Bill to Grant Legal Rights to Fetilized Eggs Passes North Dakota Senate, Heads for House

Reproductive rights advocates’ hopes were dashed as the North Dakota Senate passed a bill, by a tight vote of 24 to 23, that will grant legal rights to fertilized eggs. The bill will next be heard by the predominately anti-choice state House before heading to the Republican Governor. It would put into effect an immediate ban on abortion, many forms of birth control, and infertility treatment as soon as it is signed into law, as opposed to a separate measure which would allow voters to decide for themselves whether a so-called “personhood” law should be created in the state.

According to Parents Against Personhood, a website tracking personhood legislation attempts throughout the country, a similar bill passed the House with a 68 to 25 majority in 2011, making this year’s vote a near sure thing for anti-choice advocates. It’s a scenario that greatly worries some North Dakota physicians opposing the bill due to lack of exceptions, especially in the case where a pregnancy is doomed or could threaten the life of the person who is carrying it.

“SB 2303 will restrict a doctor’s ability to treat doomed pregnancies, putting women’s lives at risk, said Siri Fiebiger, a physician from Fargo who practices obstetrics and gynecology, in a written statement released by The North Dakota Coalition for Privacy in Health Care. “Ectopic pregnancies are and miscarriages can be life-threatening if not treated in a timely fashion. Complications during pregnancy should be managed by physicians according to the patient’s needs and values, without involvement by politicians. Health care providers will be confused by this law and they will fear litigation. It is impossible to legislate for every medical scenario.”

There is a strong possibility that a “personhood” ballot amendment in 2014 would have failed. Now, with a legislature bent on putting it into action, it will become law even against the desires of the voters on whom it will be imposed.

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  • Christopher Thomas

    I can’t wait for drug dealers to add abortion pills to their list of illegal wares, I mean, if you can’t get it legally, do you really think it would stop people from aborting unwanted babies? It’s not as if abortion wasn’t illegal in the past and people still had them

    in fact, in this respect, I would see drug dealers as a providing a community service to women.

    • Gretchen Robinson

      hundreds of women died of unsafe, back alley abortions, hemorrhaged to death or died of infections. Don’t say this so cavalierly.

      • Christopher Thomas

        I don’t remember drug dealers doing back alley abortions, although I’m not 100% sure of your analogy.

        there are risks to every “non-official” solution, the best solution would be for the insurance programs that women are paying for, to provide services women would require.

        but the republicans won’t allow that to happen, because access to female sexual health services means they cannot control women like cattle anymore.

  • Eden Murphy

    The bill states “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”- so have they added this exception “Except for pregnant women, who shall be denied medical care and die for our irrational ideology should her pregnancy become complicated or is found to be ectopic”? Inevitably there will be cases in which only one “life” can be saved choosing that of the zygote, as ND obviously has, will cause denial of medical treatment and blatant discrimination against one class of people, pregnant women.

    • nettwench14

      We know what the answer to that is – look what happened in Ireland, when the Hindu woman needed an abortion to save her life? Her life was not saved, and neither was the life of her child saved. the Catholic hospital would not perform the abortion she needed to save her life, and she AND her unborn child died. Is that what we are coming to in this country? This is BARBARIC! The religious Taliban have gone too far. I would bet that many women have no idea what is happening to their rights – their right to use birth control, and their right to use fertility treatments. Passing personhood laws takes these options away.

    • Maryanna Price

      They never seem to realize that it’s “fetus,” not “phoenix.” When a woman dies because of an ectopic pregnancy, an eight-pound, rosy-cheeked baby does not emerge from her belly-button.

