North Dakota Stands Up For Life; Girds For Legal Battle


The state legislature of North Dakota has stood up for fundamental human rights and on Friday passed two of the most far-reaching pro-life bills since Roe vs. Wade. No one knows whether Governor Jack Dalrymple will sign the bills, but the governor is irrelevant—the rights of the unborn were passed with veto-proof majorities.

North Dakota’s pro-life legislation bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, and further bans it for purposes of gender selection or due to genetic defect. Now the question becomes what happens next. Critics of the bills have cited the expense that the state will incur after the inevitable litigation begins and the strong possibility—indeed the hope—that this ends up in the Supreme Court with a showdown over Roe.

A few thoughts regarding this potential watershed moment for the unborn in America…

*The alleged concern about the costs of litigation are comical. If the secular left in this country really feels that money shouldn’t be wasted on lawyers, then there’s an easy answer—don’t challenge the law. Let it stand and move on. Or work to undo it through democratic means rather than judicial fiat.

*With regard to the substance of the law itself, what is the woman who might casually identify as a feminist, but not be a passionate secular left-winger, going to be at the debate over abortion for purposes of gender selection.

The abortion industry has gotten a lot of mileage and made a lot of money by pretending they’re about the health of woman. What happens to that perception when a highly visible clash over whether we should be a society that tolerates the most flagrant form of gender discrimination—murder in the womb—breaks out? There will be a sharp contrast drawn between the abortion industry’s desire for a practice that almost always works against baby girls and the pro-life movement, which staffs pregnancy centers aimed at providing the basics for poor, expectant mothers.

If this reaches the Supreme Court prior to 2016, what happens when these same women realize that the president they thought was oh-so-kind and sensitive to female concerns, steps in and gives legal comfort to the corporate industry that carries out abortion for purposes of gender selection? Does anyone doubt that another amicus curiae brief would be filed the Administration on behalf of Big Abortion?

However the politics of it all shake out, we’re headed for a long overdue battle. Thanks to the legislators of North Dakota for starting the ball rolling.

Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of

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About Author

Dan Flaherty is a freelance writer living in southeastern Wisconsin with a passion for the Catholic Church, the pre-1968 Democratic Party, the city of Boston and the world of sports. He is the owner of, and the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in late 1940s Boston.

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