by Steven Ertelt
February 10, 2005
Bismarck, ND (LifeNews.com) — Legislation that would ban abortions in North Dakota was the subject of a legislative committee hearing Wednesday. The bill drew opposition from pro-life groups because it would prosecute women and would likely be declared unconstitutional.
Rep. Dan Ruby, a Republican from Minot, proposed the bill, heard by the House Human Services Committee.
Under the bill, anyone who "intentionally destroys or terminates the life of a preborn child" is guilty of murder and would serve a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Pro-life groups say that women who have abortions are victims like the unborn child because they are frequently either coerced into having the abortion or misled by abortion advocates about abortion’s risks and alternatives.
"We believe that women are the second victim of the abortion," said Stacey Pfliiger, executive director of the North Dakota Right to Life Association, according to an Associated Press report.
Christopher Dodson, director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference, agreed with Pfliiger.
"This is not our vision of how to prohibit abortion and establish a new culture of life, whether it was done in the past or not," he said.
In fact, research from the Illinois-based Elliot Institute, which investigates abortion’s effects on women and society, shows as many as 40 percent of women feel they were pressured into having an abortion.
Pro-life groups say abortion practitioners are those who should be prosecuted under legislation that would ban abortions.
They are also concerned that the bill, if passed, would be taken to court by abortion advocates and eventually declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. That would add to the case law backing the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion and taxpayers may have to fork over thousands of dollars to pro-abortion attorneys in court costs in a losing case.
There were 1,219 abortions performed in North Dakota in 2002, the last year in which public figures were available.
The North Dakota state House defeated a similar measure two years ago.
Related web sites:
North Dakota Right to Life – https://www.ndrl.org