North Dakota Bill Would Ban Abortions, Charge Abortionists With Murder for Killing Unborn Babies

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 14, 2021   |   11:43AM   |   Bismarck, North Dakota

A new pro-life bill in North Dakota would ban the killing of unborn babies in abortions and charge abortionists with murder.

KFYR reports state House Bill 1313, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Hoverson, R-Minot, would prohibit all abortions. The only exception would be when the mother’s life is at risk.

Under the legislation, anyone who performs an abortion on an unborn baby could be charged with murder and anyone who intentionally helps or forces a woman to abort her unborn baby could be charged with a class C felony.

“I think it’s long past due that we’ve got to start listening to the babies,” Hoverson said, according to Inforum. “Any human that would have compassion would not want to see a baby die that way, but it’s not because some religion taught me. It’s everything from humanity to common sense. I think even an atheist could come to that.”

However, Hoverson, a Lutheran pastor, also said he knows the bill is unlikely to pass, the AP reports.

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State Republican leaders said the penalties in the bill are too harsh. Some reports mentioned that mothers also could be charged for aborting their unborn babies, but it is not clear from the bill if that is the case. While pro-life advocates yearn for the day when unborn children are protected under law and abortions are banned, the pro-life movement long has opposed punishing mothers who have abortions — instead focusing on holding abortion practitioners criminally accountable for the unborn children who they kill in abortions.

Meanwhile, some Democrat lawmakers said if the bill passes, it would be struck down in court, and the legal battle could cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Inforum.

But Hoverson said banning the killing of unborn babies is “the right thing to do,” no matter what the cost.

“We’ve allowed the Supreme Court to hold us hostage,” he said. “We’re willing to go against federal law for marijuana, but we won’t do it for a baby.”

He said North Dakota should stand up against the U.S. Supreme Court as long as it continues to force states to legalize abortions.

If the bill passes, it almost certainly would face a legal challenge from the abortion industry. There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain. Some legal scholars have speculated that the conservative court would be more likely to consider cases that gradually chip away at Roe v. Wade rather than reverse it completely. When courts rule against such laws, state taxpayers often are forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.