A federal judge has blocked North Dakota’s new abortion law, which could have banned the procedure as early as six weeks. The judge blocked the law after the state’s only abortion clinic filed a lawsuit saying the law places women in danger. If the clinic is forced to stop performing abortions, the nearest alternative would be about 250 miles away. North Dakota’s law, which banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, is the strictest of several similar laws passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures this year. Arkansas’s ban on abortions after 12 weeks was also temporarily blocked by a federal judge.