Last June I wrote a pretty personal post about the fact that I am a pro-life liberal. In that article, I stated that I was less than excited about the multiple anti-abortion laws that had been passed by the North Dakota legislature in 2013. At the time, I stated that even if the law resulted in the closing of North Dakota’s only Abortion Clinic, in Fargo, we would likely see a new clinic that performed abortions open up a few yards away on the Minnesota side of the Red River.
However, that was a best case scenario. In the months since my post the worst case scenario has came true. First, North Dakota’s largest medical provider, Stanford Health, has allowed admitting privileges to Abortion providers. This act nullified former HB 2304 which mandated that abortion providers be admitted to a local hospital.
Then, last week, U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland overturned the “fetal heartbeat law” that banned abortions after about 6 weeks. In his ruling, Judge Hovland stated “A woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability has been recognized by the United States Supreme Court for more than 40 years. The United States Supreme Court has clearly determined the dispositive issue presented in this lawsuit. This court is not free to impose its own view of the law.”
Finally, it was reported last week that the funds that the Legislature approved in order to fight the constitutionality of the Abortion bills was about to be used up.
As it turns out the $400,000 that was appropriated was either a gross misrepresentation by our elected officials of the cost of defending such legislation, or an admission by them that the cost of trying to defend the laws was a drain of taxpayer resources they were not willing to commit to.
I suspect it was the latter.
At the time the Abortion laws were passed bill author Rep. Bette Grande (R) seemed to welcome the inevitable challenge by the Abortion industry. Grande told the Associated Press “Whether this is challenged in court is entirely up to the abortion industry. Given the lucrative nature of abortion….it will be challenged by the industry.”
The funny part about Grande’s statement a very similar thing is true about politicians who pass legislation they know will never go into effect. Given the lucrative and passionate anti-abortion movement in the United States, it is financially beneficial for politicians to pass laws that make them appear to be very anti-abortion. It does not seem to matter if abortions are actually reduced as a result of the laws. It seems as long as Politicians come across as doing their best, they will benefit from the passions (and finances) of the anti-abortion movement and the Christian Right.
Meanwhile, abortion continues unchanged in North Dakota.
Perhaps next time, the Legislature will spend a little less time on political theater and a little more time addressing the root causes of abortion. Hopefully they will not waste any more time and tax payer money on worthless laws.