Thursday, February 19, 2009

Here We Go Again...

[Hat tip to supporter Paul Root Wolpe and our colleagues at Bioedge for bringing our attention to this story]

As we blogged about before on several occasions, the debate over the personhood and the legal/moral status of embryos (as well as other entities) continues: Even though the 'personhood for embryos' amendment in Colorado was resoundingly defeated, North Dakota is next in line to attempt to create a law that would give full moral and legal status to embryos.

The Grand Fork Herald reports that [The] "measure approved by the North Dakota House gives a fertilized human egg the legal rights of a human being, a step that would essentially ban abortion in the state.

The bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that extended abortion rights nationwide, supporters of the legislation said.

Representatives voted 51-41 to approve the measure. It now moves to the North Dakota Senate for its review.

The two-paragraph bill declares that 'any organism with the genome of homo sapiens' is a person protected by rights granted by the North Dakota Constitution and state laws.

It says the Legislature may choose one of its members to help defend the new law if its constitutionality is challenged in court." Full article accessible here.

I don't know if there are any fertility clinics in North Dakota, but I don't believe there are any exceptions for IVF. Given that this is an attempt to ban abortion, I wonder what consideration, if any, has been given to victims of rape or incest or those families who are choosing PGD to avoid transmission of painful genetic disorders. Or those women whose health might be threatened by a pregnancy (e.g. women with certain forms of MS or Eisenmenger's Syndrome).
There are less coercive ways to discourage and reduce numbers of abortions; and different ways to approach the issue, like Aspen Bakers' Pro-Voice solution.


Nicole said...

Or what about the more than 50% of conceived embryos that never implant in the uterus? Are women who experience regular reproductive cycles breaking the law?
This is the stupidest way to attack abortion ever - it's more like an attack on stem cell research.

patricia mariller said...

Seriously, i think that the question os status of embryos is important. And d├ębate of that is the first step which have to realize.

I profoundly think that the embryos could have a status without discourage or ban abortions.