Applaud Judge for Overturning Ban on Medical Abortion


Target: Judge Wickham Corwin

Goal: Commend North Dakota judge for overturning problematic and harmful ban on two drugs used for medical abortions

A North Dakota judge recently struck down a ban on medical abortions in the state. The overturned 2011 state law criminalized two drugs used in medical abortions. East Central Judge Wickham Corwin ruled that the ban was “simply wrongheaded” and in violation of North Dakota law and the U.S. Constitution. According to Judge Corwin, “no compelling state interest justifies” the ban.

Further, he rightfully criticized Dr. Donna Harrison, president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Harrison served as an expert witness for the defense, and Judge Corwin wrote that her opinions lacked scientific support and were based on groundless concerns that had little to do with medical evidence.

This decision is a major victory for North Dakota’s reproductive rights movement. The state’s only abortion clinic, the Red River Women’s Clinic, significantly benefits from the lifting of the ban. Medical abortions make up about 25 percent of abortions in the first nine weeks and are considered very safe and effective means of abortion. The ban made medical abortion inaccessible in North Dakota, forcing women seeking an abortion to undergo surgery even when the procedure could pose complications.

The state of North Dakota has spent $52,000 trying to defend the ban. Sign the petition below to tell Judge Wickham Corwin he made the right decision when overturning the law. In doing so, Judge Corwin has advanced reproductive justice for women in North Dakota. There’s still more progress to be made in the state, but this ruling is a step in the right direction.


Dear Judge Wickham Corwin,

Your recent ruling that overturned North Dakota’s controversial ban on the two drugs used for medical abortions significantly advances the reproductive justice movement in your state. By banning these drugs, the state was effectively taking away the reproductive and constitutional rights of women in North Dakota.

Medical abortions are proven to be safe and effective. The state has invested much money in defending the ban, and biased experts were used in the trial who failed to focus on actual medical evidence. Thankfully, you were able to discern the lack of scientific support for such a ban.

I urge you to continue to make decisions in court that will benefit the women of North Dakota. With the ban now removed, women seeking abortion have the option of undergoing a medical abortion in the event that they do not wish to undergo surgery or if surgery is not a medically viable option for them. This is a huge milestone for women’s health in your state.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: via Flickr

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51 Signatures

  • jeff hopkins
  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • Mal Gaff
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Holly Hall
  • Terrie Phenicie
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  • Marianne Oelman
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