North Dakota’s House of Representatives has passed a bill (HB 1572) that grants legal rights & personhood status to fertilized eggs, fetuses, embryos, and zygotes. Republican State Representative Dan Ruby, House sponsor of the bill, says the bill will withstand any challenge based on Roe's precedent because, "This is the exact language that's required by Roe vs.Wade. It stipulated that before a challenge can be made, we have to identify when life begins, and that's what this does." According to HB 1572, life begins at conception & from that point on the fertilized egg is granted all the rights of a human being. The ignorance of such legislation can be clearly identified by pondering the following legal & practical questions… (some ripped off of Shakesville’s posts on the subject, others from the vast wasteland of my own mind, & still others from the mouths of those I’ve discussed the subject with)
1. In the event of a miscarriage, which happens 10-25% of the time according to the American Pregnancy Association, how are the authorities to deal with the situation? There must be an investigation & an autopsy to rule out foul play, because the embryo has the same rights as any other North Dakotan. Right?
2. What about all those embryos in the fertility clinics of North Dakota? They are technically being held against their will, being frozen & all. What to do with these new citizens?
3. How on Earth does the state of North Dakota plan on monitoring this shit? Since there is no test to determine pregnancy immediately after conception, there will be this big gray area when a crime against a fetus might be committed but no one will know! Will the vessel’s eating habits be monitored…er… the Mother’s eating habits, I mean. Will they be under scrutiny & subject to the latest scientific findings regarding the dangers of too much caffeine or sugar or sushi?
4. Since I don’t imagine North Dakota is a cash cow of a state, where will all the money come from to support the child welfare department & the foster system that will be increasingly over burdened after the Senate passes the personhood bill? What about funding for the prison system that will have to house all those “murderous” would-be mothers & abortionists? And the Medicare programs that will have to pay for the pre- & post- natal care of low income women forced to carry a pregnancy to term?
5. What about the personhood status of the woman who is forced by the state to carry a pregnancy to term? What about her rights? Are they not infringed upon by the state of North Dakota involving itself in her reproductive choices? I liked this point made by Melissa McEwan @ Shakesville:
"I'd like to note that, since a fertilized egg is actually dependent on another human body for its survival, the ND House technically voted to confer upon a fertilized egg more rights than any person. Unless, that is, ND has also passed a law allowing its citizens to, say, demand a spare kidney from any compatible donor, irrespective of the donor's consent."