  • nettwench14

    There is an article in the latest Time magazine about how abortion rights are being eroded in this country by state legislatures: “What Choice?”,9171,2132761,00.html

  • nettwench14

    This has got to be stopped. It’s an outrageous assault on women’s right to control their own bodies! The women’s movement has absolutely failed us in countering these blatant attacks on our OWN personhood. Nobody has the right to legislate medical procedures, but laws are being passed every day that do so. How is it constitutional in any way shape or form? This is not the will of the people, this is theocracy being imposed on ALL WOMEN in a country that is supposed to have separation of church and state. This really makes me so angry i am in tears! How COULD WE LET THIS HAPPEN? Why haven’t physicians tried to counter this by saying that there are no medical reasons for these restrictions? They are all based on evangelical Christian or hard-line Catholic religious beliefs, yet they make up pseudo-medical reasons to justify passing these restrictions. I am mad as hell about this. if we don’t start doing something, women will be second-class citizens in this country! This is 15% of the people in this country imposing their religious beliefs on the rest of us. What about the Agnostics, like me, or Atheists, like many others? What about our right to not live in a theocracy?

    • Jessica Ham

      Are you JUST NOW mad as hell about it? Because I’ve been mad as hell for over a YEAR now about these B.S. Personhood amendments that are being forced through the legislatures of states without the consent of those whom it will be enforced upon!!! Come on sister, join the ranks of our army!!! I’m sick of being pushed around by these folks and their sick, entitled sense of “morality”. Its got nothing to do with “morality” or these people would be screaming just as loudly for healthcare reform and widening of social programs, raising the minimum wage….but noooooooooo they don’t care a wit about actual PEOPLE, only fetuses.

  • Maryanna Price

    Hyde was the end of women’s right to control their bodies. Everything else since has been the natural consequence of finding “common ground” on women’s personhood. Any and all restrictions on abortion are sex-based hate crimes.

  • Denis Freeland

    This law, if passed, would be rejected as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. There is a principle that a law that “has the effect of” denying a right guaranteed by the constiitution, is unconstitutional.

    The principle was estabiished as long ago as 1819 (in McCulloch v. Maryland ), and reaffirmed as recently as 2008 (District of Columbia v. Heller, thank you for your obiter Scalia).

    Thus a Supreme Court challenge does not even have to addresss the issue of abortion law itself, merely the attempt to deny a right that has already been established (Roe v Wade).

    • Jessica Ham

      And these morons don’t even understand the Roe v. Wade case at all or they would realize that this personhood issue is a moot one and a massive waste of the state’s time and money. Roe v Wade is about body autonomy, not specifically abortion. It states the government does not own or control your organs and body fluids. It CANNOT force you to donate organs or body fluids against your will, even if denying the other individual in need will cost them their life. So, it doesn’t MATTER to the Supreme Court if that embryo is a person or not, they still don’t have the right to demand usage of your body’s organs or fluids against your consent. Otherwise, forced organ donations would also be perfectly acceptable along with forced blood donation, sperm donation, bone marrow…..and no one wants that AT ALL. The government can’t say to me “Hey you, your a match for this guy who needs a kidney, you only need one and he’s gonna die so gimmie”. End of story. So yeah, Personhood for fertilized eggs is a massive waste of their time.

    • nettwench14

      It doesn’t matter if the Supreme Court decides the law is unconstitutional, the point is that these laws ARE BEING PASSED in many states, not just regarding Personhood, but forcing women to get ultrasounds before having abortions, forcing waiting periods before abortions, passing all kinds of arcane regulations aimed at making it difficult for abortion clinics to do business. These things have become LAW in may conservative states. Please read the Time magazine article on this to get the overview – I have linked to it in a previous post on this same page. Now this just TODAY:

      “The Indiana state Senate on Wednesday advanced a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound procedure both before and after having a medication-induced abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy.”

  • Pingback: Confronting Abortion Stigma - RH Reality Check()

  • Mandy

    Can women claim fertilized eggs on their taxes then? If a mother dies from complications during pregnancy does that newborn get jailed for accidental murder and grow up in prison? Does a pregnant woman’s vote count twice?! These idiots aren’t thinking this shit through at all. You CANNOT have two entitiies in one body both with equal rights. One will ALWAYS superceed the other. Simple as that.