One of the eight – yes, eight – measures on the November ballot is a pro-life measure which would amend the state constitution with this one line: “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”
Pro-abortion groups have responded by suggesting that this change in the law is “scary” because it would have nurses, doctors and family members being prosecuted for murder for honoring the end-of-life wishes of their patients or loved ones.
That argument is a little hard to swallow. As you can see from the text above, the law would only state that we recognize a right to life at all stages of development. We already recognize a right to life outside of the womb, and have reams of laws protecting it. What would be new is a right to life inside of the womb.
But I digress.
The folks at ND Choose Life – a coalition of pro-life groups formed to support the measure – have gone on the offensive against these arguments. They’ve released a video (see above) and they’re also putting out a “white paper” to refute some of the most common arguments against it:
A group backing the measure, ND Choose Life, has assembled a four-page document that cites state and federal law and past court decisions in an attempt to refute opponents’ claims that the measure could interfere with end-of-life health decisions and directives.
The paper will be sent to most North Dakota churches and “tens of thousands” of voters in ND Choose Life’s database, spokeswoman Shelle Aberle said.
It was prompted in part by a July 16 opinion letter in the Grand Forks Herald by Steven Morrison, a member of North Dakotans Against Measure 1 and assistant law professor at the University of North Dakota School of Law, as well as other letters to the editor.
You can read the referenced letter here.
This is pretty savvy by the ND Choose Life folks. For one, their video features a young woman. The left has been very effective at organizing women against conservative policies, most notably sex reproductive policies. The video highlights that there are plenty of women in the pro-life movement.
But where there’s risk for the amendment is in the pro-abortion groups muddying the waters. Planned Parenthood and other groups did that with great affect in 2012, raising over $734,000 to defeat Measure 3 on that ballot which was the Religious Liberty Amendment. Their modus operandi was to cast the amendment – which stated that religious liberty cannot be burdened or restricted unless the government demonstrated a compelling reason to do so – would result in all sort of zany outcomes including people cooking meth and engaging in human sacrifice in the name of concocted religious doctrine.
That was patently ridiculous, but it worked. The amendment got less than 36 percent of the vote.
The pro-abortion folks could do the same to Measure 1 on the 2014 ballot by casting it as something that might put you in jail for honoring grandpa’s DNR request. It’s not true, but then politics isn’t so much about truth as it is about perception.