North Dakota House passes ‘egg as a person’ bill

A controversial political tactic to ban some reproductive health services moved a step closer Tuesday. A bill to confer constitutional rights on fertilized human eggs passed the North Dakota state House Tuesday and moves on to the Senate.

AP reports that the measure’s sponsor, North Dakota Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot, denies the legislation will ban abortion, a long-held and as yet unsuccessful aim in previous legislative sessions.

Bismark CBS affiliate KXMB broadcast snippets of the House debate where the true goal of the law — challenging Roe v. Wade — was made public.

Opponents of the tactic argue that the proposed law’s overly broad language could also outlaw reproductive health care, contraception, in vitro fertilization and stem cell research that involves fertilized eggs.

A statement from the bill’s proponents echo a blast from Colorado’s not-so-distant election cycle past:

“Personhood USA applauds the leadership and support that the North Dakota Life League and North Dakota Family Alliance have shown to make this victory happen,” stated Keith Mason of Personhood USA. He continued, “We thank Rep. Dan Ruby for his courage and for being actively pro-life. This great family man with his wife and 10 children are an example to us all.”

“North Dakotans have gotten used to cold temperatures like -44 degrees, but they haven’t gotten used to child-killing. We applaud and support their efforts to protect every baby by love and by law,” commented Cal Zastrow, who, along with his family, worked on the North Dakota bill at the grassroots level.

Mason, from Wichita, Kan., was best known as an Operation Rescue “truth truck” driver before signing on to the Colorado for Equal Rights push that attempted to add the anti-abortion language to Colorado’s Constitution in 2008. He and Michigan resident Zastrow formed Personhood USA after their efforts to help pass Amendment 48 went down in a crushing 73-27 defeat. The pair now refer to themselves as “missionaries to the pre-born.”

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Wendy Norris

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