Federal Judge Blocks North Dakota Law Requiring Doctors To Tell Patients It Is Possible To Reverse Abortions

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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A federal judge blocked a North Dakota abortion law Tuesday requiring doctors to tell patients it is possible to reverse abortions.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland blocked the state of North Dakota from enforcing H.B. 1336 Tuesday, according to the Bismark Tribune, a bill signed by Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and passed in March. (RELATED: The American Medical Association Is Suing North Dakota Over ‘Scientifically Unsound’ Abortion Laws)

H.B. 1336 requires health care providers to tell women who wish to receive abortions “that it may be possible to reverse the effects of an abortion-inducing drug if she changes her mind, but time is of the essence” – a statement which opponents say forces doctors to lie to patients.

The American Medical Association filed a lawsuit on June 26 against North Dakota in collaboration with North Dakota’s last abortion clinic, Red River Women’s Clinic and the Center for Reproductive Rights, according to the Washington Post.

The organization said that doctors under North Dakota law would be forced to provide misinformation and scientifically unsound advice.

Hovland’s ruling sided with the AMA and with Red River Women’s Clinic and Center for Reproductive Rights, who had requested a preliminary injunction against the law.

The state of North Dakota had agreed not to enforce H.B. 1336 until the preliminary injunction request had been ruled on by a judge, according to the Bismark Tribune.

“The patient-physician relationship is the cornerstone of health care, and depends upon honest, open conversations about all of a patient’s health care options,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, according to a June AMA press release.

“North Dakota’s law undermines this relationship by requiring physicians to mislead and misinform their patients with messages that contradict reality and science. The AMA will always defend science and open conversations about all health care options available to patients.”

Both the AMA and Red River Women’s Clinic were also contesting an already existing provision that requires the doctor to tell patients that abortion will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

The plaintiffs claim this language is biased and “forces physicians to act as the mouthpiece of the state,” according to the WaPo.

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