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ND Measure Says Fertilized Egg Has Human Rights

ND Measure Says Fertilized Egg Has Human Rights

Dale Wetzel / AP

February 18, 2009

BISMARCK, N.D. – 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 measure’s sponsor, Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot, said the legislation did not automatically ban abortion. Ruby has introduced bills in previous sessions of the Legislature to prohibit abortion in North Dakota.

“This language is not as aggressive as the direct ban legislation that I’ve proposed in the past,” Ruby said during House floor debate on Tuesday. “This is very simply defining when life begins, and giving that life some protections under our Constitution — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Critics of the measure say it will cost millions of dollars to defend. Ruby said the state has been willing to go to bat for other principles that were less important.

In Oklahoma, meanwhile, a state House committee Tuesday approved legislation that would prohibit physicians from performing abortions solely on account of the gender of a woman’s fetus, even though the measure’s author said there is no evidence the practice has ever occurred in the state.

The legislation passed 20-2 by the House Public Health Committee. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

The author of the bill, Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa, said it is designed to stop couples from using the gender of a fetus as a reason to get an abortion. Sullivan said a doctor would be prohibited from performing an abortion if the mother specifically said the fetus’ sex was the reason.

However, he said there is no evidence the practice has occurred in Oklahoma. “I haven’t received any definite information that proves it,” Sullivan said.

© YellowBrix 2009

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago


    Thank God for the courage of the legislators in ND. I hope this is just the beginning of recognition of the sanctity of life at every stage. This tiny person has his/hers own DNA. The miracle of this reality is not unfortunately recognized/defended by the ANA. Thank you to all my fellow nurses who are willing to speak up!

  • Bettyboop_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    YAY for ND!!! Thank God someone with some political power is finally stepping up and speaking for those who cannot yet speak for themselves. I pray for the day we ban abortion across the entire United States. A life is a life, regardless of how it is conceived, regardless of the sex, regardless of the race. It's a shame that we allow females to kill their very own flesh and blood simply because they feel it is their "right".

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago


    Holly - thought you might think this is interesting.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago


    It's about time someone steps up a recognizes a baby-in any form as a life. But did they stop and think of rape? Also, what kind of a doctor would perform an abortion based on the sex of the fetus?!

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