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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.


Article Comments

May-20-14 12:50 AM

As our governor said about state agencies about the state budget that the agencies need to be good stewards on the way we spend tax payers money. Well this is the same thing. Our own state government needs to be good stewards and quit wasting our tax money on this to defend it


May-19-14 7:49 AM

I know your oh so touching concern for unborn babies is fake -- because you couldn't care less once the babies are born.


May-17-14 8:04 AM

Gosh, there are many things that My taxes pay for that I would prefer that they didn't. I would love a line item on my tax form allowing me to approve what I am paying for. It doesn't work that way. Even the writers of Roe V Wade included a sentence or two about allowing future scientific advances to be used to determine life.


May-15-14 4:17 PM

Republicans don't like abortion because they need workers to make their money for them and Democrats like abortion so they don't have to share their Democratic pie. Then enters the pregnant woman into the equation, these days she is just barely necessary for proper kangaroo litigation.


May-15-14 6:45 AM

Andrea I guess a few other people are concerned for the unborn too.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Republican-controlled Legislature gave final approval Wednesday to legislation requiring a woman to wait three days after first seeing a doctor before having an abortion. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has not said whether he will sign or veto it.

The measure would triple Missouri's current 24-hour waiting period and put the state in line with Utah and South Dakota as the only states to mandate a 72-hour time frame. Missouri currently has only one clinic performing elective abortions.


May-15-14 6:31 AM

AngeR69... very well stated.


May-15-14 2:40 AM

"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."

Tell me you're not making this argument, Andrea. What a letdown. I've always respected your opinions, as different from my own at they may at times because you seem to be grounded in reason much of the time.

But this tattered old argument is tantamount to extortion. If the burden of childbearing is too expensive in terms of both money and commitment, it's not as though there are no alternatives. Some of them take some planning. Last time I checked, contraceptives are still relatively inexpensive.


May-15-14 2:16 AM

Yes, our legislators knew full well these laws would come under judicial scrutiny. The best the could have hoped for would be for that scrutiny to reach all the way up to the Supreme Court. They knew it was going to be an uphill battle. But if we fail to take on these important fights, what does it say about us? Was it worth the fight? Was it worth all those legal fees? Who are you to say it wasn't? This was not a trivial issue. And although I know you'll beg to differ, many lives were and are at stake. Just to put some perspective on that $400k legal bill, it cost the State twice that to buy out Shirvani's contract. Tell me again this was a trivial effort.


May-15-14 2:16 AM

I will remind you, Andrea, that our history is fraught with examples of flawed supreme court decisions that changed the course of history. Do I need to list these for you?

There are only a few ways to overturn these flawed decisions. One way would be for the states to ratify a new constitutional amendment. The second is for the Supreme Court itself to overturn a prior Supreme Court ruling.


May-15-14 2:14 AM

"They're also throwing money away on a state law that everyone with any iota of sense knows is unconstitutional."

Andrea, count me in as one those without any iota of sense.

The constitutionality of abortion is not explicit. In fact, the federal government was given very specific enumerated powers, and none of them included the power to determine when life begins. Prior to Roe v. Wade, each state made that determination individually.

Then, in 1972, 7 members of our highest judicial body perpetrated one of the biggest federal power grabs in history. That, Andrea, is the only "constitutional" basis for abortion-on-demand being the law of the land as it is today. Under the process of judicial review, the constitution was effectively rewritten by a nine-member panel.


May-14-14 6:33 PM

BeautifulDay.. is it the legislators who are for or the ones against abortion who are not representing you?


May-14-14 2:40 PM

I'm glad to see that Andrea didn't respond to Jack's comments. We do know the law is unconstitutional and that is because it is in opposition to federal law. Pretty simple concept, really. The legislators are not representing me on this matter, either. I assume Andrea and I are both considered taxpayers and we'd rather not pay for a challenge to an illegal law.


May-14-14 7:48 AM

Iv'e said this before, in this state it's ok to abort babies but for the sake of all mankind do not take a puff of marijuana or you will harm your unborn baby before the state can get it aborted... lol!!!


May-14-14 7:45 AM

Although your statement about more effective ways than making a law against abortion could possibly make sense but so far from what I've seen it takes laws and lots of laws for the people of today to live in this world full of hatred and baby killers.


May-14-14 7:42 AM

Andrea.. so you are not on either side if they are not representing you. If you are on neither side why are you interested in what happens. You could possibly think that one sided though I guess.


May-13-14 4:25 PM

They aren't representing me here. They're also throwing money away on a state law that everyone with any iota of sense knows is unconstitutional. There are more effective ways to limit abortions.


May-13-14 1:49 PM

Andrea... they are defending the opinions of us who oppose Abortion. So you don't think the taxpayers should be represented? Goofy on you!!


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