Tom Freier: North Dakota Must Appeal Court Ruling Striking Down "Heartbeat Bill"

We find the Forum’s editorial calling the 2013 Heartbeat Bill a stunt having ‘little to do with common-sense’ and gloating over the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to block the provision of the measure passed by a 2-1 vote of the legislature representing the people of North Dakota-inaccurate and misleading. The Forum failed to address two key points: 1) what the 8th Circuit Opinion really said 2) what was the real purpose of HB 1456 the Heartbeat Bill.

The Opinion made it very clear that the decision was bound by previous Supreme Court rulings, including Roe and Casey. These cases laid down the viability standards which are in question today. The Opinion repeatedly reiterated that its hands were tied, “because Supreme Court precedent does not permit,” and “we have no choice,” and “we are bound” and then most telling “although controlling Supreme Court precedent dictates the outcome of this case.” This statement prefaced the Opinion spending almost half of its print space to question the viability standard and strongly advocating for its review at the Supreme Court level.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]The recent videos of Planned Parenthood executives speaking of the harvesting and selling of body parts and organs of unborn babies depicts an accurate account of abortion. It terminates the life of a separate, unique living human being.[/mks_pullquote]

The Opinion called the viability standards outdated by current medical technology and that we would be “better served by a more consistent and certain marker than viability.” The Opinion continued, “Here the North Dakota Legislature has determined that the critical point for asserting its interest in potential life is the point at which an unborn child possesses a detectable heartbeat.” That was the intent of HB 1456. And the Opinion concludes “To substitute its own preference to that of the legislature in this area is not the proper role of a court.”

The Opinion furnished other strong rationale for the Highest Court to revisit the issue, concluding “good reasons exist for the Court to reevaluate it jurisprudence.”

Unfortunately the Forum, unlike the majority of the people of North Dakota, has no foundational understanding of the Heartbeat Bill-which had everything to do with common sense. Quite simply the purpose of the Heartbeat Bill was to protect unborn human life when a heartbeat was detectable. A beating heart is the clearest indication of life and as such requires humane treatment and protection. Maybe as the Forum states “most legal scholars” don’t understand this, but the people of North Dakota do.

The recent videos of Planned Parenthood executives speaking of the harvesting and selling of body parts and organs of unborn babies depicts an accurate account of abortion. It terminates the life of a separate, unique living human being. Planned Parenthood’s own words verify that they can alter an abortion procedure at 17 weeks to be able to capture the desired, undamaged organ, such as a liver or a heart-to be sold. The graphic reality of these procedures and the very nature of abortion are not consistent with North Dakota values and more so a civilized country as America.

These Planned Parenthood videos demonstrate their full knowledge of that whether at 6 weeks when a heartbeat is detectable, or at 17 weeks when they can harvest a liver or heart, an abortion takes the life of a separate, living human being–a life that deserves our protection. That is why North Dakota passed the Heartbeat Bill and that is why the 8th Circuit Court rebuked itself for substituting its preference in place of the will of the people.

The Forum calls the passage and appeal process related to the Heartbeat Bill “a waste,” in essence trivializing efforts to protect unborn babies with a beating heart or protecting 17 week old unborn babies from being the victims of organ harvesting. How can this be?

In all good conscience, how can we not advocate the state to appeal HB 1456, the Heartbeat Bill?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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