Today was a heavy afternoon with a couple hours of testimony regarding the “heartbeat” bill. HB 1456 asks the North Dakota Legislature to make the determination that life begins with the detection of a heartbeat at approximately 6 weeks, 6 days (even though a fetus cannot survive outside the womb before 20 weeks). The Supreme Court has protected women’s rights in this matter since 1973 – and I believe this bill is nothing more than a ploy to pull North Dakota into the bigger Roe vs Wade decision that many would like to have overturned.
If passed as law there is no doubt that North Dakota will be immediately involved in law suits that will last years and cost much. I maintain that it is not our job as ND Legislators to overturn (or position ourselves for that legal battle) the decision of the highest court – as legislators we have a much more pressing job before us…. to make sure the MANY pressing needs of the people are addressed NOW, and to make the next 63 days count. People are counting on us to address the myriad needs of the oil impacted side of the state, property tax reduction issues, health care issues… and so much more.
If the special interest groups (and to be sure, they’re behind this with a total of 5 bills in the house and the senate) want to battle this with the Supreme Court – let THEM battle it on THEIR dime. Not ours.
The Bismarck Tribune ran a story on this bill, see below…
Bill Prompts Debate When Life Begins