: Following the ruling of a federal judge in North Dakota to strike down the state’s ban on abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat this past April, several media outlets erroneously reported that Measure 1 on the ballot this November is a proposal that "would give personhood rights to embryos," would effectively "ban abortion" and would "define life at conception."
: Measure 1, the Human Life Amendment, does not define when life begins, does not provide rights to embryos and does not ban abortion. The amendment prevents outside abortion groups from successfully suing in state court to impose an unfettered right to abortion under the state constitution.
(broadcast by WDAY and WDAZ): Measure 1 on the November ballot "would give personhood rights to embryos."
• Measure 1 is the Human Life Amendment and provides that "the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected."
• Two proposals to extend "personhood rights" to embryos were rejected by the North Dakota Legislature (SB 2302 and SB 2303).
• Instead, the North Dakota Legislature supported a different proposal, the Human Life Amendment, to protect state laws from being invalidated in lawsuits brought by outside groups who seek to invent a right to abortion in the state constitution that goes beyond what is required by federal law.
• Measure 1 leaves to the legislature all future decisions about abortion. The amendment does not change any existing statutes; it simply provides a strong legal framework to uphold policy decisions made by the legislature.
(broadcast by WDAY and WDAZ): Measure 1 "would give personhood rights to embryos, effectively banning abortion."
• Measure 1 does not ban abortion. Abortion in North Dakota remains legal up to 20 weeks, and longer in cases of medical emergency.
• Measure 1 strengthens the legal foundation to prevent a state judge from finding a right to abortion in the state constitution and leaves to the legislature all future decisions concerning abortion.
• Measure 1 does not change state law providing for abortion up to 20 weeks, and longer in cases of medical emergency. Any future changes to those laws will be up to the legislature.
• Measure 1 will provide a strengthened legal framework to uphold the decisions of our elected officials that are regularly challenged by out of state abortion groups seeking to impose an unlimited right to abortion under the state constitution. Recently, a state judge in Fargo issued a ruling that advances their agenda.
(published in Grand Forks Herald):
•Measure 1 "would define life at conception."
: Unlike so-called "personhood" proposals that provide that life begins at conception, Measure 1 does not define when life begins. Instead, this decision—and all other issues concerning abortion—will be left to the legislature to decide.
: Measure 1 will strengthen the legislature's ability to defend the laws they pass against challenges brought by out of state abortion groups seeking to impose an unfettered right to abortion under the state constitution.
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