Personhood Bill Lays Egg in North Dakota Senate

Wendy Norris

Anti-abortion activists who rallied behind Colorado’s Amendment 48 last year came up with another big goose egg Friday when the North Dakota Senate rejected a “personhood” bill that sought to confer constitutional rights to zygotes.

Out-of-state
anti-abortion activists who rallied behind Colorado’s Amendment 48 last
year came up with another big goose egg Friday when the North Dakota Senate rejected a “personhood” bill that sought to confer constitutional rights to zygotes.

But reproductive rights advocates aren’t cheering Roughrider State lawmakers just yet.

Senators voted 29-16, without debate, to kill the anti-abortion bill which passed the North Dakota House Feb. 17.

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Opponents counter that contraception, in-vitro fertilization and
stem-cell research would be threatened, and miscarriages could be
prosecuted if legal recognition of fertilized eggs were upheld.

The controversial bill was backed by Personhood USA, which dubs
itself “missionaries to the preborn.” The duo behind the nascent
national movement to push due-process rights for fertilized eggs got
their start carpetbagging in Colorado on the Amendment 48 campaign.

Keith Mason, from Wichita, Kan., and Cal Zastrow of Kawkawlin,
Mich., have turned anti-abortion activism into a personal cottage
industry — providing one more example of how Colorado’s broken ballot system has become an incubator for ideologically-driven political causes.

Though the measure failed miserably by a 3-to-1 margin, the group is taking its lessons learned on the road. Thus far, Personhood USA has been thwarted in Montana and now North Dakota, which has been ground zero for anti-abortion activism.

Meanwhile, the state lawmakers in Bismark approved two anti-abortion
bills — that also attempt to advance the personification of fetuses —
to send to Republican Gov. John Hoeven that are quite likely to be
challenged in court, each for their own stark Fourth Amendment violation against unreasonable search and seizures, notwithstanding the thorny ethical dilemma.

One proposed law requires abortion clinics to offer a fetal
ultrasound to women considering abortion. The second requires health
care providers to tell women seeking an abortion that terminating her
pregnancy would end a human life.

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