Wednesday, February 18, 2009

North Dakota House Passes Personhood BIll

The North Dakota House has passed HB 1572, which reads,
SECTION 1. References to individual, person, or human being - Legislative intent. For purposes of interpretation of the constitution and laws of North Dakota, it is the intent of the legislative assembly that an individual, a person, when the context indicates that a reference to an individual is intended, or a human being includes any organism with the genome of homo sapiens.

SECTION 2. STATE TO DEFEND CHALLENGE. The legislative assembly, by concurrent resolution, may appoint one or more of its members, as a matter of right and in the legislative member's official capacity, to intervene to defend this Act in any case in which this Act's constitutionality is challenged.

The headline of the AP article of the story reads, "ND measure says fertilized egg has human rights." Later the article actually reports on the language of the bill by saying,
The 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.

I think the language of this bill is interesting and rather clever because any time an abortion advocate claims that the bill would give a "fertilized egg" rights or ban abortion they are essentially admitting that a "fertilized egg" is a human organism and that abortion kills a human organism.

Another story (from the Associated Press) on the web site a CBS television affiliate, makes this false claim about the legislation
The measure says North Dakota law and the state constitution should consider anything with a single human cell as a human being with all of the rights a human being has.
As you can read above, the legislation makes no claim like "anything with a single human cell" is a human being. That would mean a skin cell would have rights.

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