Target: Governor Jack Dalrymple
Goal: Condemn proposed abortion ban and demand that the measure be dropped immediately.
After approving some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States, the North Dakota Legislature is attempting to pass measures that would outlaw abortions altogether. These “personhood” amendments would essentially ban all abortions by defining life as beginning at conception. “Conception” is defined broadly, and would include any method or form of conception, including conception by rape.
Doctors are also concerned that the new restrictions will hinder in vitro fertilization. The extreme limitations of the bills are a cause for concern, they suggest, because charges of criminal negligence could be brought against doctors and workers if anything happened to the implanted embryo. Lawmakers insist that the bill addresses these concerns, but doctors have stated that they would not be willing to put themselves or their works at risk.
Of course, while the complications for infertile parents are not unimportant, this bill brings forward the more pressing issue of misogynistic laws in the government. This anti-abortion bill would force women to carry their pregnancies to term, no matter what the circumstances. No exceptions have been made for rape or incest, and no leeway for women of any age. State Senator Margaret Sitte has already voiced her opinion on the matter, stating that, “Rape is a horrible crime. It is absolutely devastating. But do we believe in capital punishment for those children?”
The North Dakotan Legislature has proven time and time again that it has no reservations regarding personhood amendments. Bills such as these severely impact women’s health, and police women’s bodies in ways that no one has the right to do. Republicans have frequently claimed that they want less government and more independent responsibility, but this clearly does not apply where women and their bodies are concerned. Sign the bill below to demand that Governor Jack Dalrymple denounce these bills immediately.
Dear Governor Dalrymple,
Recently, the North Dakota Legislature sent you a series of bills that would effectively ban abortions in North Dakota. These bills intend to define life as beginning at conception, and therefore any attempted termination of that life would become a criminal offense. Doctors are concerned that this could be a major setback for couples looking into in vitro fertilization; if something were to happen to an embryo doctors and their workers could be held liable by the state. Moreover, anti-abortion laws such as these make no exceptions for rape, incest or the age of the mother – all women would be required to carry all pregnancies to term, regardless of the method of conception.
This bill takes medicine and women’s health back into the Stone Age. It is a direct attack on women, their bodies, and their right to autonomous thought. It cannot be allowed to pass. I am writing to demand that you condemn this new measure and ask the North Dakotan Legislature to abandon it immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jenn Farr via Flickr.