October 29, 2014 / 7:51 PM / 4 years ago

North Dakota Supreme Court upholds restrictions on medication abortion

The Red River Women's Clinic is pictured in downtown Fargo, North Dakota in this file photo taken July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Dan Koeck/Files

(Reuters) - The North Dakota Supreme Court upheld on Tuesday a state law that restricts medication abortion, the non-surgical interruption of a pregnancy using drugs, saying it was constitutional.

The state’s highest court said three of its five members concluded the restrictions on medication abortion was unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution, but it would have taken a four-judge majority for the court to find the law unconstitutional.

The ruling reversed a district court judgment that had kept the state, which has some of the strictest abortion rules in the country, from enforcing the law.

Abortion-rights supporters said the law was effectively a ban on medication abortion.

“Today’s decision directly conflicts with courts across the U.S. that have rejected the idea that politicians have any place in the practice of medicine or in women’s deeply personal decisions about their pregnancies, their health, their families, and their future,” Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.

In April, a federal judge permanently blocked North Dakota from enforcing a separate abortion ban, on ending a pregnancy as early as six weeks after conception, once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

North Dakota’s only abortion clinic had challenged the law saying it would effectively ban nearly all abortions performed there and force it to close.

Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by Eric Beech

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