- The Washington Times - Monday, July 22, 2013

A U.S. District Court judge issued a temporary block on Monday to North Dakota’s new ban on abortions in cases where a heartbeat is detected in the fetus.

The new state law could have an impact on those who are as early as six weeks pregnant.

Judge Daniel Hovland in Bismarck called the law “clearly invalid and unconstitutional,” The Associated Press reported. He issued a temporary injunction that prevents the law from going into effect until at least Aug. 1.

“There is no question that [the law] is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restrains on abortion,” the judge wrote, AP reported. “[It] is clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law based on the United States Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade from 1973 … and the progeny of cases that have followed.”

The law cleared the Republican-controlled legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Jack Dalrymple earlier this year. The ban makes North Dakota one of the most restrictive in terms of abortion, AP reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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