In an epic race to the bottom, North Dakota becomes the first state in the nation to pass "personhood," a measure that would define life as beginning at the moment of conception and ban all abortions. Personhood measures have been proposed in numerous states, including Mississippi, but have been rejected every time.
The House voted to pass the constitutional amendment, 57-35, and now voters must vote on the measure.
This amendment is setting up a challenge to the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, granting the right to privacy with regards to abortion by invoking the Due Process Clause. The Supreme Court dispelled the argument that a fetus is a person who deserves the right to Fourteenth Amendment protection. The Court in Roe held that the state may not abridge on the right to an abortion in the first trimester. This personhood amendment in North Dakota directly bucks that decision. Taking into consideration the conservative make-up of the current U.S. Supreme Court, despite the appointment of a record number of women to the Court, there is legitimate cause for concern.
Besides banning abortion in all cases, including rape, incest, and to save the life of the woman, this measure would also ban in-vitro fertilization, stem cell research, and criminalize doctors who provide the medical procedure.
If the personhood amendment passes in North Dakota, this fertilized egg will have the same rights as actress Ashley Judd.