BISMARK, ND, March 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – March has been a blockbuster month for the pro-life movement in North Dakota. The legislature has passed a host of pro-life bills, putting the state in a position to become the most pro-life state in the union – assuming the bills are signed into law by the governor.
On Friday, the North Dakota legislature made history by becoming the first state legislature to pass a personhood amendment. That constitutional amendment will next go to the people for a vote, likely in November.
A second piece of personhood legislation, which would have changed the state’s legal code to recognize life as beginning at conception, narrowly failed.
However, the House also passed two other pro-life bills, one that demands that abortion doctors have admitting privileges to hospitals (SB 2305), and a ban on abortions past 20 weeks based upon evidence that babies can feel pain at that age (SB 2368).
SB2368 also bans taxpayer funding from going to organizations that provide abortions.
Those two bills will now go to the governor for his signature.
Governor Jack Dalrymple, a Republican, has not yet indicated whether he will sign some or all of the pieces of legislation.
However, Paul Maloney, the executive director of North Dakota Right to Life, told LifeSiteNews.com that his organization has “always had faith” in Governor Dalrymple, and expects that he will sign the bills.
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Last week, the legislature also passed a heartbeat bill which could ban abortions as early as six weeks, and a ban on abortions for genetic conditions like Down syndrome.
These, too, await the governor’s signature.
“I’m extremely proud of my state for the statement that they’ve made to the country,” Maloney said. He added, “I guess it’s in the hands of the courts,” referencing the fact that the bills will almost certainly be subject to legal challenges.
"We applaud North Dakota for defending life,” said Concerned Women for America CEO and President Penny Nance.
“The bills in North Dakota protect the lives of the most innocent Americans, those without a voice, in the womb. Hopefully, these bills will start a national discussion about what life is and our duty as a civil society to protect it. It starts in the states,” she said.
Nance added that with these laws in effect, the state could become “the first abortion-free state.”
“Life will truly be sacred and protected in North Dakota,” she said.