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MKB Management, Corp. v. Burdick II


The Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of the Red River Women’s Clinic challenging two North Dakota bills, HB 1456 and HB 1305. HB 1456 bans abortion after the fetal heartbeat can be detected with a vaginal ultrasound, which can happen as early as six weeks of pregnancy, two weeks after a woman’s first missed period. HB 1305 bans abortions for reasons of sex-selection and for “genetic abnormality.”


In July 2013, the district court preliminarily blocked enforcement of the heartbeat ban bill (HB 1456), finding it unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which protect a woman’s constitutional right to choose an abortion up to the point of fetal viability. Fetal viability occurs at approximately 24 weeks, well after the point at which a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks.

In September 2013, the district court granted Red River Clinic’s request that it dismiss the clinic’s challenge to HB 1305 without prejudice, meaning that Red River Clinic can revive the claim at a later date.