North Dakota Set to Effectively Outlaw Abortion
A bill that would give human fetuses and fertilized eggs human rights has passed the North Dakota legislature and is set to be signed by Republican Governor Dalrymple:
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota lawmakers moved Friday to outlaw abortion in the state by passing a bill defining life as starting at conception.
The bill is one of a series of anti-abortion measures the Republican-controlled Legislature has passed this year despite critics’ insistence that they are unconstitutional and violate the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion until a fetus considered viable, which is usually at 22 to 24 weeks.
The North Dakota House approved the bill 57-35 Friday, sending it to the Republican governor, who has not yet said whether he will sign or veto it. The Senate approved it last month.
The so-called personhood measure bestows human rights on fertilized human eggs. Efforts to pass similar measures in other states have failed, but anti-abortion legislation has had strong momentum in North Dakota this year with lawmakers introducing a slew of measures aimed at closing the state’s sole abortion clinic in Fargo and challenging Roe v. Wade.
North Dakota is a generally conservative, rural state so this vote is unsurprising but North Dakota here is taking the strongest stance against abortion and for life in the country. Coupled with Senator Paul’s recent life at conception bill (his muddling of the issue notwithstanding), pro-life legislation has seen some real publicity lately.
If Gov. Dalrymple signs the bill, lawsuits against the state are virtually guaranteed, but the state is flush with cash and and likely undeterred by the costs. However, the state’s case may be weak when put up against the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade.