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March 22, 2013

North Dakota Continues Its Unconstitutional Attacks on Choice

“Personhood” question will go to voters on 2014 ballot

Washington, D.C.Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, again expressed profound disappointment in the North Dakota legislature for launching a second unconstitutional attack on choice in the state in as many weeks.

“By asking the people of North Dakota to vote on this ‘personhood’ initiative, politicians in North Dakota are again saying they don’t trust or respect the women of the state,” Hogue said. “We’re confident that the voters of North Dakota will see through this blatant attack on Roe v. Wade and vote it down at the ballot box.”

If the “personhood” ballot measure passes, North Dakota will become the first state in the nation to grant legal rights to a pregnancy, which would effectively ban abortion and many common forms of birth control. Voters in Mississippi voted down a similar initiative by wide margins in 2011, and Colorado has twice rejected overwhelmingly “personhood,” in 2008 and again in 2010.

“When will these anti-choice legislators understand that women deserve the right to control their own bodies? Why do politicians think they are better suited than women and their doctors to decide what happens in women’s lives?” Hogue asked. “With their ‘heartbeat’ ban last week and again with this vote today, politicians in North Dakota have put their state at odds with the law of the land and mainstream opinion in the United States.”

In a poll released on the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, seven in 10 respondents said they were opposed to overturning the landmark decision that recognized a constitutional right to an abortion.

Hogue continued, “We elect leaders to protect our rights, not to strip them away. Again and again, the leaders of North Dakota have let down their constituents in an ideological quest to ban abortion. This time the voters themselves will have an opportunity to make their voices heard at the ballot box. I believe they’ll make the right decision.”

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