North Dakota lawmakers have defined life at conception by approving the “personhood” measure. If the law passes in 2014, North Dakota will have the strictest anti-abortion laws in the US.
The North Dakota House voted 57-35 in approval of the bill, which was passed by the Senate last month. Governor Jack Dalrymple has not signed the legislation, and has not publicly expressed his intentions.
The personhood measure is just one of several anti-abortion measures to gain the approval of North Dakota lawmakers. Recent measures have been passed that would ban abortion after six weeks, or in the case of birth defects. In the newest measure North Dakota lawmakers have voted to define life, and grant human rights, at the point of conception.
Combined, these measures would virtually outlaw abortion in North Dakota. As reported by USA Today, critics of the legislation have threatened legal action if Governor Dalrymple signs them into law.
If signed into law by the governor, it will likely appear on the November 2014 ballot. At that point it would be up to North Dakota voters to decide whether the law will pass.
Another measure, Which would have automatically defined life as beginning at conception, by state law, was defeated. Both parties argued that the wording of that particular measure might disallow in vitro fertilization.
As reported by Fox News, some critics of the legislation have argued that none of the anti-abortion bills originated in North Dakota. Jordan Goldberg of the center for Reproductive Rights has stated that the legislation is primarily backed by “large anti-abortion organizations.”
Both critics and supporters of the legislation will be anticipating Governor Dalrymple’s decision, but everyone will still have to wait until 2014. The ultimate decision is in the hands of the North Dakota voters.
The North Dakota lawmaker’s decision to define life at conception will have little immediate impact, other than adding to the controversy.