North Dakota Politics

Maps featuring Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin regarding how many clinics will close down in the states affected. 

Three of those mentioned were won by Obama both times (Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia) and a fourth (North Carolina) was won by Obama in 2008, then Romney in 2012.

Seven same-sex couples have filed a lawsuit challenging North Dakota’s ban on marriage equality. This means that lawsuits are pending in ALL 31 states that ban same-sex marriage. Every single one. 

Judges have overturned several of those bans since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

Minneapolis-based attorney Josh Newville, who is representing the North Dakota couples, also filed a lawsuit on behalf of South Dakota couples in May.

We are on the brink of something huge. 

North Dakota governor signs ban on abortion because of genetic defects or if heartbeat is detected

This morning, North Dakota GovernorJack Dalrymple signed a ban on abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. He also signed a first-of-its-kind law banning abortion for reasons of genetic defects such as Down syndrome. 

from AP:

Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed legislation Tuesday that that would make North Dakota the nation’s most restrictive state on abortion rights, banning the procedure if a fetal heartbeat can be detected — something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The Republican governor also signed into law another measure that would makes North Dakota the first to ban abortions based on genetic defects such as Down syndrome.

The measures are fueled in part by an attempt to close the state’s sole abortion clinic in Fargo. Supporters of the so-called fetal heartbeat measure said it is a direct challenge the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until a fetus is considered viable, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

Abortion-rights advocates have promised a legal fight that they say will be long, costly and unwinnable for the state.

read the rest

Bring on the legal battle.  

The genetic defects ban actually blows apart pro-abortion arguments that “It’s my body, and I should choose what happens to it.”  Here is a clear distinction between the woman’s body and that of her unborn child, and for liberals to argue this point on different terms is purely hypocritical. You can’t have it both ways.  

In oil-booming North Dakota, Walmart cashiers start at $17.40 per hour

There’s a good reason why there’s an oil boom in North Dakota and not in other states.  Most of the oil production there is happening on private land and it out of the reach of much of the Obama administration’s regulation. 

The results are astounding.  Check out the jobs board at Walmart in Bakken, North Dakota.  The lowest level employees are starting at $17.20/hour and cashiers start at $17.40/hour.  That’s more than the so-called “living wage” that liberals constantly whine about. 

The benefit of having access to drill sites is that virtually everybody in North Dakota is prospering.  While union activists protest Walmart and fast food restaurants across the country, they should be protesting the Federal Government’s over-regulation of American energy production.  That’s what’s really keeping wages down.

from Watchdog:

North Dakota is experiencing an incredible rush thanks to fracking, a new drilling technology unlocks that shale oil pockets deep in the Earth.

Just how profitable is the oil boom? Consider that North Dakota enjoyed a 2.6 unemployment rate last month, compared with the 6.3 percent national average.

In Williams County, North Dakota, the epicenter of the oil boom, the unemployment rate is an astounding 0.9 percent.

Watchdog.org’s Rob Port noted earlier this month the state now has more job openings than workers to fill the positions.

What’s the takeaway here? “The energy sector is the strongest sector of the US economy, and is bringing wealth, prosperity, and high-paying jobs to places like western North Dakota and south-central and western Texas,” wrote Mark J. Perry, a senior analyst with the American Enterprise Institute.

Seattle, which just enacted a plan to raise its local minimum wage to $15 an hour, could learn a lesson from North Dakota.

read the rest

Progressives don’t like the oil boom because it removes the need for government dependence.  Government doesn’t like competition, and when entry-level businesses like Walmart can afford to pay premium salaries, there’s no need for government welfare dependence. 

Take Our Birth Control Then Deny Us Abortions: How Politicians Are Controlling Women and Us All

In a reasonable and decent world, the topic of women’s reproductive rights wouldn’t be an issue at all. It would be something that none of us would think about, three words that would never be strung together because it would be such an obvious and normal part of our lives. Women would have full autonomy over their bodies, they would be well-educated on issues concerning sex and reproduction, they would have access to the resources they need when it comes to controlling when or if they want to give birth to a child, and they would not be shamed for using these resources.

But we do not live in a reasonable and decent world.

Last month, North Dakota became the worst state in America to be a woman. Governor Jack Dalrymple, a Republican politician who has made it his personal mission to push the limits of federal law and “discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade,” signed the strictest limitations on abortion rights in the country: a ban on abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks. This means that a women would have to undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound to determine the presence of a heartbeat.

