Huffpost Politics

North Dakota Appeals Federal Judge's Ruling That Overturned State's 6-Week Abortion Ban

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NORTH DAKOTA CAPITOL BUILDING
Photo taken August 18, 2013 shows the state Capitol building of North Dakota at Bismarck. AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images) | KAREN BLEIER via Getty Images

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is appealing a federal judge's ruling that overturned a state law banning abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled last month that the law is "invalid and unconstitutional" and that it "cannot withstand a constitutional challenge."

The state filed its appeal Wednesday.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says Hovland's ruling was not unexpected. He says "the Legislature passed the law in hopes that a higher court would revisit the issue."

The state's only abortion clinic in Fargo filed a lawsuit in July against the measure that would ban abortions before many women know they're even pregnant.

More than 60 North Dakota lawmakers urged Stenehjem to appeal the federal judge's decision.

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