N.D. Senate Passes 'Personhood' Legislation

Personhood Legislation

In a vote of 24 to 23, the North Dakota Senate passed SB-2303, legislation that gives legal rights to newly fertilized eggs (embryos). The bill may also prevent preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and will not allow patients to dispose of their own embryos.

According to the website Parents Against Personhood, it is nearly certain the House will pass the bill as well. So, unless it is vetoed by the governor, North Dakota is likely to becom the first state to pass personhood into law.

The language of the bill states: “Human being” means an individual member of the species homo sapiens at every stage of development.

On Feb. 18, the North Dakota Coalition for Privacy in Health Care issued a press release in which Stephanie Dahl, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist from Fargo, says SB 2303 will restrict doctors in North Dakota from helping women who are trying to get pregnant. “This bill will make it impossible for us to provide some types of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to couples who desperately want to have a baby,” Dahl says.

Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 4009, another piece of ‘personhood’ legislation, passed the Senate on Feb. 7. If it passes the House, it will go on the general election ballot in November 2014. SCR 4009 would ban common forms of birth control, life-saving pregnancy care, in vitro fertilization and all abortion without any exemptions.

Another piece of legislation that made headlines would limit the number of eggs a doctor can fertilize to the number of embryos transferred in that cycle, SB-2302, did not pass the Senate.

February 19, 2013
Posted by Leigh Ann Woodruff

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