A measure approved by the North Dakota House gives a fertilized human egg the legal rights of a human being, a step that would essentially ban abortion in the state.
The bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that extended abortion rights nationwide, supporters of the legislation said.
Representatives voted 51-41 to approve the measure Tuesday. It now moves to the North Dakota Senate for its review.
The bill declares that “any organism with the genome of homo sapiens” is a person protected by rights granted by the North Dakota Constitution and state laws.
The bill’s sponsor, Dan Ruby, is clearly talking out both sides of his mouth. Because while in the article linked above he takes pains to note that the bill does not explicitly and directly outlaw abortion, he notes in this article that outlawing abortion and directly challenging Roe is precisely the point of the bill’s chosen language.
For arguments about why granting full rights to fertilized eggs is not only a really bad idea on the basis of pro-choice and feminist beliefs, but also really stupid in a general sense too, see this post by Jill.
I would, however, just like to add that the language of this bill is also a direct challenge to contraception as well as abortion, since non-barrier methods of contraception are believed to maybe cause fertilized eggs to fail in attaching themselves the uterine wall. I’d also like to add that since that attachment to the uterine wall is the only real way that we are currently able to identify pregnancy, and therefore how we define it, this bill would also give these fertilized eggs rights from before the moment at which we are currently able to scientifically prove that they even exist. Just wrap your head around that one.
I haven’t found any information yet on specific actions that you can take if you’re in North Dakota to help to stop this bill before it gets any further. Once/if I do, I’ll post it at the time.
- Dear Rep. Franklin: I submit my used tampon as evidence. by Jill February 25, 2011
- North Dakota Senate Passes New Infantalizing Anti-Choice Legislation by Cara February 23, 2009
- I think it’s about time we started protecting the innocent, adorable spermies by Jill November 15, 2007
- More Ballot Updates: No on Prop 4 by Cara October 28, 2008
- South Carolina Tries to Further Restrict Abortion Access by Cara January 28, 2009