North Dakota lawmakers consider banning abortions
'Personhood' measures ban abortions by defining human life beginning with conception
North Dakota lawmakers are considering banning all abortions within the state. This latest move is in reaction to "personhood" measures, which have gained traction within the state. "Personhood" defines life as beginning at conception. Two such measures were passed there last month.
'Personhood' defines life as beginning at conception. Two such measures were passed there last month.
Fargo infertility specialist Dr. Stephanie Dahl says that the personhood measures could ban in vitro fertilization and force doctors to leave the state rather than face health care restrictions or possible criminal penalties.
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, involves mixing egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and transferring resulting embryos into the womb.
"This is something that would affect the patient and doctor relationship," Dahl said at a news conference. "That's somewhere we want to keep the government out of."
One of the key players in the anti-abortion campaign, state Sen. Margaret Sitte, a Republican from Bismarck, said she was "floored" by the assertions about limitations on in vitro fertilization. She said the proposals allow exceptions for the "screening, collecting, preparing, transferring, or cryo-preserving a human being created through in vitro fertilization for the purpose of being transferred to a human uterus." Sitte said that clause was crafted with Dahl's help.
One such medico, Dr. Steffen Christensen, who founded an in vitro fertilization clinic in Fargo 19 years ago, says he can't put himself or his workers at risk of legal action.
"The concern is that this is criminal negligence if anything should happen to an embryo," he said.
An attorney for Personhood USA, Gualberto Garcia Jones, noted that two doctors in the Senate - Fargo Republican Spencer Berry and Bismarck Republican Ralph Kilzer - voted for the proposals. "Clearly they would not vote to criminalize themselves," Jones said in a phone interview.
Opponents also say that the North Dakota Medical Association is against the bill and a group of 26 students from the University of North Dakota medical school signed a letter to the state Senate against it.
North Dakota is one of several states with Republican-controlled Legislatures and GOP governors. The state has gone much further than any other in challenging the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision that legalized abortion.
The Legislature sent Gov. Jack Dalrymple last week two of the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. One bans abortions as early as six weeks in a pregnancy, on the basis of genetic defects such as Down syndrome. Abortion-rights activists have vowed to fight the measures in court.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Personhood, North Dakota, abortion, in vitro fertilization
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Politics & Policy News
- FBI admits to using drones on U.S. soil. What's next armed drones?
- The New Golden Calf and the Women of a New Babylon. America and Kardashian - Where's the outrage?
- Supreme Court: No, you can't ask for proof of citizenship for voter registration
- What happens when the Culture of Surveillance meets the Culture of Corruption?
- Obama tells Charlie Rose Americans are uninformed on NSA program. So why doesn't he inform us?
- Bombshell: Low-level NSA agents can wiretap anyone, even the president, sans warrant
- PRISM precursor programs sparked concerns, potential resignations under Bush
- Facebook, Microsoft reveal number of government requests for your info, but no details
- Whistle-blower Snowden says Obama can still save face after PRISM debacle
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?