Planned Parenthood Defeats North Dakota Religious Liberty Measure

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 13, 2012   |   11:46AM   |   Bismarck, ND

Thanks to an onslaught of spending in North Dakota by Planned Parenthood and other top abortion backers that distorted it, voters on Tuesday rejected a measure that protects religious freedom.

Measure 3 was meant to safeguard religious freedoms without interfering with the legitimate needs of government to protect its citizens. With the attacks on religious liberties posed by Obamacare and its recent HHS mandate forcing religious groups to fund birth control or drugs that may cause abortions for their employees, states are pushing back with legislation and ballot proposals to protect their rights.

However, the Planned Parenthood abortion business spent heavily, as did NARAL and the ACLU, to oppose the measure.

Tom Freier, executive director of the North Dakota Family Alliance Action, lamented the defeat of the amendment, but said pro-life advocates will continue the fight to protect those who don’t want to be financially complicit in paying for abortions or birth control.

“There is a significant difference between accepting the failed vote on Measure 3 and understanding the necessity to continue efforts to restore our religious freedoms as found in the Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment,” Freier said. “We fully respect the actions of the North Dakota voters as expressed in the democratic process of the June 12th election-as it relates to Measure 3. Measure 3 is a political entity, it was defeated, it is done.”

“No matter what our thoughts about the $1 million out of state, Planned Parenthood, war chest used to influence the vote, the vote was taken, it is over. From it, we will learn,” Freier continued. “The Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment is much more than a piece of legislation. It is a cause based on principle. It is a standard enshrined in the First Amendment and reiterated in our own North Dakota constitution-to protect the exercise of our religious freedom. It has been eroded and in many cases attacked. And the purpose of the RLRA was simply to restore that level of protection whereby a person’s religious beliefs would not be infringed upon without a compelling reason.”

Freier said, “The foundational principles found in the Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment are true and the people of North Dakota should benefit from the protections they afford. That is why we will continue to work to restore and preserve our religious freedom.”

“Our religious liberty is a treasured freedom which we have enjoyed for over 200 years. It was in that spirit, less than 2 years ago more than 28,000 North Dakotans signed the petition to place the RLRA on the ballot,” he concluded. “Many, including measure sponsors, petition circulators, volunteers, and supporters have given so much to the effort. Thank you.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Stoesz, the head of the Planned Parenthood abortion business that covers North Dakota and Minnesota, cheered the defeat of Measure 3.

“North Dakotans — with a strong and clear NO vote — affirmed that religious liberty is securely protected in the U.S. Constitution,” she said. “Measure Three was divisive, unnecessary and could have had dangerous consequences.”

Christopher Dodson, who heads the North Dakota Catholic Conference, also blasted Planned Parenthood for pouring a “massive amount of out-of-state money” into the campaign to defeat Measure 3.

“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right,” he said. “As such, we must be ever-vigilant to ensure that this precious right is always protected and respected. The outcome of the vote on Measure 3 will not distract us from that task.”

The statement also stated that the “massive amount of out-of-state money Planned Parenthood poured into the opposition campaign confirms that religious freedom in North Dakota is not safe and that there are well-organized and well-funded groups ready to take advantage of that situation.”