As a former North Dakota Lt. Governor and Legislator, I have been watching the debate about Measure 1 unfold. I want people to know that I support Measure 1 as an important proposal to keep intact all the laws we have on the books that balance abortion rights required by the federal government with common sense protections for women children and parents.

Laws like parental notification before a minor can have an abortion, providing informed consent for women and provisions mandating that only licensed physicians with hospital admitting privileges can perform abortions are at risk if Measure 1 fails. That’s because of a court ruling last year that invented a virtually unlimited right to abortion in the state constitution, and then was used to invalidate a law passed by our elected representatives.

I am pro-life, but I realize others have different views. I hope that we can all agree that our elected legislators and voters should make North Dakota laws, not a single judge acting at the behest of outside interest groups. As I enjoy my retirement years, I have been troubled by the charges that Measure 1 would negatively impact end-of-life care decisions. Measure 1 has no impact on end-of-life care, as fourteen experts who have studied the measure recently wrote in a report on this issue.

I also am troubled by the fact that 95% of the money being used to fund opposition to Measure 1 – over $1.4 million so far – has come from the abortion industry based outside our state. Abortion groups like Planned Parenthood are not concerned about end-of-life care or any other issue – they want to protect the court ruling that grants unlimited abortions in North Dakota.

Measure 1 would stop such a “right” and would affirm our state laws. Please stand for the principle that North Dakota laws should be decided by North Dakotans, and not outside groups. Join me in voting Yes on Measure 1.