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Our legislators have better things to do than pass anti-abortion legislation

February 11, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
Don't our legislators have better things to do than write and pass anti-abortion legislation that will likely be proven unconstitutional and expensive to defend in court?

There are currently seven bills up before the state legislature that are intended to restrict access to abortion.

Senate Bill 2303 would grant legal protection to a fetus at every stage of development from conception and would likely effectively outlaw abortion. The second version of the bill grants exceptions in cases of in vitro fertilization services or an abortion necessary to save the life of the mother.

Senate Bill 2305 would require that any physician performing an abortion within the state be an OBGYN with privileges at a local hospital.

House Bill 1356 would prohibit an abortion if the doctor can detect a heartbeat, something that can be detected as early as six weeks of gestation – before many women know they're pregnant – and would probably require the woman to undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound.

The Right to Life Act would add a new section to Article I of the state constitution, relating to the inalienable right to life of every human being at every stage of development. This would require a vote of the people.

Senate Bill 2368 would prohibit an abortion past 20 weeks of gestation.

House Bill 1305 would prohibit an abortion for sex selection or genetic abnormalities.

Our esteemed legislators appear to be throwing everything at the wall in hope that some of it will stick. The legislation will all likely be immediately challenged in court and judges will grant injunctions. They will weave their way through the court system, presumably until they reach the Supreme Court. Lawyers are likely salivating, but no one else should be happy.

Shouldn't some of that time and money be diverted to more fruitful pursuits, such as funding for social service programs, funding for low income housing grants and rent subsidies and other programs that actually will help prevent some of those abortions?


Article Comments



Feb-12-13 2:47 PM

Not when the bill defining life as beginning at conception will be immediately blocked and will probably be ultimately declared unconstitutional. It will have no practical impact except to cost the state a great deal of money and make lawyers wealthier. That isn't helping people. That's tilting at windmills and wasting the taxpayers' money.

On the other hand, social welfare programs can and do make a measurable difference in the lives of low income people and might presumably prevent some women from having an abortion, which is what the legislators are after.


Feb-12-13 2:28 PM

Helping people or defining life. Defining life would also be considered helping people. I don't believe you have shown adequate support for your statement that providing housing will reduce abortions.


Feb-12-13 2:12 PM

And lawsuits are guaranteed. The legislators who voted in favor of it are throwing money down a rathole, money that could be put to better use actually helping people.


Feb-12-13 1:47 PM

Might be a solution. Might work. oh well, even if it doesn't, no big deal. There are more people on government food stamps in this country than there are people in the entire Country of Spain. With everyone getting free food, why can they not afford a baby? Law suits were guaranteed by every legislator who spoke in opposition of the abortion bills and by the director of the clinic even though they had no client for such law suit. Ambulance chaser come to mind?


Feb-12-13 1:34 PM

And some women apparently feel relief. People are different.

I don't think there is any one solution to ending abortion but doing nothing certainly gets us nowhere. More funding for programs that help low income women with housing or day care or child support enforcement, etc., might be one possible step; better sex education that includes information about contraception and how to use it correctly might be another. Maybe more people would consider adoption as an option if open adoptions included legally enforceable contracts allowing for a certain number of visits with the birth family or letters or emails, etc. Who knows? I'd rather see the legislators do something in that vein than pass bills that are going to be immediately challenged in court and cost a lot of money to defend, without reducing the actual number of abortions performed.


Feb-12-13 1:33 PM

Hope4change, I sure would enjoy hearing a verse or two.


Feb-12-13 1:25 PM

EArly Bird, women who have abortions often suffer from depression, suicide, guilt, anger remorse, etc. But it is does not fit the political agenda of the time to speak of such things. Andrea, with each case being different, each seeks a different solution, some good, some bad, some mediocre; but government programs are not flexible. You brought forth a solution for which there are no answers.


Feb-12-13 1:25 PM

I've talked to or read enough comments from "first mothers" or "birth mothers" to know that open adoptions don't always go smoothly and it's fairly common for adoptive parents to close off contact after the adoption is finalized. There is some regret and feeling that the adoption agencies or the adoptive parents lied to them or were corrupt.

