North Dakota’s Catholic bishops are calling Judge Wickham Corwin’s ruling on the state’s requirements for the use of abortion drugs a “serious error.” In a statement by Bishop David D. Kagan of Bismarck and Bishop John T. Folda of Fargo, the bishops point out that Judge Corwin has declared that the North Dakota state constitution contains a right to abortion that is more expansive than that recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court.
As a result, the opinion could put all of the state’s laws on abortion in jeopardy, including its parental consent laws, health and safety requirements, and conscience protection.
The statement follows:
Yesterday’s ruling should cause great concern among the state’s Catholics, and indeed all North Dakotans.
A lone judge sitting in Fargo has declared that the North Dakota Constitution makes abortion a “fundamental” right subject to practically no limitations. In fact, the right “found” by Judge Wickham Corwin is more expansive than that used by the U.S. Supreme Court.
As a result, this case is not just about drug-induced abortions. At stake from this ruling are all of the state’s pro-life and pro-women laws, such as parental notification, health and safety requirements, and conscience protection for health care providers.
We are pleased to learn that the Attorney General intends to appeal this decision to the North Dakota Supreme Court. This serious error must be corrected, whether it be through additional litigation or legislative action.
Finally, we call on all Catholics and people of good will to pray for corrective measures and for the women and children hurt by this decision.