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13 April 2009

Good News / Bad News from North Dakota

By Diana Hsieh

The good news is that North Dakota's anti-abortion "personhood" bill -- a mirror of Colorado's own Amendment 48 -- failed to pass its state senate. The bad news is that various other unjust controls on abortion did pass.

Here's the report from the anti-abortion LifeSiteNews:

BISMARCK, North Dakota, April 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Friday the North Dakota Senate voted down a bill that would have granted personhood status to human beings from the moment of conception, but passed two informed consent bills with strong support.

Senate lawmakers voted down the personhood bill by a 29-16 margin after it had passed the state House in mid-February. House Bill 1572 would have defined a "person" in law as including "a human being includes any organism with the genome of homo sapiens," and thus afforded unborn children full legal protection.

Four days before the Senate hearing on the bill, North Dakota's two Catholic Bishops, Paul Zipfel of Bismarck and Samuel Aquila of Fargo, called a news conference to announce that they would not support the current form of the bill. According to reports, the amendments offered by the bishops were sweeping - striking every word of the original bill - and the bishops had not contacted the bill's sponsor, Rep. Dan Ruby, prior to the press conference.

Personhood legislation has been introduced in a handful of states around the country, including Maryland, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. Other states, such as Oregon and Mississippi, aim to introduce personhood language through a constitutional amendment.

The same day North Dakota senators turned down the state's personhood bid, the Senate voted in favor of two other pro-life bills that had passed the House. A bill requiring abortion providers to inform a patient that "the abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique living human being," passed 34-11. Another bill, requiring abortion providers to perform an ultrasound and give mothers the option to view the ultrasound image of their unborn child, passed by a 44-1 margin.

In addition, the Senate passed a resolution urging U.S. Congress to strike down the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would nullify all state and federal abortion regulations, according to the Christian Post.
That's odious. Women have the right to undergo any medical procedure of their choosing, so long as the doctor is a willing provider thereof. Legislators violate the rights of those women and their doctors by demanding more, namely that the women hear certain dogmas and see certain body parts beforehand. Nonetheless, I suppose that I should be glad, as the "personhood" measure would have been far, far worse.

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06 April 2009

The Meaning of Animal Husbandry

By Diana Hsieh

This bit of news is too funny not to blog: Larcenia Bullard -- Florida state senator, Vice-Chair of the Agricultural Committee, and former teacher -- was confused about the meaning of "animal husbandry." Here's what happened during a discussion of a law that would outlaw bestiality:

Rich's legislation would target only those who derived or helped others derive "sexual gratification" from an animal, specifying that conventional dog-judging contests and animal-husbandry practices are permissible.

That last provision tripped up Miami Democratic Sen. Larcenia Bullard.

"People are taking these animals as their husbands? What's husbandry?" she asked. Some senators stifled their laughter as Sen. Charlie Dean, an Inverness Republican, explained that husbandry is raising and caring for animals. Bullard didn't get it.

"So that maybe was the reason the lady was so upset about that monkey?" Bullard asked, referring to a Connecticut case where a woman's suburban chimpanzee went mad and was shot.
Wow. Sadly, the funny of that story is marred by the fact that such laughably ignorant politicians wield astonishing powers over nearly every facet of our lives, usually with little regard for individual rights. (Via Pope Hat.)

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