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Response to “Abortion Amendment Disaster” on 9/22

In his article, author Eric Thibert made a couple of claims that are not backed by factual information. These claims, if not addressed, will deceive you into thinking that Measure 1 does several things that it will not do. This, in turn, would lead many students to vote against Measure 1 based on misinformation. In this article, I will seek to provide clarity about Measure 1 so that whatever decision you decide to make, you make while being informed with correct information.

Measure 1 is a constitutional amendment that North Dakotans get to vote on this November. This measure would add to our state constitution, “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”

Eric clearly stated this, but then he went on to make a couple of claims that are false.

Eric claims, “Measure 1 is clearly intended to ban abortion in all cases.” This claim is bogus because no state can override the ruling of Roe v. Wade, which clearly defined that abortion is legal, at least in certain circumstances. People from both sides have stated that this is not the purpose, and cannot even happen, yet some opponents of Measure 1 continue to use this as a reason you should vote against it. Measure 1 was intended to provide constitutional backing for the pro-life laws that our elected officials have passed and will pass that either restrict abortion in certain circumstances or are just plain common-sense, such as parental notification for minors and informed consent. These laws do not outlaw abortion, and neither will this measure.

The other claim that Eric made was that, “Proponents have admitted that Measure 1 could hurt end of life care by nullifying living wills and ‘do not resuscitate’ requests.” My question is: which proponents? I have been following the discussion about this measure for months now and have yet to see a proponent say that living wills and DNRs will be nullified. On the contrary, this is just another deceptive tactic used by opponents of Measure 1 that has no grounding in reality. Measure 1 states that the “right” to life must be protected, not “life” itself.

Having a right means that the individual is the one who gets to make the decisions, not someone else. You have a right to bear arms. That does not force you to own a weapon against your will. In a similar way, you have a right to life, and nobody can force you to continue living against your will. This measure only seeks to recognize and protect that right. Don’t we all enjoy our right to life?

As you can see, these claims are not based on facts, but are just another scare tactic used by the opponents, seeking to frighten voters into voting their way.

Measure 1 will not affect end-of-life care, and it won’t outlaw abortion. But what it will do is lay a framework that our legislators can build on in passing common-sense laws that protect both the mother and the child.

I urge you to vote Yes on Measure 1, because all people have the right to life, and that right should be recognized and protected.

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