The North Dakota House of Representatives has passed the first personhood amendment in the United States, 57-35. Read more
Inforum published North Dakota Senator Margaret Sitte's excellent letter defending the humanity of unborn babies. Great job, Senator Sitte. Here is the letter:
Forty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that unborn human beings aren’t persons under the law and don’t have the right to life. In the Roe v. Wade decision, the court said that if the personhood of the unborn were ever established, their case would collapse. Their case is collapsing.
In the past 40 years, science has advanced in ways previously unimagined. Sonograms have opened a window to the womb, where parents can see their children suck their thumbs and kick their feet. Doctors perform surgery on the unborn, and premature babies are being saved at younger ages than ever before imagined. Thanks to DNA research, scientists have proved that life begins at conception when a unique DNA is formed. We now know that gender is determined at conception. Once the heart starts to beat a few weeks later, that heart will continue to beat until death, 60, 80 or 100 years later.
When a drunken driver kills a pregnant woman, states prosecute for two lives lost. If someone punches a woman, causing her to miscarry, he or she may face charges for murder.
The courts have repeatedly found that the states have a compelling interest to protect both life and potential life. We pass laws to protect bald eagle eggs because someday they will be bald eagles. We would be appalled at anyone who would smash dozens of bald eagle eggs. When animals are mistreated and left to die in the cold, the state prosecutes for animal cruelty. When a classroom of children is killed on the East Coast, we all recoil in horror. But each week in Fargo, 25 unborn children are aborted.
Does a person have a right to choose to smash eagle eggs? Does a person have a right to choose to mistreat animals? Does a person have a right to choose to open fire in a school? Does anyone have the right to choose to end another human being’s life? What about the rights of the unborn? When do they acquire rights? Only at birth? What about babies born months early? Who has the right to say, “This day you have the right to live and the day before you don’t”?
The current argument of the court says unborn people can’t be considered persons under the law. Let’s face it. When women find out they are pregnant, they don’t say, “I’m having a blob of tissue.” They say, “I’m pregnant; we’re having a baby.” Everyone knows an unborn child is a human life.
When it comes to medical conditions threatening the life and health of the mother, doctors have always treated the mother, realizing the baby can’t make it without her. For many favoring abortion, however, the choice is that the baby should be sacrificed so they can do what they want. Isn’t that a slippery slope?
The word “abortion” has come to be accepted in society, but the recent case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia has pointed out the horrific conditions in which these lives are ended. The documentary “3801 Lancaster” tells the facts of the story.
Abortion not only kills children; it wounds women very deeply, even though they may not realize it for years. If society really cares about what’s best for women and children, we will love them both and support them when they need help.
The only thing that makes this a women’s issue, the only thing that makes this of more importance to me and my rights than to any man in this chamber is simply – and this might shock some of you – is the fact that I can get pregnant and you as a man cannot…. This affects my future and the future of young mothers across the state more than it affects over 85% of this chamber.
You men! How dare you sir? It’s the classic “men have no right to oppose abortion” bluster that we hear so often. Why are men ineligible? They can’t get pregnant.
It’s true that men can’t get pregnant but every one of them has experienced pregnancy. They lived in their mother’s wombs for between five and nine months. Why does this experience not count? Well, because pro-aborts say it doesn’t count, see? The fact is that men who oppose abortion are merely supporting exactly what they experienced: not getting brutally murdered.
Since experience is so important for Rep. Oversen in determining who gets to oppose abortion, I wonder if Rep. Oversen has ever experienced an abortion. Has she had her arms ripped off? Has she ever had her body shredded? Has she ever been lethally poisoned or had her brains sucked out of her skull?
Her lack of experience with getting murdered means, by her own standard, she can’t support abortion.
For more on the floor debate, see Forcing beliefs and Recognizing the right to life affects end-of-life care?
During the House debate on SCR 4009, the North Dakota Personhood Amendment, Representative Eliot Glassheim (see video beginning at 6:30) suggests that because many churches disagree on when life begins, North Dakota legislators shouldn’t take a stand.
He says “The question of when life begins and when the fetus is fully human are matters of religious doctrine”. He then lists eight churches and states their respective positions on abortion:
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- American Baptist Church
- United Methodist Church
He summarizes by saying “If passed, at least these eight religious denominations and their members would find themselves unable to act on their religious beliefs in North Dakota”. He ends with a plea: “I ask that you rise above the temptation to legislate one religious belief for people who don’t share that belief.”
