Republican Lawmakers Defend Abortion Bills - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Republican Lawmakers Defend Abortion Bills

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The North Dakota House is expected to take up four abortion related bills Friday -- and since there has been a lot of speculation on the bills, lawmakers who back the bills respond to a very public effort to defeat the proposed legislation.   

A group of Republican legislators wants to clear the air before their bills hit the House Floor.  They say their main concern is how Senate Bill 2303 has been twisted regarding in vitro fertilization.  "All of those things are protected in this bill -- the disposal or destruction of a fertilized human ovium, zygote or embryo created through in vitro fertilization, which has been subject to medical testing and analysis, and in reasonable judgment of a medical professional can be destroyed," says Representative Dan Ruby (R) Minot.  "This wonderful technology of in vitro fertilization, which has been such a wonderful thing for so many people, and that's one of the reasons why we want to make sure that we include the opportunity for that to continue," says Senator Spencer Berry, M.D. (R) Fargo.

Bill supporters are also making clear contraception, as well as difficult pregnancies, do not fall within the bill's restrictions:  "It is meant in every way to protect our women, who are undergoing difficult pregnancies. . . .  And when we're talking about the contraception, that includes Plan B," says Senator Margaret Sitte (R) Bismarck.

Opponents have raised concerns that medical providers could be prosecuted for selective reduction after multiple implants -- or for the "dropped petri dish" scenario.  While lawmakers acknowledge there is potential for prosecution when it comes to selective reduction of a fertilized egg, the risk for prosecution is low.  "We're dealing with just a few cells -- yes, it is a human being, but I think that most prosecutors would have a very difficult time saying this is a body and we've heard this whole idea of the dropped glass petri dish.  I can't imagine that a prosecutor that would want to take that case or even consider going there against a doctor, who in good will, had an accident," says Senator Sitte.

"This is about promotion of healthy families and the preservation of life, and the protection of life and the promotion of a culture of life," says Senator Joe Miller (R) Park River.

KX News has been told by Legislative leaders that the remainder of the bills pertaining to abortion will be voted on Friday in the House. 


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