North Dakota State House Passes Bill Banning Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 15, 2011   |   2:34PM   |   Bismarck, ND

Last week, the North Dakota state House passed the Defense of Human Life Act, HB 1450, by a majority of 68-25, that would ban all abortions in the state. However, the measure would likely be declared unconstitutional in court.

Introduced by Representative Dan Ruby, The Defense of Human Life Act recognizes that every human being is a person in the state of North Dakota and every person has certain unalienable rights. The text defines: “Human being” as an individual member of the species homo sapiens at every stage of development.”

HB 1450 goes on to define the implications and applications of the law, establishing and recognizing the rights of all human beings, no matter their size or level of development.

Although that’s a concept all pro-life advocates support, most pro-life groups are not supporting such legislation and spending considerable time or energy on them because they will almost assuredly be overturned in court and will not result in saving any unborn children from abortions. They say the focus should be placed on changing the Supreme Court, which currently has a 5-4 pro-abortion majority, so Roe can someday be overturned and abortion bans can be upheld as constitutional.

Still, Ruby talked about the bill as if it would somehow do what he intends it to do.

“The overwhelming community and legislative support for HB 1450 proves that North Dakota could be the first state to recognize the value and dignity of every living human being,” he said. “The Defense of Human Life Act is just common sense. Of course every human being is a person, and every innocent person should receive legal protection. I am motivated to see women and children protected by HB 1450, and I look forward to its passage in the Senate in the near future.”

The North Dakota legislature has its crossover day on or about February 25 and the abortion ban measure will then go to the state Senate.

The state House also approved HB 1297, a bill that updates the current abortion control act and places restrictions on the use of abortion drugs (RU-486), addresses parental consent requirements, and adds new enforcement language. Pro-life groups support the bill because it will strengthen the state’s constitutional abortion limits that can save unborn children from abortion until Roe is overturned.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has not indicated whether he will sign the bills.

North Dakota has one abortion business, located in Red River, that has come under considerable controversy over the years.