It is likely easier for some to abort -- an idea, a potential life, not a child they've met yet or felt move if the abortion takes place early in the pregnancy -- than to give up a living child they've given birth to and held. It would be difficult to never know whether the child is all right.

I certainly think adoption ought to be encouraged but perhaps some of these women's concerns ought to be listened to and adaptations made in the way adoptions are carried out.


Feb-12-13 1:11 PM

"Some women might be able to place a child for adoption under those circumstances but a lot more can't imagine it, especially since open adoptions aren't binding and they may lose contact with the child." This is the part that confuses me, we are told it is very hard on the woman emotionally to give a child up for adoption but these same women can live with the fact they ended another humans life before it ever had a fighting chance. Maybe because I'm a man it seems better to be alive somewhere anywhere than never have lived at all. Or is some sort of feelings of contact left intact in the women who chose to abort. Just confusing as all get out to me.


Feb-12-13 1:06 PM

I'm not answering your question because there is no answer. Every person's situation is unique and it would likely require different types of assistance for each. Some would not change their minds for any amount of money. But, given that finances are a proven cause of many abortions, some type of financial assistance would probably reduce that number. However, the legislature's various anti-abortion bills will be immediately challenged in court, stayed by court injunctions and money will be wasted on defending them all the way to the Supreme Court, which will likely either refuse to hear them or rule them unconstitutional. They're not going to help anyone and they're going to cost us a lot of money.

As for the Constitution, it does not mention abortion. Laws regarding abortion varied hundreds of years ago and in some cases it was not recognized as life until there was "quickening."


Feb-12-13 12:48 PM

Roe v Wade has three parts of which two are about the states protecting life(that is a very short and general explanation). They are the forgotten parts. You keep skirting my question. You said housing subsidies, grants, etc would stop abortions. I asked you how much it would take? That is a pretty straight forward question. The writers of the Constitution did not quantify the word life. They simple said, Life. They did not say Life once out of the womb; or onlyl if that life carries with it no deformities. Do I know the very second that life starts? No. Do I know that every human pregnancy is creating a human? Yes. Do we ever wonder if a pregnancy will bring forth a dog, tree, frog, rock, grass? No.

each and every life under our Constitution is to be revered. Did the ERA screw up with Roe v Wade? Ask the woman who was 'used' to push the agenda what she thinks about that case today? It emptied the playgrounds. That was not her intent.


Feb-12-13 12:34 PM

Speaking of dollar amounts, how much do you think the state is going to spend defending unconstitutional legislation? Roe v. Wade found a constitutional right to privacy and that is still in effect.

As far as I know, the founding fathers didn't say anything about abortion one way or another in the U.S. Constitution. From a personal standpoint I think life begins at conception, that it is a sin to take a life but one that is perhaps sometimes necessary if it defends the life or health or sanity of the mother. From a practical standpoint, I recognize that my beliefs are not enshrined in the constitution and that the best way to reduce abortions is to try to remedy some of the difficulties that result in women seeking abortions. Social welfare programs are one way to do that. And no, I am not going to give you a dollar figure because one doesn't exist. Every woman's situation is different, but shaky finances are a proven, documented reason for many abortions.


Feb-12-13 12:29 PM

icart68, I checked to see who voted for Louser's income tax suspension bill. Only 23 voted in support of the bill. Of those 23, 3 were democrat.


Feb-12-13 12:19 PM

Pure ideology that stems from our Cosntitution where the founders of this country felt that life was valuable and each life was worth preserving, unlike the countries from which they had come. Protecting an unborn life speaks about reverence for your life as well. You still have not put a dollar mark on what it would take to prevent each abortion. How much would it take? Speaking in theories is not the same as speaking in dollars and cents. Have you heard a woman actually say, if I had $5000.00, I wouldn't have to get an abortion? Or $10,000? or $50,000. Is it easy to say, they can't afford something. How much does it take for them to afford their baby?

