Monday, March 25, 2013

What Price On A Woman's Life in North Dakota?

North Dakota is not a place that puts a high value on the lives of women:

Voters in North Dakota, where lawmakers last week approved the earliest abortion ban of any U.S. state, will decide whether to amend their constitution with a so-called personhood measure that could end the procedure entirely.
The language voters will consider in November 2014 would establish that “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.” If approved, North Dakota would be the first state with a personhood amendment after Mississippi and Colorado voters spurned similar measures in recent years.
Members of the Republican-dominated legislature in Bismarck also passed a bill that may close the sole abortion clinic in the oil-rich state, the nation’s third-least populous.
“It’s a wonderful way for a state to display that it affirms human life,” said Senator Margaret Sitte, a Republican from Bismarck who sponsored the bill. “I’m hoping it will be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973.
Backers say the personhood amendment will end the procedure in the state, with no exceptions for rape, incest or when a woman’s life or health is endangered. Opponents say it’s unconstitutional and could outlaw some forms of contraception and in-vitro fertilization.

I have bolded the part of the sentence which tells us that the North Dakotan Republicans believe it is better for both the fetus and the pregnant woman to die than for just the fetus to die.  Which tells us that the pregnant woman's life is given the value of zero.

This is all kabuki theater, naturally, as long as Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, or rather, a way to try to overturn Roe v. Wade.   The practical implication of the forced-birth-or-death Republicans being in power in North Dakota is that most likely the last abortion clinic in the state will close. 

But on a different level learning that explicit statement about the value of a woman's life is painful.  Very painful.