There are several problems with his speech. First, he says that the beginning of life is a religious doctrine but he offers no evidence to support his claim. Why isn’t it a philosophical debate about the value of human life? Do you really have to be “religious” to oppose killing nascent human beings?
Second, it’s pretty obvious that he cheats by selective editing of the evidence. Why doesn’t he begin his speech by saying “Science has made it clear that conception begins the life of an individual human being”? The empirical facts don’t support his case, so he ignores them.
Third, his speech contradicts itself. The last five churches in his list support abortion-on-demand. So unless women can kill their babies until birth for any reason or no reason, these denominations “would be unable to act on their beliefs”. But obviously, if you legislate open-season-without-tags on unborn babies (as the Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade & Doe v. Bolton), by Rep. Glassheim’s standard, you are trampling on the religious beliefs of the first three churches in the list and prominent denominations conveniently not mentioned in the list.
Fourth, Rep. Glassheim ignores the unborn as if they don’t exist. He merely assumes by his rhetoric that the unborn are not human rights bearing individuals. He’s assuming what he should be trying to prove. Thus he fails to see that abortion is an act of violent force, forcing on an unborn child the beliefs of those who want her dead.
The Bismarck Tribune’s Nick Smith reports that pro-aborts have submitted referrals on three laws (House Bill 1305, House Bill 1456 and Senate Bill 2305) recently passed in North Dakota. These laws would ban abortion after a heartbeat can be detected, ban abortion for genetic problems and require baby-killers to have local hospital admitting privileges.
If the pro-aborts get the necessary 13,452 signatures, the laws get put on hold and become referred law ballot questions. Interestingly, referred laws go on the primary ballot, not the general election ballot. This could mean pro-lifers and pro-aborts tangle for the June 2014 election and then tangle again over the right-to-life Personhood measure for the November 2014 election. It could be a long expensive campaign.
Pro-aborts in North Dakota attacked SCR 4009, the Personhood Amendment, in a way that I’d never heard before. They claimed that the amendment would affect the end-of-life process and organ donation. How can end-of-life care or organ donation be affected by recognizing and protecting the inalienable right to life?
At the beginning of the debate in the ND House, Rep. Alex Looysen rebutts this claim (see video from 1:27 to 2:09). He quotes existing parts of the North Dakota constitution including the first part of section 1:
All individuals are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty
And part of section 2:
Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people
Put simply, the right to life is already protected for people at the end of life. Restating a right doesn’t change it.
This isn’t rocket science, so you’d think that would put an end to the discussion on this issue. If you thought that then you overestimate the intellectual integrity of pro-aborts. Rep. Gail Mooney (beginning at 3:34) spends almost three minutes rehashing the pro-abortion lies regarding end-of-life care. Rep Nancy Johnson spends over a minute (beginning at 11:28) repeating the same nonsense. They just lay on thick the scare tactics while failing to even attempt to address Rep. Looysen's points.
Look for the same ridiculous scare tactics in the run up to the 2014 election.
Rinse and repeat; Ignore solid arguments from your opponent and repeat your claims. But it's even worse than that. They hide behind the difficulties and trials of end-of-life care. As usual, pro-aborts don’t let reason, evidence, or even decency get in way.
The Daily Beast’s Winston Ross writes an article giving Personhood USA the credit (well, blame) for the flurry of pro-life bills that became law in North Dakota.
One of the bills banned killing babies when their heartbeats could be detected and another banned such killings when done because the babies are genetically imperfect (such as having a third copy of chromosome 21 or having two X chromosomes). A third bill required abortionists to have admitting privileges to a local hospital.
Mr. Ross quotes former North Dakota Senator Curtis Olafson, who might still be a little upset about losing a primary to a real pro-life Republican. From the article:
Olafson proudly asserted that he’s “voted for every pro-life bill that has ever come before me—except personhood bills.” Those bills are nothing but “foolhardy,” Olafson insists, and they’re a waste of everyone’s time.
Olafson seems to be contradicting himself. He would not have voted for the three bills mentioned above, even though they weren’t Personhood bills. If Olafson thinks it’s ok to kill babies simply because they don’t have a Y chromosome, even by his own standard, he’s not really all that pro-life. It seems his former constituency agreed. Here’s what Steve Deace wrote back in June 2012 about the situation:
Sen. Olafson was described by local pro-life organizations as exhibiting a “vast discrepancy between his conduct and his rhetoric,” and as showing “appalling duplicity from a senator who claims to be pro-life.”
In his attempts to derail the North Dakota personhood bill, Sen. Olafson introduced a rabidly pro-abortion amendment. You be the judge, should anyone else consider a legislator who introduced the following language as “pro-life”?
