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ND Measure 1 on November Ballot Aims to Protect Life - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

ND Measure 1 on November Ballot Aims to Protect Life

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WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE:

As North Dakotans head to the voting booth in November, they'll have the opportunity to support or oppose what's called "North Dakota Measure 1."

"It's not a law, it's a constitutional amendment that essentially states that all living human beings should be protected, so this doesn't pertain only to abortion; this pertains to every living human being," says North Dakota Right to Life Chairman of the Board John Trandem.

Even though it isn't a law, supporters say they hope the amendment lays the ground work for potential laws to come:

"If they were to pass future laws that protect life, they would be able to look into the Constitution and say 'Absolutely this washes with what our Constitution says,'" says Trandem.

North Dakota's Measure 1 states: "The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected," and its brevity is exactly what worries those in opposition:

"They say it's a simple statement, but it's really a very unclear worded statement and that's our concern," says North Dakotans Against Measure 1 Chairperson Dina Butcher.

Those with North Dakotans Against Measure 1 say they are trying to educate voters on their beliefs that the measure could lead to laws that intrude into personal decisions.

"End of life decisions; they could impact those people who are seeking fertility treatments," says Butcher.

Both sides are looking for your vote and now's the time to get educated ahead of the November ballot. We have information from both sides of this issue- just go back to the main page and click on the hot button.
 
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Voting on Measure 1 in North Dakota is scheduled to be on the November 4 ballot. The measure, if approved, would be for the "inalienable right to life" at every stage of human development.

Some supporting and opposing groups, however, have said the amendment's primary goal is to include "fetal development" as a stage of life and effectively ban abortion. North Dakota would be the first state in the country to define life as beginning at conception if Measure 1 passes.  
 
North Dakotans Against Measure 1 will be holding an event to talk about and discuss the Measure 1 amendment to the state constitution. The group will meet on Thursday, May 1 at 7:00 PM at the Arts Center in Jamestown. To attend the event, you can contact Scott Sandness by e-mail at ssandness@hotmail.com.

The ban on abortion was one of the most debated issues to come out of North Dakota's last legislative session. Earlier this month, a federal district judge blocked the state's ban on abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy, calling the law an invalid and unconstitutional. 

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland also said the state didn't present any reliable medical evidence to justify the passage of the law. 
In a statement, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said he will be meeting with state officials and reviewing the court order before making a decision on whether to appeal.

"Although the court's order today is not wholly unexpected, a decision on whether to appeal the decision requires a careful analysis of the order, case law, and the facts presented to the court," Stenehjem said when the ruling was made mid-April.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the legal challenge of the law on behalf of the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo, the state's only abortion provider. The clinic's director said she is pleased with the ruling.

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