Abortion clinic, activists file federal lawsuit against North Dakota's new abortion limits

  • Updated: June 26, 2013 - 11:55 PM
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FILE - In this March 25, 2013, file photo Kris Kitko, left, leads chants of protest at an abortion-rights rally at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. Abortion-rights advocates filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday, June 25, 2013, in Bismarck, N.D., challenging two new North Dakota laws that impose the nation's toughest abortion restrictions.

Photo: James Macpherson, Associated Press - Ap

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BISMARCK, N.D. — Abortion-rights advocates have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging two new North Dakota laws that impose the nation's toughest abortion restrictions.

The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights is representing the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo in the lawsuit filed Tuesday. It seeks to block a measure that would ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat can first be detected. The lawsuit also is challenging another new law that would prohibit women from having an abortion because a fetus has a genetic defect, such as Down syndrome.

Abortion-rights activists say the laws are unconstitutional.

North Dakota lawmakers already have set aside $400,000 for the legal fight promised by abortion-rights activists.

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