The right to have an abortion seems to be constantly under attack in America, and they’ve just won another victory in North Dakota.
Senate Bill 2303, which recognized that fertilized eggs had “full legal rights”, wriggled through the house by the narrowest of margins – one vote.
The bill will now be sent to the predominantly pro-life state representatives for a vote, and then presumably passed to Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota’s Governor, for his signature. As a Republican, it’s doubtful that he’d veto it.
What does this mean to the people of North Dakota? That performing or receiving an abortion of any kind – even taking the Morning After Pill or having an IUD fitted – could potentially be classed as a felony. The bill specifically defines a person as “a human being at all stages” which would also mean destroying fertilized eggs during fertility treatment could, likewise, be classified as murder.
Inevitably, any new law restricting access to abortion will face legal challenges, and the landmark ruling of Roe vs. Wade will likely stand and force the courts to overturn this law. But in the mean-time, it further limits a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion in North Dakota, and is likely to encourage even more aggressive attempts by pro-life lawmakers throughout the states to end abortion.
Making matters worse, the North Dakota senate also passed a seemingly redundant bill making it a crime to perform abortions later than 20 weeks (far shorter than the existing limit of 25 weeks). The logic behind passing a bill to merely limit abortion while you simultaneously pass a bill to criminalize it outright might be lost on me, but it’s a powerful one-two punch to the pro-choice movement.
What impact do you think these bills will have on the abortion debate?