The Latest In The Abortion Battle

Ken AshfordSex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

Oh, no.  It's not over simply because Obama was elected president.  The pro-life crowd is still at it.  Even racheting it up a bit.  Here's what they're doing in North Dakota:

A long legal journey could be in store for an anti-abortion bill the North Dakota House passed on Tuesday that would give constitutional rights to fertilized human eggs, the bill's sponsor said on Wednesday.

"I think North Dakota will be on the map to be the first state in recent years to mount a legitimate challenge to Roe v. Wade," Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot, said of the U.S. Supreme Court 1973 decision that legalized abortion.

Good.  So now fertilized eggs will have the right to keep and bear arms.

I guess the thinking is that if you give constitutional rights to fertilized human eggs, then that will effectively prevent many forms of birth control (and, of course, abortions) since the fertilized egg will have the right to "due process" (i.e., a trial) before you deny it its "life".  This prohiobition would include rape and incest victims, as well as mothers with health risks.

It also means that the fertilized egg would effectively be a "person", meaning a halt to stem cell research.  And, I suppose, it will mean that pregnant women can use the car pool lane.  On the other hand, they'll have to buy two tickets (one adult, one child) whenever they see a movie.  And let's not forget the tax implications.  It'll also screw up the census.

Colorado tried this last year, but the voters overwhelming rejected it.

There's a biological problem with giving constitutional rights to fertilized eggs.  Medically, a woman is not defined as "pregnant" until the fertillized egg attaches itself to the uterus.  That event triggers the hormonal, physical and other changes that enable the fertilized egg to draw nourishment from the mother’s body.  And sometimes, the fertilized egg fails to make that attachment.

Actually, the text (PDF) of the bill is even worse than the new reports suggest.  It reads:

SECTION 1. References to individual, person, or human being – Legislative intent. For purposes of interpretation of the constitution and laws of North Dakota, it is the intent of the legislative assembly that an individual, a person, when the context indicates that a reference to an individual is intended, or a human being includes any organism with the genome of homo sapiens.

SECTION 2. STATE TO DEFEND CHALLENGE. The legislative assembly, by concurrent resolution, may appoint one or more of its members, as a matter of right and in the legislative member's official capacity, to intervene to defend this Act in any case in which this Act's constitutionality is challenged.

Any organism with the genome of homo sapiens?  Forgive my biological ignorance, but doesn't that (at least arguably) include sperm?  Wouldn't this law effectively outlaw masturbation?  Hmmm… I guess every sperm is sacred.

Anyway, if the law makes it past the North Dakota Senate, would it be constitutional?  Absolutely not, but that’s just the point. The underlying agenda is to provide a vehicle for challenging Roe v. Wade.