N. Dakota challenges judge’s reasoning for blocking abortion ban

FARGO, ND (AP) — The North Dakota Attorney General’s Office said Monday that a judge failed to use “rational mental process” when he determined that there was a “substantial likelihood” that a constitutional challenge to the state’s abortion ban would succeed .

The state argued in a filing that South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick erred in preventing the ban from going into effect before a lawsuit filed by North Dakota’s only abortion clinic was settled. Attorneys for the Red River Women’s Clinic, which has already moved its services from Fargo to neighboring Moorhead, Minnesota, counter that Romanick properly considered the arguments and should not be overturned.

The state Supreme Court has scheduled hearings next week on whether Romanick’s injunction should stand.

Attorney General Drew Wrigley and his attorneys said in a 20-page statement that Romanick made a mistake when he said there was no “clear and obvious” answer as to whether the state’s constitution prohibits abortion and that the case should therefore proceed should. To determine whether the outcome is in favor of the clinic, Romanick must first establish that there is a constitutional right to have an abortion, Wrigley said.