In an argument before the North Dakota Supreme Court on Wednesday, the Red River Women’s Clinic will ask the State Supreme Court to affirm a lower court ruling rejecting the plaintiff’s abortion-breast cancer scare tactic. The plaintiff, Amy Jo Kjolsrud (née Mattson), sued the clinic in 2001 under North Dakota’s false advertising law for distributing brochures that accurately discredited a link between abortion and breast cancer. A lower court judge rejected her claims in 2002, ruling in favor of the Red River Women’s Clinic. Kjolsrud appealed the trial court’s decision to the North Dakota Supreme Court.
“The nation’s leading cancer organizations, including the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, have concluded there is no established link between breast cancer and abortion,” said Linda Rosenthal, staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights and lead counsel for the defendants. “This appeal is simply another attempt to harass abortion providers and intimidate women seeking abortions.”
At Wednesday’s argument, the Center for Reproductive Rights will argue that the trial court correctly decided that the clinic’s brochures were truthful and not misleading, and that the clinic reasonably relied upon the findings of cancer experts when preparing the brochures. In addition, the Center will argue that the plaintiff, who did not read the clinic’s brochure until after she filed her case, does not have standing to bring the case before the Court. Kjolsrud had never been a patient at the clinic, instead, she had protested outside of the clinic, and distributed pamphlets that attempted to scare women from obtaining abortions.
Efforts to falsely link abortion and breast cancer have been part of a campaign by anti-choice activists to frighten women away from choosing abortion. The consensus of the scientific community is that induced abortion does not increase the risk of breast cancer.
WHAT: North Dakota Supreme Court Argument on Abortion-Breast Cancer Scare Tactic
WHEN: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 at 10:45 A.M.
WHERE: 600 East Boulevard Ave, Brynhild Haugland Room, Bismarck, ND