Target: Judge Wickham Corwin
Goal: Commend Judge Corwin for protecting women’s right to choose in North Dakota
In 1973, the US Supreme Court legalized abortion in its decision in the landmark case known as Roe vs. Wade. On July 15th, 2003, North Dakota state judge Wickham Corwin struck down a 2011 law that outlawed one of two drugs that induced abortions because it violated both the state and US constitutions. He also granted an injunction that would forbid the law to come into effect. North Dakota has only one functioning abortion clinic. Judge Corwin’s decision ensured that abortion rights would not be further restricted this state – the one with the most stringent restrictions on a woman’s right to choose.
A three-day trial took place in April of 2013 in which the state’s only abortion clinic, along with the Center for Reproductive rights, argued that the 2011 law would essentially eradicate the non-surgical procedure and restrict abortion rights. The presiding judge agreed and said that the state interest does not justify this transgression. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem promised to appeal this case to the North Dakota Supreme Court because the Supreme Court has never dealt with this issue regarding abortion rights.
Judge Corwin combined a lawsuit against the 2011 law with another lawsuit that vehemently objects to a newer requirement for abortion doctors to get hospital permission in order to perform an abortion. Both the 2011 law and the 2013 measure raise the same legal questions, although state attorneys have expressed that the laws are in fact distinct. Four other laws were passed this year by a Republican-dominated legislature and Governor Jack Dalrymple that made North Dakota the worst state in the US for womens’ rights. Pro-life proponents are seeking to close the one abortion clinic and challenge Roe vs. Wade. The Center for Reproductive Rights took issue with this and filed a federal lawsuit in June of 2013 to strike down the law that would ban abortions six weeks of a pregnancy when a heartbeat of the unborn child could be detected. Additionally, this lawsuit also challenges the law that would make it illegal for women who are pregnant with a fetus with a detected genetic defect called Down Syndrome. These heinous attacks on women’s right to choose through the law must be stopped, and it is abhorrent that North Dakota has blatantly violated the US Constitution and the rights it bestows upon women in preserving autonomy over their own bodies.
Please sign this petition to commend Judge Corbin for striking down this 2011 law that would restrict abortion rights in North Dakota and issuing an injunction that would prevent this blatant violation of both the state and federal constitutions. The recent trend of attacking women’s reproductive rights in conservative states infringes on a woman’s right to choose enshrined in the US Constitution. His decision will help preserve the reproductive rights of women in a state that has very limited options with regards to a woman’s right to choose.
Dear Judge Wickham Corwin,
We would like to commend you for your fair decision on Monday July 15 2013 that struck down a law that would make it illegal to distribute one of two abortifacients in light of the other restrictive laws the legislature and governor have recently passed. This law would essentially further restrict abortion rights in a state that has proven to the country to be the most stringent opponent to women’s right to choose. We commend you for your decision and hope that it influences other legislatures nationally.
Roe vs. Wade legalized a woman’s right to an abortion in 1973. Despite this reality, many conservative state legislatures continue to deny women’s access to reproductive health. North Dakota has become the site of the most oppressive attacks on women’s right to choose. Please commend state judge Wickham Corwin for his efforts to follow the law and the Constitution and join the fight against those seeking to infringe on women’s legal right to choose.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: thinkprogress.org