarck, said the law is “invalid and unconstitutional” and that it “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge.” The state attorney general said he was looking at whether to appeal the decision.

North Dakota is among several conservative states that have passed new abortion restrictions in recent years, but abortion rights supporters called North Dakota’s fetal heartbeat law the most restrictive in the country. A fetal heartbeat law passed in Arkansas would ban abortions at 12 weeks into pregnancy, but it was overturned by another federal judge. The state’s attorney general has said he will appeal.


“The United States Supreme Court has spoken and has unequivocally said no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability,” Hovland wrote in his ruling. “The controversy over a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion will never end. The issue is undoubtedly one of the most divisive of social issues. The United States Supreme Court will eventually weigh in on this emotionally-fraught issue but, until that occurs, this Court is obligated to uphold existing Supreme Court precedent.”

This goes back to one of the many problems with Roe v Wade and why it has to be overturned.

Why should viability be a factor as to why abortion should not be banned?

As I read somewhere, viability is a function of medical technology and technology is ever changing and is that is why some babies considered viable today were not considered viable 20 years ago. Viability is unrelated to personhood, life and humanity of babies which does not change whether a baby is viable outside the womb or not. As of 2014, babies have been born before the viability set by Roe v Wade, and survived.

Department of Perinatology and Gynecology at the University School of Medical Sciences in Poland says

… Viability exists as a function of biomedical and technological capacities, which are different in different parts of the world. As a consequence, there is, at the present time, no worldwide, uniform gestational age that defines viability. Viability is not an intrinsic property of the fetus because viability should be understood in terms of both biological and technological factors.


This is incredibly sad. Abortion needs to be completely and totally illegal.


Here in Colo. we are awaiting the decision on a SB175,which would make illegal any commonsense restrictions on abortion.Now that is a real contradiction in terms, as how can anything about abortion have one iota of rationale behind it?
Having said that,this bill is a push by Dems here to essentially enshrine the right to abortion into law to the extent that the gov’t cannot step n an interfere with the process no matter the circumstance:eek:
Our Archbishop lead a prayer rally outside the Capital yesterday,over 1.000 attendees,one of the senators is a Catholic,attends a local parish and is known to vote party line,I along with countless others have called her office,asking her to vote no as one. vote is all we need to defeat this bill.


The law being overturned is bad enough but the story reads it was one single judge and that certainly doesn’t seem to be proper when that happens.


We had our first scan at six weeks and I still remember the rapid heartbeats.


Yes, it does, but it seems whenever the pro-life group makes any legal head way, the other side goes ‘judge shopping’ and manages to find one that supports their cause and will rule in their favor…its truly sad, but the Fed Govt does the same thing, they go judge shopping when (and its rare), when one of their cases or lawsuits gets shot down, they seem to always find a judge somewhere to either appeal it or over rule another judge.


Are you talking about judicial activism? It seems to me that you are.

That said, I honestly think this news item is a clear example of judicial activism. I have a strong dislike for judicial activism myself.


No one can make the argument that a fetus is viable at only 6 weeks of gestation.


At the moment, you are correct. In fifty years, however, the situation may be different. If medical technology can sustain a 6 week old fetus, and if viability is the sole guideline, then it will be illegal to kill 6 week old human beings. What will have changed? It won’t be anything intrinsic to the human person. Rather, it will be that person’s environment. Most of us would agree that a person’s environment should not determine what human they are afforded (e.g. we would not say that a person born in an impoverished environment is more deserving of their human rights than a person born into a wealthier environment). Consequently, viability is not a proper determinant of one’s right to life.

In regards to the article, while the judiciary may be able to suppress the pro-life movement in the immediate future, it won’t last forever. If the pro-life movements keeps its momentum, then they’ll be the ultimate winners. One they hit a critical point, I suspect victory will come quickly. Just look at where advocacy was for homosexuality 20 years ago vs. today. Perhaps in 20 years the pro-life movement will achieve such popular, widespread appeal.


But why should viability be a factor as to why abortion should be legal? Who knows if sometime in the future some company could come out with a chamber that could keep babies alive that were born at 6 weeks and allow the baby to get the nutrients etc that it needs to grow until 9 months. Babies have already been born before the viability set by Roe v Wade and survived.


Yes. The argument about viability is ultimately a distraction. The real argument is much simpler: humanity, and innocent at that.


The Judge in question:

Hovland is a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota. Hovland was nominated by President George W. Bush on June 26, 2002, to a seat vacated by Patrick A. Conmy. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 14, 2002, and received his commission on November 26, 2002. He served as chief judge from 2002-2009.

I’m sure “judge shopping” happens but when one is talking about rather sparsely populated areas, then, I’m not so sure if this is the case.

Of course, there is an oil boom in ND right now, not sure of its effect. Perhaps a bit of a higher population but a lot of those going there are men.


It’s viable in its mother’s womb, which is where it needs to be.

And of course the neonatal intensive care unit is filled with ‘non-viable’ newborns. They can’t live on their own yet–that’s why they are in the NICU.




The decision was completely predictable as long as Roe v Wade remains a precedent, but pro-life laws still need to be passed in order to force reconsideration of one of the worst Supreme Court rulings ever. When I was still in school, Dred Scott was reigning champion for worst decision ever, but as bad as that was, Rowe v Wade was worse and has had worse consequences than the 500,000 Civil War deaths by orders of magnitude.

How can the dignity of the human person depend on the medical technology available at a particular place and time? If true, then the lives of third world people are of less value than first worlders, and colonization and enslavement of native peoples might be justified. How did that theory work out the other times it was followed?


You can’t be serious. Respecting 40 years of legal precedent from higher courts is about as far from activism as it gets. That’s the legal and ethical duty of judges. Upholding laws that violate explicit constitutional standards of the supreme court would be blatant activism. One of the most basic legal principles is respecting precedent.


I agree.As I sit her,right now,holding my three month old grandson,I have to wonder,how in the world we allow this slaughtering of innocents to continue.
Also,as I.contemplate our Lord’s Agony in the Garden,I can’t help but think of the pain that filled his Sacred Heart ,knowing the evil of abortion and all the millions of his children that would be lost to this act.:frowning:


Could you please show us where abortion is mentioned in the Constitution? Thank you.

Kind of like respecting the legal precedent of Slavery.


Excellent point.

I am always amused by these ‘Cafeteria Constitutionists’.

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