Friday, February 20, 2009

Good for North Dakota!!

Their legislature just passed (51-41) a bill that gives a fertilized human egg the legal rights of a person, and thus protects it under the constitution. The Senate must now approve the legislation as well, but at this point it seems likely that they will. Obviously this is a major challenge to Roe v. Wade, and will almost certainly end up in the courts. It sounds like they're really willing to fight for this, though: the sponsor of the bill, Dan Ruby, pointed out that his state has been willing to go to bat for other principles that were less important. Way to go, North Dakota!

I think this is a brilliant new front in the efforts to stop abortion. The biggest problem we face right now is that the debate is always framed as the "woman's right" and everyone talks about the poor woman who is facing such difficulty, etc. We've been trying to make abortion illegal for decades, and it isn't working, because we have not yet succeeded in getting to the root of the problem: recognition (or lack thereof) of the fetus as a person. This legislation does exactly that, and I'm hopeful that we might actually get somewhere with this new tactic.

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