This Act does not apply to “abortion OR other legitimate medical treatment performed to terminate a pregnancy ... (followed by a list of situations where Sen. Olafson believes child murder to be permissible) ”
This amendment would have made abortion (i.e. intentional child killing) the equivalent to legitimate medical treatment! This is hardly pro-life.
You know you’re not really pro-life when pro-aborts such as Renee Stromme call you a “moderate”.
Again from Mr. Ross’s article:
“Many members of the legislature are basing their voting decisions on fear, rather than what is sound,” Olafson said.
“I think the governor was bullied, just like other legislators were bullied, by Personhood USA,” Kromenaker said. “I think they took the easy way out.”
The pro-aborts must have a boogie man, so Personhood USA fits the bill. That well-funded (snicker) out-of-state power house twisted all those arms to pass non-personhood legislation. Boo!
Gualberto Garcia Jones, Personhood USA’s legal analyst, testified in favor of SB 2303, a Personhood bill, which didn’t pass. He noted that the pro-aborts didn’t bother to fight the other bills but instead focused on SB 2303. It appeared as if the Personhood bill provided cover that helped the other bills sail through. Now that’s bullying!
Pro-aborts don’t like bullying and vicious attacks except when they involve ripping up a baby inside (and sometimes outside) the womb. That’s vicious bullying they can believe in.
The Inforum of Fargo published a great letter from Rev. Tom Eckstein, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church, Jamestown, N.D. North Dakota pro-lifers need to follow pastor Eckstein's example of speaking out for the unborn, if they want to pass Personhood next year. Here's the letter in full.
I am proud to be a resident of North Dakota. One of the primary reasons is that pro-life bills passed into law in North Dakota, will make our state the one that most clearly articulates the self-evident truth asserted in our nation’s Declaration of Independence: that all humans “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The right to life for all humans comes from our Creator who, in Holy Scripture, clearly teaches that human life exists from the moment of conception.
Sadly, more and more people in our nation – including those who claim the name “Christian” – no longer submit to the teaching of Holy Scripture regarding what we are to believe and how we are to live. Therefore, we need to address the issue of abortion by appealing to arguments from reason and common sense. The question is whether people are willing to listen.
One of the bills would prohibit an abortion if the reason for ending the child’s life is its gender or that it has a physical disability. Those who promote abortion as a way of affirming “women’s rights” should be concerned about the rights of women whose lives can be ended in the womb simply because they are women. In addition, as a parent whose daughter has autism, I am concerned that our nation allows a child to be killed in the womb simply because he or she has a disability. Of course, those in favor of abortion could avoid the limitations of this pro-life bill simply by asserting that they do not want the child – and then giving no particular reason for why they do not want the child. But what kind of nation have we become when we can justify ending the lives of humans in the womb simply because they are not wanted by us?
Another slogan used to justify the practice of ending the life of children in the womb is: “I support the right of women to choose.” This slogan sounds so American. What could be more American than the right to choose? But the fact is that we do not have the right to choose many things if those choices include the physical harm or death of another human being.
When a man and a woman freely engage in sexual intercourse, they should be prepared to take responsibility for the human life that may be created by their freely chosen behavior. But ending the life of another human being is a choice that should not be allowed in any civilized society – even if that human life happens to reside in the womb.
When people consider the fact that this nation currently allows parents to hire someone to kill their child while he or she is in the womb, they should ask themselves: “When is it permissible to kill a baby?” When we consider the evil fact of abortion on those terms we begin to realize that all almost all our arguments – many of them simply selfish – for killing children while they are in the womb go against reason and common sense.
I noted that more and more people in our nation do not submit to what Holy Scripture teaches about many things – including the sacredness of human life from the point of conception. However, my prayer is that more and more people will be willing to submit to what Scripture teaches about the sacredness of the lives of infant boys and girls in their mother’s wombs – and then speak out for them because they can’t speak out for themselves. Many of our legislators in North Dakota are doing just that! God bless their efforts.
Pro-choice ‘Mob Mentality’ Culminates in Death Threats against North Dakota Governor and North Dakota Legislators
Amidst multiple threats of lawsuits in North Dakota, new threats have emerged. According to “Stand up for Women ND”, a Facebook group created to oppose the new abortion legislation and personhood amendment in North Dakota, Governor Dalrymple is receiving death threats from pro-abortion activists after signing three anti-abortion laws passed by the North Dakota House and Senate.
