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Legal challenges begin against North Dakota’s draconian abortion laws

North Dakota's last remaining abortion clinic has filed a suit challenging a law that requires doctors who perform abortions to obtain hospital-admitting privileges, the first in a series of legal challenges reproductive rights advocates have promised to wage against the state's draconian abortion restrictions.

The Red River Women's Clinic argues in the suit that the law could make abortion impossible to access in the state, effectively banning it.

President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights Nancy Northup, a co-sponsor of the suit, said in a statement on Wednesday that the law is a dangerous barrier to safe abortion care that could jeopardize women's health: "With their relentless campaign to end safe and legal abortion in North Dakota, lawmakers have effectively told the women of their state, 'We don't care about your health, we don't care about your safety, and we sure don't care about your constitutional and human rights.'"

As the Associated Press notes, the requirements mandated by the law, set to take effect on August 1, are almost impossible for the state's last remaining clinic to comply with: "Opponents of the measure say it's impossible for abortion doctors in North Dakota to meet the minimum number of hospital visits required for because the procedure is safe and women rarely need further care."

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