A national abortion rights group is challenging two North Dakota anti-abortion laws in federal court.
The Center for Reproductive Rights contends the two measures are unconstitutional.
One of the laws makes it illegal to get an abortion for sex selection, or if the fetus has a genetic abnormality. It’s the only law of its kind in the country.
The other law says a woman cannot get an abortion if her fetus has a detectable heartbeat. That can happen six weeks into a pregnancy.
The president of the Center for Reproductive Rights says federal courts have repeatedly ruled that states can’t ban abortions before a fetus is capable of living outside the womb. That is often defined as 24 weeks.
The two laws were the target of a failed referral campaign. Opponents of the laws circulated petitions to put the measures on North Dakota’s statewide ballot, but they weren’t able to get enough signatures to qualify for a vote. The deadline for turning in petitions fell at midnight Monday.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed its lawsuit in federal court in Bismarck on Tuesday.