First Personhood Amendment Passed by North Dakota House

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  • Beadgirl

    My one qualm with this is that such an amendment will give ammunition to the busybodies of the world who harass pregnant women about what they should and should not do. People already get into vicious fights over whether it’s ok to have a half-glass of wine, or eat brie, or drink coffee, or take a bath, or exercise, or not exercise, or eat anything that isn’t a vegetable or whole grain, or take an Advil, or fly on a plane, or eat a candy bar, or or or.

    I desperately want people to understand that a fetus is a human life, but I don’t want to give any credence to the people who think being anti-abortion is about controlling and repressing women.

  • Psy

    If it is voted in by the public, how much of this bill will be upheld by the supreme court?

    • Robert King

      My impression is that this law is designed specifically to provoke a Supreme Court judgment, with the hope that Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

      • Psy

        Well, on a state level it does away with the issue of a certificate of live birth to be recognized as a person but roe vs wade is a bit more complicated. A fetus is not self sustaining without a host ” viability” and the mother has ownership of her body, its similar to forcing someone to give a blood transfusion or kidney to save another in some respects or forcing her to be an incubator, ‘involuntary servitude’ in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. Personal choice is a big thing with the Supreme Court and the Constitution.

        • Brian Niemeier

          The vale of individual choice is derived from the inherent dignity of the person; not the other way around. Hence, “personal” choice. Acknowledging someone’s personhood but denying that person’s right to live based on another person’s right to freedom from coercion is self-contradictory. How can the law affirm someone’s right to personal choice if it denies her right to exist in the first place?

          Parasites and involuntary blood transfusions/organ harvesting fail as metaphors for pregnancy on several counts. First, someone in need of life-saving blood transfusions or transplants is clearly suffering from an abnormal physical deficiency. A fetus’ dependence on his or her mother is by contrast a natural condition. Secondly, the mother’s responsibility for the life she helped create is overlooked. Advancements in medical technology are pushing back the age at which babies become viable outside the womb, so that aspect of the argument is becoming less and less relevant.

          Regarding the Thirteenth Amendment, that law is primarily concerned with economic activity, specifically being forced to perform work under duress. Though pregnancy is taxing, it’s reaching to equate it with the kind of work denoted in the Constitution.

        • Mark Shea

          This is true of any child up to roughly the age of 13. All children are dependent on what mom chooses to do with her body. The superstition that “dependence” ends with the cutting of the umbilical cord is silly. So you are arguing for child murder.

          • Psy

            Your argument is with the Supreme Court and roe vs wade, save your accusations of arguing for murder for those who made the ruling. Have you bothered to read roe vs wade to see what you are up against? Don’t attack me for pointing out the highlights of the ruling to defend your ignorance.

            • Mark Shea

              Thanks for that supine and lickspittle deference to Authoritah. Yes, I’m aware of the absurd arguments of Roe. Still and all, the actual fact remains that it is pure superstition to assign some line of demarcation to birth or viability as the moment when a child stops being dependent on and having a claim on what a woman does with her body. She is going to have to feed, clothe and house that baby–using her body to do it–for years after the baby is born. Roe is based on irrational and superstitious fetishes about umbilical cords and mouth-breathing. And as Peter Singer is making clear, the pro-murder crowd are drawing exactly the wrong conclusion. Instead of saying “Then life should be protected from conception” they are saying, “Then why not murder children too?” Enjoy the company you keep.

              • Psy

                By your response is seems the anti-abortion team will come out of the Supreme Court looking as foolish as the Proposition 8 team did. Good luck with that.

                • Mark Shea

                  You seem to think I am a lawyer living in ND.

                  • Psy

                    No, I just expect the same fallacious approach from the legal team when they are representing religious groups.

