Another victory for pro-life proponents.
The State House of Representatives voted 57 to 35 to pass a fetal personhood amendment in North Dakota today. The amendment grants legal personhood rights to embryos from the moment of fertilization.
North Dakota is the first state to pass the fetal personhood amendment. Voters in the state will be able to cast their votes on the amendment on the November 2014 ballot.
If passed, abortions will officially be illegal in North Dakota. The state’s constitution will read that “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.” The amendment reportedly can affect the legality of some forms of birth control, stem cell research and in vitro fertilization.
Keith Mason, president of the anti-abortion advocacy group Personhood USA said, “The North Dakota legislature has taken historic strides to protect every human being in the state, paving the way for human rights nation wide. This amendment strikes the balance of accomplishing more for the unborn than any other amendment the nation has ever seen, while protecting women and their right to true medial care. We applaud the North Dakota House and Senate for their willingness to protect all of the people in their state.”
Those who are against the personhood amendment, including North Dakota Rep. Kathy Hawken, plans on protesting the amendment at a women’s heath rally set to take place on Monday.
Hawkens said, “I have so many friends with grandchildren from in vitro fertilization, and to take that away from these people who desperately want children is not okay. I believe if men had babies, we would not be having this discussion.”
The personhood amendment may prove to be problematic as it does not exclude victims of rape, incest, or women whose health is in danger due to their pregnancy.