A federal judge has temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The measure would outlaw abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before some women know they are pregnant.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland granted the injunction Monday that prevents the law from taking effect Aug. 1.
"There is no question that [the North Dakota law] is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restraints on abortion," Hovland wrote. "[It] is clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law based on the United States Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade from 1973...and the progeny of cases that have followed."
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Fargo's Red River Women's Clinic, filed the lawsuit after the law was passed this year by the North Dakota legislature.