Wednesday, February 18, 2009

North Dakota on Path to Challenge Roe v. Wade

A fertilized human egg has the same rights as a human being under a bill passed by House lawmakers on Tuesday, potentially setting the legal framework for a ban on abortion in North Dakota.

-- From "House OKs anti-abortion legislation" by Brian Duggan, Bismarck Tribune 2/18/09

Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot, sponsored the anti-abortion legislation, which passed 51-41, arguing that life begins at the moment of conception. The bill now moves on to the Senate for consideration.

Daniel Woodward of the North Dakota Life League, said if the bill ultimately becomes law it would make it easier to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade.

The bill also says the Legislature will appoint one of its members to defend the law if it faces any legal challenge.

-- From "‘Personhood’ Bill Advances in North Dakota" by Susan Jones, Senior Editor 2/18/09

On Tuesday, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill conferring equality and inherent constitutional rights on "all human beings from the beginning of their biological development, including the pre-born, partially born…"

The Personhood of Children Act passed on a 51-41 vote. It is considered a first step toward banning abortion in the state -- a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Dan Ruby (R-Minot), said the legislation does not automatically ban abortion. "This language is not as aggressive as the direct ban legislation that I've proposed in the past," Ruby said during House floor debate on Tuesday. "This is very simply defining when life begins, and giving that life some protections under our Constitution — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

The North Dakota Senate vote is expected to vote on the bill in the next two to three weeks.

Fifteen other states also are pursuing personhood legislation . . .

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