                    • Mark Shea

                      I’d be very interested in what you think the fallacy is. It is true, is it not, that children require care from their parents for years after their birth and that parents must use their bodies to provide that care. What is so magical about an umbilicus. Why is Peter Singer fallacious? (He’s insane, I’ll grant you that, but madmen are usually quite logical. Given the premises of the abortionist, why *not* murder children who force their parents to use their bodies feed, clothe, and house them?)

                    • Psy

                      I said “fallacious approach” : absurd arguments, pure superstition, irrational and superstitious fetishes, the pro-murder crowd. Do you really expect people to take you seriously or pay any attention to any point you may or may not have in that?

                      As I understand it viability come around 7 months not at birth, the state has the right to limit abortions AFTER the 1st trimester as the fetus becomes more viable. The courts decided on the woman’s right to privacy during the first trimester is between her and her Doctor. These are the facts you have to deal with instead posting rants.

                    • Mark Shea

                      You still don’t get it. What’s so special about viability? The fact is a five year old, exposed to the elements and abandoned by his parents would die. Parent must, for years and years subjugate “their” bodies to the needs of their children. The notion that viability or snipping an umbilical cord rendeers a baby no longer dependent on his mother’s body for life is a purely arbitrary superstition.

                    • Psy

                      “What’s so special about viability?”

                      I don’t know, I haven’t taken a side on the issue of abortion and its been some time since I’ve read Roe v Wade. My former wife didn’t abort our kids so it was never an issue. However my daughter may face that choice someday, she wants kids but because of a major back injury she risks spending the rest of her life in a wheel chair.

  • Lisa

    It is so WRONG that plan parenthood tries to paint the picture that this is all about suppressing women rights and health care. Plan parenthood plays those deceptive mind games in order to keep business profits up. But in truth, they don’t care one bit about a women’s rights or health, all they want is your money. Plan parenthood is trying to convince us that a women’s pregnancy is an illness. Nothing could be further from the truth, and more disrespectful towards women. Plan parenthood tries to claim non-profit but to anyone who will take the time to look into it will see that they are a multi billion dollar company world wide, leeching of the hard times of women living in poverty. Plan parenthood is NOT your friends ladies, they are the enemy taking advantage of your mistakes in order to make a buck.

    • Psy

      I don’t see how bad mouthing some organization helps your cause other than providing free publicly and making them seem important.

    • rose1929

      well, as far as Planned Parenthood goes, they can use this new law as another reason to get into high dudgeon and all, except they own no abortion “clinics” in ND. There may be one or two small “clinics” that are willing to kill the unborn, but it’s hard to find them in the cold prairie state. But depending on the locality there is a lot of support for PP up there. I used to live in ND and I’m constantly telling my old liberal pals that if they just love PP so much, why don’t they all get together and support PP with their OWN money instead of my tax dollars to fund their abortion mills in say, Texas, where until recently they were getting 90% of their totally-unneeded fungible money from the taxpayers all over this country….
      My new bumper sticker: “The Catholic Church: Fighting Oppressive Governments since 33 A.D.” Now if I could only find a “POPE” sticker of Pope Francis in the style of Obama’s “Hope” poster to replace my POPE sticker of Benedict…

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Psy, preach it!

    When some Greek footballer throws a Nazi salute, I ask the same questions.

    Oh, you didn’t mean it like that?

    • Psy

      Depending on which poll 54%, 63%, 70% of Americans support abortion rights, I don’t think telling them where to donate is a good idea. I also think NOM’s badmouthing gays helped gay marriage pass in three states in the last election and American’s are burned out on “Iraq has WMDs”, “Axis of evil” type of rhetoric.

  • ctd

    Before making comments on the amendment, how about reading it and understanding the law. The measure is not a “personhood” amendment and it does not do anything that has not been done and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court before (Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989)). Calling it a “personhood” amendment plays into the hands of the opposition, which is trying to make this more extreme and unconstitutional than it is.

  • JoAnna

    Psy, viability is now around 21 weeks, which is about 4 months – not 7. Maybe learn some facts about human reproduction?

    Also, see – abortion is a human rights issue, not a religious issue.