There are three bills nearing a vote in the ND Senate which would define fertilized eggs as humans. The bills are SCR 4009, SB 2302 and SB 2303. These bills go much too far. The consequences of these bills are shocking. I urge you to contact your Senator to oppose these bills. The Senate is likely to vote on them next Wednesday, February 6.
Contact your State Senator TODAY and ask them to vote NO on SB 2302, SB 2303 and SCR 4009. Find your legislators here.
I’ve attached testimony from Rebecca Matthews who shared her traumatic story in the committee hearing on these issues. Bills like these severely impact such difficult pregnancies like Becky’s.
Similar bills have been on the ballot in a few states and they fail miserably.
What Impact Would it Have?
Personhood legislation has broad-reaching, negative impact, including the following:
Fertility Treatments Banned: Personhood would make it difficult for an infertile couple to build a family through in vitro fertilization (IVF) since fertilized eggs would have full legal rights. It would also impact cancer patients' fertilization preservation efforts.
Pregnancy Care and Reproductive Health in Jeopardy: Personhood puts women’s lives and health at risk. It would make it difficult for doctors to help women with life-threatening ectopic pregnancies and incomplete miscarriages. It would also ban some forms of birth control.
Miscarriage Becomes a Crime: A woman who miscarries would be subject to criminal charges of homicide, manslaughter or reckless endangerment since the nature of the pregnancy loss would be questioned.
Rape Victims Must Carry Pregnancies: Personhood laws would ban all abortion, regardless of circumstances. Victims of rape and incest would be prohibited from terminating a pregnancy that resulted from sexual violence.
Infringe on Religious Freedom: Not every religion believes that life begins at conception. For example, in the Jewish faith, people believe life begins at birth. Personhood laws would force one religious view onto all citizens through law.
Stem Cell Research: Personhood would ban stem cell research, impacting scientific research.
Legal Questions: Personhood laws would prompt questions about how we do our census, how inheritance laws work, and all laws referring to a person, resulting in costly reviews and changes.
Costly Fight: Personhood will cost North Dakota taxpayers $1.7-4 million to defend it, as it will be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court. (Source: American Civil Liberties Union, based on costs of litigating laws that affect reproductive rights in other states.)
Extreme Law Would get National Media Attention: If North Dakota becomes the first state in the U.S. to pass personhood legislation, we would get significant national media attention due to all the news in the last year dealing with extreme abortion views.
Unlikely to Stick: If a personhood law passes in North Dakota, it would be legally challenged and litigated up to the Supreme Court level. Yet, the state’s defense would likely still be unsuccessful. In October 2012 the Supreme Court declined to hear a case on personhood, leaving in place a lower court’s decision that found that a personhood measure in Oklahoma would violate the Constitution.
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Hearing of interest next week:
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