NEWSFLASH: North Dakota Lawmakers Pass Personhood Measure

NDNorth Dakota’s state insect is the lady bug, but right now the state is just bugging ladies (let alone everyone who cares about women’s rights).

On Friday, North Dakota’s legislature approved a measure that would define life as starting at conception, giving personhood to fertilized eggs in the state Constitution. It’s  the first time a personhood measure has passed in a state legislature. The North Dakota House approved the measure in a 75-35 vote (it had already been approved by the state Senate), and it will now go to voters as a referendum in November 2014,  If it goes into effect, the measure would effectively ban all abortions in the state.

Another measure passed by the state House on Friday is a bill that would require abortion clinic physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. This particular measure is obviously designed to shut down the state’s only abortion clinic in Fargo, and is commonly known as a TRAP law. It now goes to Gov. Jack Dalrymple for his signature (or veto).

On top of these bills, the North Dakota House narrowly pushed down another Senate-approved bill that would have prohibited the intentional destruction of embryos, the goal being to block stem-cell research.

“Planned Parenthood will continue to fight these legislative attacks on women’s health in partnership with a broad coalition of doctors, patients, teachers, lawyers and other concerned North Dakotans who do not want to see politicians inserting themselves into the private medical decision-making of women and families in our state,” said Sarah Stoesz, the head of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.

EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock hopes North Dakota voters will see through this attack on Roe v. Wade and reject it.

I am outraged that North Dakota women’s rights and personal health are under attack by extreme politicians. Not only is the personhood bill extraordinarily dangerous, it’s unconstitutional.

 Photo of North Dakota state capitol in Bismarck by jimbowen0306 via Creative Commons 2.0.


  1. anncy göranson says:

    Yes, more unwanted children whose parents can´t afford to feed, clothe and house them is exactly what the world needs. But I am sure YOU lawmakers will take them in och care for them. And when desperate women die in back alley abortions it´s not YOUR fault, just one of these things, no blood on YOUR hands of course. One cell, eventually split into two, is worth a woman´s whole future or her very life. YOU make me sick, YOU´RE despicable and apalling. I hate YOU!

  2. “I am outraged that North Dakota women’s rights and personal health are under attack by extreme politicians. Not only is the personhood bill extraordinarily dangerous, it’s unconstitutional.”

    I couldn’t agree more with Stephanie Schriock’s statement. The Republican War on Women and women’s reproductive rights is spreading at an alarming rate, primarily in states run by Republican governors. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I live in VA, which is one of the battleground states, and Gov. McDonnell is one of the most anti-choice extremists this state has ever had the bad luck to be stuck with. I hope to see this guy voted out of office in 2014 and the rest of the anti-choice governors in other states voted out of their offices as well.

  3. Sorry, I wanted to add one more thing. Another area that all pro-choice women need to be deeply concerned about is the efforts of religious extremists to chip away at access to reliable contraception as well as abortion. Apparently, there are still many religious conservatives who believe that “contraception poisons the love between husband and wife,” or something equally ridiculous.

    The alarming thing is that many of these conservative folks serve on our school boards…and in the Congress and Senate. These anti-contraception groups need to be closely monitored as well, since I have no doubt at all that they would restrict contraception as much as they possibly could, even on women like me, who want no part of their so-called “family values.”

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