Government subsidies for businesses discriminates against a similar business that didn't get government subsidies; but that is for a different day. Doctor's can and should provide contraception info, not the government. But, here again, you look to the government for all the fixes. I look to the individual responsibility a


Feb-12-13 11:52 AM

And I answered your question below.

The fact still remains that if the end goal is to reduce the number of abortions, the various anti-abortion bills sponsored by the Legislature are unlikely to accomplish it. All they'll do is cost the state a lot of money and make lawyers richer. Other programs that address some of the underlying causes of abortion are more likely to work: day care and rental assistance, adequate sex education programs that include information about how to use contraception, programs that encourage job creation and also the creation of jobs that pay a higher wage. That's what I elected MY legislators to do, not to waste my time and theirs by spending so much of their time on pure ideology.


Feb-12-13 11:34 AM

I asked you how much would it take to stop each abortion? People are poor, not everyone makes the same amount of money. Life is not fair. All mean spirited comments according to the libs. How much does each woman need in order to stop the abortions? icart, you are a bitter democrat who thinks he is represented by only 23 dems, but remember there are about 45 RINO's in the House alone. You are well represented.


Feb-12-13 11:20 AM

If someone plans to abort anyway, you're not likely to change her mind. Abortion remains legal and likely will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. For someone who might be conflicted, on the other hand, changing her living situation for the better might just be a factor in convincing her she can raise the child.

It is a fact that the abortion rate increases in difficult economic times. It is also a fact that shaky finances are a major factor in a woman's decision to abort. I'm not pulling any of that out of a hat.


Feb-12-13 11:12 AM

Don't forget...the ND state Treasury is looking for extra people to help with ALL THAT EXTRA CASH that the state has been taking in...


Feb-12-13 11:08 AM

Andrea, how much would each woman need to not abort? I love how you create stories about general situations to support your liberal agenda of government dependency.


Feb-12-13 11:00 AM

There are a lot of reasons women have abortions but finances are definitely among them. The abortion rate has gone up and the teen birth rate has gone down in the past few years and experts speculate that the poor economy is to blame for a lot of that. There was a story in the LA Times about five years ago that said about half of the abortions performed are done on women older than 25 and 60 percent of them already have at least one child. A higher percentage of low income black and Hispanic women have abortions.

Just what do you think will happen if the landlord has raised your $500 rent to $1,200, your babysitter has increased her rates, you are working two or even three jobs AND you find out you are pregnant again when you can barely afford to raise your first child? Some women might be able to place a child for adoption under those circumstances but a lot more can't imagine it, especially since open adoptions aren't binding and they may lose contact with the child.


Feb-12-13 10:55 AM

Maybe these tax cuts didn't go through, is because the "1%" of ND couldn't get them..hhhmmm??? Tax cuts for the rich only..right??? Isn't that the motto for you re-pubs??


Feb-12-13 10:29 AM

Thanks, locomotive!


Feb-12-13 10:25 AM

"Inconvenience to life-style is the reason for most abortions."

disgusted's right.


Feb-12-13 10:13 AM

incar, the topic is abortions, but Andrea did mix in housing subsidies, so I suppose we can discuss tax breaks because if housing subsidies would prevent abortions; I guess we can then say tax breaks would prevent abortions. About 9 bills were presented yesterday r/t tax. All were defeated except sales tax exemptions for wind farms. Now the Grand Forks and Fargo areas will get back their businesses that closed, employment will go up and abortions will go down. The sales tax excemption put forth by Mock for non-porfit health care centers had a fiscal note of only $230,000. Why they didn't vote that it, who knows? Louser's two year income tax suspension was defeated for whatever reason. There are more tax bills coming. Let your legislator know that if they don't cut taxes, the people will put forth another initiated measure.


Feb-12-13 10:02 AM

Andrea, that is a real stretch. Inconvenience to life-style is the reason for most abortions. How much rental subsidiy does it take to prevent abortions? Where is personal responsibility it all of this?


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