North Dakota Senate Approves Abortion-Ultrasound, Defeats Personhood Measure
by Steven Ertelt
April 3, 2009
Bismarck, ND (LifeNews.com) — The North Dakota state Senate on Friday approved a bill that would allow mothers to see an ultrasound of their unborn child prior to an abortion. Lawmakers defeated a bill that declares unborn children as persons beginning at the point of fertilization, or conception.
The state House easily approved the ultrasound measure on a strongly bipartisan 77-9 vote in February and the Senate signed off on the bill today.
The measure is designed to help women learn the humanity of their unborn child and to consider abortion alternatives.
While most abortion businesses do an ultrasound before an abortion is done on a woman and her unborn child, that doesn’t mean the mother will have a chance to see it. Rep. Bette Grande, a Republican sponsoring House Bill 1371, hopes the change that.
Her legislation would offer women a chance to see an ultrasound in the same way she would be able to see an x-ray prior to other medical procedures.
The Senate also approved a bill, HB 1445, that requires the lone abortion center in the state to tell women considering an abortion that it will destroy the life of an unborn child, a unique human being.
The bill requires the abortion practitioner to tell women that "the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being."
Both bills now head to Gov. John Hoeven for him to sign or veto.
The Senate defeated the personhood bill 29-16, which could be used to challenge the Supreme’s Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade ruling and ban abortions.
Because the bill defines an unborn baby as a person, an abortion of an unborn child would likely be considered illegal under the law and qualify an unborn child for the state’s homicide statutes.
Republican Rep. Dan Ruby, who has also sponsored other pro-life bills this legislative session, is the main sponsor of the personhood bill. He says the measure fits in with what the Supreme Court said in Roe, namely that abortion would be illegal if the personhood of the unborn child could be asserted.
North Dakota Right to Life, the North Dakota affiliate of Concerned Women for America and the North Dakota Catholic Conference also support the bills.
Pro-life advocates say the bills are important because the Red River Womens Clinic is expected to set a record for the number of abortions it is doing annually.
The abortion center has been doing abortions for just over ten years and did a record 1,358 abortions in 2003 and another 1,238 abortions last year.
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