Monday, April 8, 2013

Personhood

North Dakota became the first state to pass a personhood amendment.  The amendment grants "legal personhood rights to embryos from the moment of fertilization."  So what does that mean?

The amendment would ban abortions in the state without granting any exceptions for rape, incest, or for the health of the mother.  Further, it could affect the legality of some birth control, stem cell research, and in vitro fertilization.

The amendment will appear on the 2014 ballot and the voters can either accept or reject the amendment to the state's Constitution.  Similar legislation has been rejected in other states, most notably Mississippi.

Numerous Republicans actually oppose the bill.  State Representative Kathy Hawken opposes it, saying "I have so many friends with grandchildren from in vitro fertilization, and to take that away from these people who desperately want children is not okay." 

Hawken then drops the microphone, saying, "I believe if men had babies we would not be having this discussion."

I'm not 100% sure if these types of amendments are constitutional.  They would have to be explicit to avoid the amendment becoming an ex post facto law.  Additionally, it remains unclear how the personhood amendment is not a blatant disregard to Roe v. Wade.


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