N.D. Lawmakers Advance Bills Extending Rights To Fertilized Eggs, Easing Parental Consent Mandates

February 20, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

The North Dakota House on Tuesday voted 51-41 to approve a measure (H.B. 1572) that would give a fertilized egg the legal rights of a human being, the AP/Yahoo! News reports. Supporters said the measure is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. The bill states that “any organism with the genome of homo sapiens” is a person and therefore protected by rights guaranteed in the North Dakota Constitution and state laws. The bill will now move to the state Senate. Rep. Dan Ruby (R), the sponsor of the bill, said that the measure would not automatically ban abortion. Ruby said that the language in the bill is “not as aggressive as the direct ban legislation that I’ve proposed in the past,” adding that it is “very simply defining when life begins and giving that life some protections under our Constitution — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Critics of the bill said it would cost millions of dollars to defend if enacted into law (Wetzel, AP/Yahoo! News, 2/18).

Parental Consent for Pregnant Minors

In other news, the state Senate on Tuesday voted 40-6 to approve a measure that would ease parental consent mandates in current law that prohibit a physician from treating a pregnant girl younger than age 18 without consent from a parent or guardian, the AP/Grand Forks Herald reports. The bill (S. 2394) would allow health care workers to contact parents in certain cases but requires discussion with the minor first. The bill would not allow physicians to perform abortions without parental consent. State Sen. Judy Lee (R) said the bill restricts medical care that is permitted without parental consent to pregnancy testing, prenatal care and treatment for pain. Lee said this restriction was added to make the bill more acceptable to the state House, which has defeated similar proposals in the last two sessions (AP/Grand Forks Herald, 2/17).

Reprinted with kind permission from http://www.nationalpartnership.org. You can view the entire Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery here. The Daily Women’s Health Policy Report is a free service of the National Partnership for Women & Families, published by The Advisory Board Company.

© 2009 The Advisory Board Company. All rights reserved.

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]


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