ND Senate Passes Measure that Threatens Abortion - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

ND Senate Passes Measure that Threatens Abortion

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A North Dakota anti-abortion amendment cleared the Senate yesterday. If the House goes along with it North Dakotans would have the chance to vote on the matter in November of 2014. It could make North Dakota the first abortion free state in the country. Valley News Live talked to opponents of the measure today to find out why they think the proposed amendment goes too far.

The North Dakota state Senate barely passed the personhood measure on Thursday, it was voted through with a margin of just five votes.

Tammi Kromenaker the clinic director at Red Rivers Women's Clinic, North Dakota's only abortion clinic says it's not even North Dakotans that are leading the charge, "there are outside forces like Personhood USA that have attempted to pass these bills in several states. Mississippi, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Dakota, they are shopping around for states and legislators to pass these bills."

Many know the bill has to do with abortion.... But what exactly is the Personhood measure anyway.

Karla Hanson of the North Dakotan Coalition for Privacy and Healthcare explains what the bill means, "personhood gives legal status at any stage of development. So if it's an embryo or a developed fetus, it would have all the legal rights you and I do."

This measure would directly challenge Roe versus Wade, a Supreme Court decision from 1973 that legalized abortion. Kromenaker says it's a decision many Americans support still today,"a majority of Americans have spoken and said Roe vs. Wade and the right to access abortion is settled law. Yet we find these conservative law makers both locally and nationally who continue to attack women's rights."

Hanson says she has a hard time with our state representatives plotting to overturn such a monumental decision, "these are matters that should stay between a patient and her health care provider and not be interfered with by legislature. You can't legislate for every health care scenario."

While North Dakotans could likely have the chance to vote on the matter in 2014, opponents to the measure say now is the time to start thinking about whether this could impact you.

"It impacts women's health care, infertile couples, it impacts women who have complications, and even people who are pro-life who want to protect the unborn, are against personhood in many situations." says Hanson.

North Dakota state Senator Margeret Sitte, a Bismarck republican, says this amendment is intended to present a direct challenge to Roe vs. Wade. She wants North Dakotans to ask the government to recognize what science has already defined.

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