North Dakota Lawmakers: Life Begins at Conception
On Friday the North Dakota state House passed the first personhood amendment in the United States, marking the first time in U.S. history that a legislative body has approved a personhood amendment in both the House and the Senate. The historic vote, 57-35, allows the amendment to be referred to North Dakota citizens for a vote.
According to SCR 4009, “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”
Heraldonline.com reports that the amendment was written to ensure that both mother and baby are treated as medical patients, that medical care is not inhibited, and that fertility treatments are not banned.
LifeSiteNews.com reports that every major pro-life organization in North Dakota has supported SCR 4009.
“The North Dakota legislature has taken historic strides to protect every human being in the state, paving the way for human rights nationwide,” said Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA.
This amendment strikes the balance of accomplishing more for the unborn than any other amendment the nation has ever seen, while protecting pregnant women and their right to true medical care. We applaud the North Dakota House and Senate for their willingness to protect all of the people in their state.
“The North Dakota personhood amendment takes the pro-life plank of the GOP platform and puts it into practice,” said Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., legal analyst for Personhood USA. “Furthermore, it allows the legislature the needed flexibility to implement the specific protections of the right to life through future legislation.”
The state House also passed two other pro-life bills, one that demands that abortion doctors have admitting privileges to hospitals (SB 2305), and another that places a ban on abortions past 20 weeks and also bans taxpayer funding from going to organizations that provide abortions (SB 2368).
Last week, the state legislature also passed a “heartbeat bill,” which could ban abortions as early as six weeks, and a ban on abortions for genetic conditions such as Down’s Syndrome.
The bills will now go to Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) for his signature. Paul Maloney, executive director of North Dakota Right to Life told LifeSiteNews.com that his group has “always had faith” in Dalrymple and expects him to sign the bills.
“I’m extremely proud of my state for the statement that they’ve made to the country,” Maloney said. “I guess it’s in the hands of the courts.” Maloney’s statement referenced the reality that the bills will almost certainly be subject to legal challenges.
“We applaud North Dakota for defending life,” said Concerned Women for America CEO and President Penny Nance. “The bills in North Dakota protect the lives of the most innocent Americans, those without a voice, in the womb.”
Nance added, “Hopefully these bills will start a national discussion about what life is and our duty as a civil society to protect it. It starts in the states.”