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State's abortion law doesn't deserve to be defended
May 12, 2014 - Andrea Johnson
What could you buy for $400,000?
Perhaps you could give more parents in the state additional help in paying for childcare expenses or health care. Perhaps some of those funds could be spent on rental subsidies so parents in the western part of the state would have an easier time finding decent housing. Perhaps it could be applied to the social services budget to pay for more social workers.
Shaky finances are one of the major reasons for women to seek an abortion and better funding for social welfare programs would probably prevent at least some abortions.
But, no, according to the Associated Press, more than 60 of our state legislators want to spend every penny of the $400,000 allocated towards defending the state's unconstitutional state law banning abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The state has thus far spent $234,597 of that money, according to the AP.
Last month U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled that the "heartbeat law" is "invalid and unconstitutional" and "cannot survive a constitutional challenge." He's right, based on everything I know about the law and past rulings. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has until the end of this week to appeal the ruling. More than 63 state lawmakers signed a letter telling him they want him to appeal it. They're all tilting at windmills and wasting money that could be better used in other areas.
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