After posting several negative comments about Governor Dalrymple, Stand up for Women ND stated, “We have received word that Governor Dalrymple is receiving death threats.” The post went on to plead with supporters of the anti-life cause to cease the criminal threats, closing with “We want stoic, respectful solidarity or we will not be taken seriously.” At the time of this press release the page did not express any concern for the life and health of Governor Dalrymple.
The death threats against the North Dakota Governor and pro-life North Dakota legislators come on the heels of threats of lawsuits in the state. A Tuesday article from RH Reality Check began by stating, “If the idea of long and expensive legal battles was supposed to dissuade North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple from signing into law some of the country’s most restrictive abortion measures, it didn’t work.”
Prior to the signing of the three anti-abortion bills, and prior to the passage of SCR 4009, a personhood amendment that will appear on the 2014 ballot, threats of a Planned Parenthood / ACLU lawsuit were rampant. Referencing millions of dollars in legal fees paid to Planned Parenthood in other states, the Grand Forks Herald ran an article acknowledging that a Planned Parenthood lawsuit could cost millions of dollars to taxpayers.
“Abortion is an act of violence against women and children, so death threats from pro-choice enthusiasts are not surprising,” stated Jennifer Mason, Personhood USA Spokesperson. “It seems that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU hope to deter any and all restrictions to abortion with the threat of multi-million dollar lawsuits - despite the fact that they already receive millions of dollars in taxpayer money. Planned Parenthood exacts a terrible toll from women - their health, the lives of their children, and more – not to mention that if they file lawsuits in North Dakota they could be costing millions in additional taxpayer dollars. US citizens are fed up with paying Planned Parenthood."
Personhood USA decries all violence – in the womb or out of it. “When the threat of lawsuits isn’t enough to force their agenda, it seems that pro-choice supporters think that death threats will accomplish their goals. These threats are deplorable,” continued Mason. “North Dakota legislators should not have to fear outrageous lawsuits for voting pro-life, nor should they have to fear for their lives.”
In an interview with the Huffington Post, pro-abortion North Dakota State Representative Kathy Hawken (R-Fargo) said, with a straight face:
One of the key tenets of the Republican Party is personal responsibility. I'm personally pro-life, but I vote pro-choice, because you can't make that decision for anyone else. You just can't.
She’s obviously morally inept. How can killing an unborn baby be an act of personal responsibility? Abortion is the despicable shirking of the responsibility that parents have to take care of their own child. Parents kill their child to avoid their parental obligation. If Rep. Hawken were serious about personal responsibility, she’d oppose abortion.
She says that “you can’t make that decision for anyone else” but she supports exactly that. Pro-aborts, such as Rep. Hawken, think its fine to force death on the innocent, “mak[ing] that decision [of death] on [some]one else”. Hawken doesn’t care about the baby’s life full of decisions that the baby will never make because her existence was inconvenient and she’s dead.
Pro-aborts are loudly pro-claiming that recognizing the right to life of unborn babies from the beginning of life will mean that pregnant mothers won’t be able to get life-saving medical treatment. Consider North Dakota’s SCR 4009 which will appear on the ballot in 2014:
The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.
Where does this text suggest or even hint that pregnant mothers can’t get life-saving medical treatment? It doesn’t say anything on the subject. Pro-aborts think this silence gives them the license to make it up. They get to imagine a dystopia as if it’s reality. So they spout their lies and scare tactics with reckless abandon.
Here’s a key fact they conveniently forget: The right to life doesn’t protect your life in every circumstance. If I attacked you in an alley endangering your life, could you defend your own life with lethal force? Obviously, yes. But am I not a person? Do I not have a right to life? This point is worth repeating. Even though I am a person with a right to life, you could kill me.
Of course, even when you’re under attack, you have to use the minimum force necessary to defend yourself. If you show a weapon and I cease to be a threat, you couldn’t kill me anyway.
The above example makes plain that lethal force is justified against a lethal threat. No legislature in the United States is ever going to legislate otherwise. North Dakota’s (or any other) proposed Personhood amendment doesn’t legislate otherwise either.
In a pregnancy, the baby isn’t attacking anyone. She is innocent. Consider another example which is far closer to life-threatening pregnancy. Two persons, Barbara and Susan, are swimming in a lake. Barbara starts to drown and in her panic, she understandably clings to Susan. Would it be ok for Susan, in order to save her own life, to push Barbara away? Once again, the point is worth repeating. Barbara is a person with a right to life, yet Susan can push her away to save her own life.
Likewise, though the unborn are persons with a right to life, a pregnant mother will always be able to get life-saving treatment, even when that treatment involves the tragic death and removal of her unborn baby.