And second, here's a guest post by Keepaskingwhy on...
North Dakota's State Legislation on Reproductive Rights
ND still has 2 abortion related bills pending. Our legislature meets every other year and typically runs through April. Here's the info on the pending bills:
HB 1466: Passed the House 61-26. This bill is being called the "trigger bill" because it only goes into effect upon the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This was the only bill with this requirement. The bill makes abortion illegal except to save the life of the mother. No exemptions for rape or incest. Felony for anyone who assists in an abortion but during testimony it was indicated that woman was not included (bill is a little vague in that area). This bill had some democratic support in sponsorship and passage on the House side.
SB 2400: This bill has not had a hearing yet. Gives rights of citizenship to born and preborn as identifed in the ND state policy on abortion and child birth.
Three previously filed bills were defeated last Friday. I won't go into a lot of detail on them except to note them:
HB 1464: Failed on House floor 49-39. Bill was vague and there was a lot of confusion as far as its effect. Added in multi-fetal abortions as being restricted. Lots and lots in bill about materials, videos, etc. to be shown to a woman seeking an abortion.
HB 1489: Failed on House floor 69-20. Strongest worded bill filed. Outlawed abortion, period. No exemptions. Although there was some dispute in the hearing, appears to provide for prosecution of woman as well as anyone else who assisted. Also appeared to make birth control illegal. Sponsors stated it was designed to be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade by addressing the items noted by Blackmun in Roe v. Wade. This hearing was particularly offensive. I'm paraphrasing but one of the sponsors essentially said that we need to make abortion illegal no matter what because women are too easily influenced by others. In other words, we need big, all-knowing men like him to protect us from making our own decisions about what's best for us. Bleh.
HB 1494: Failed on House floor 60-29. This bill restricted use of public funds for genetic testing. Bill was very vague and confusing. During testimony it came out that focus of the bill was to prohibit genetic testing where there is no cure. Ex., down's syndrome. Since there's no cure, there's no need to do testing because knowing would then influence the woman into possibly having an abortion. While testing in which there is a cure (ex. spinal bifida), should be allowed so could be fixed in utero. The big insurance company here was against this bill because it would be impossible to implement with changes in medical testing, etc. (ND Leg Session only meets every other year). Plus, there has been no issue regarding any insurance company forcing an abortion as a result of genetic testing results.
There was also SB 2312 which we wondered if meant as a way to restrict abortions but was found to not be abortion related at all.
On all these bills, it was the usual cast of characters as far as who was for and against.
The State of South Dakota came up a lot in these hearings and all the press SD got last year really helped in the defeat of HB 1489 in my opinion. The ND Legislature didn't seem to want the national attention of publicly challenging Roe v. Wade (although they have no problems with the national attention and ridicule we get from having a cohabitation ban which makes it illegal for the opposite sex to live together).
That's the report from your northern neighbor...now keep that other stuff in your state. We've got our hands full as it is up here!
Thanks, Keepaskingwhy! Feel free to post updates at any time - and I'm still open to guest bloggers for news on SD's new proposed ban (and for news on abortion legislation across the nation. God, that sounds like a slogan, doesn't it? "Plain(s) Feminist: News on Abortion Legislation Across the Nation." Sheesh.)