As someone who has never been pregnant or risked becoming pregnant, maybe Governor Dalrymple has no idea that many women don’t even know that they’re pregnant at six weeks, but I’m not going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

This is a powerful man who is planning to spend millions of dollars defending this bill and is using every ounce of his political capital to deny women control over their own bodies, and he’s not alone. There are more bills just like this one popping up in states across the country from Ohio, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Kansas. As the sponsor of a similar bill in Ohio said, “There is a crack in the door in Roe versus Wade, and we’re going through it.”…

Read the article on Feminspire

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple on Tuesday signed a measure giving the state the most restrictive abortion law in the United States, a bill banning the procedure in most cases once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks.

Dalrymple also said the constitutionality of the measure was an open question and said state lawmakers should appropriate money to a litigation fund for the state attorney general to defend against any possible challenges to the law.

"Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade," Dalrymple said in a statement.

Considering many women don’t even receive confirmation that they’re pregnant until four to six weeks after conception, the decision essentially gives women roughly fourteen days (if they’re lucky) to decide whether or not they’d like to be a mother. Because forcing people to rush important decisions, like whether or not somebody wants to be a parent, is always a good idea, right?

North Dakota is poised to become the first state in the country to recognize a fertilized egg as a person. At least, that’s what opponents say about a controversial ballot measure to amend state’s constitution. Supporters say that’s total bunk.

The proposal, known as Measure 1, would add a single sentence to the North Dakota constitution: “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.” But the two camps fiercely disagree over whether this language makes Measure 1 a “personhood” amendment—the latest in a series of state proposals defining life as beginning at the moment of conception and giving legal rights to fertilized eggs.

If there was ever a year when that distinction mattered, it’s 2014. Democrats have slammed Joni Ernst, the Republican pick for Senate in Iowa, for supporting personhood. And they’ve hammered Corey Gardner, the Republican nominee for Senate in Colorado, for his past support of a personhood bill. Personhood amendments were developed with the intention of kicking off a legal fight that would eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. But they have failed all three times they have gone before voters—twice in Colorado, and once in Mississippi. Fans of Measure 1 fully recognize the term’s toxicity: ND Choose Life, the official ballot committee for supporters, released a memo arguing that Measure 1 “is not a personhood amendment.” And Christopher Dodson, director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference, says that Measure 1 opponents use the word “personhood” to describe the amendment “because they’re trying to portray it as extreme.”

To reproductive rights advocates and opponents of the amendment, that’s just semantics. “Part of the reason they may have changed some of the messaging is because they’ve been defeated in Colorado and Mississippi,” says Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. “But the measure is very similar to the personhood amendments you saw in those states.”

The facts seem to back this up. Last year, as legislators debated whether to place Measure 1 on the ballot, North Dakota press and supporters of the bill universally referred to it as a “personhood amendment.” Republican state Sen. Margaret Sitte—who wrote the amendment using a Wikipedia article as her guide—didn’t object to the word “personhood” at the time. And a few days after the statehouse approved Measure 1, in March 2013, Sitte held a celebratory press conference with Personhood USA—the Colorado-based group responsible for kicking off the personhood movement—as well as with its local affiliate, Personhood North Dakota.

National anti-abortion rights groups hailed North Dakota for making history. “This is the first time in United States history that a legislative body has approved a personhood amendment in both the House and the Senate,” LifeSiteNews.com, a conservative anti-abortion website, proclaimed in a statement. “This amendment is intended to present a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade," Sitte said of her bill to create Measure 1—echoing language used to describe other personhood measures.

Today, ND Choose Life uses the exact same office space that Personhood North Dakota occupied before that organization shut down in May 2013. (ND Choose Life did not reply to a request for comment.)

Mainstream anti-abortion advocates still aren’t clear on whether Measure 1 is a personhood amendment, either. A spokeswoman for Americans United for Life, the legal arm of the anti-abortion rights movement, declined to answer questions from Mother Jones about Measure 1 “as AUL does not handle personhood issues.” (The questions did not include the word “personhood.”)

But James Bopp, a conservative legal heavyweight who has derided personhood measures in the past, says that this ballot amendment is different. “This measure doesn’t confer personhood,” he tells Mother Jones. “It doesn’t make the unborn a person. It doesn’t confer rights on anybody.”

North Dakotans Against Measure 1 and ND Choose Life, the ballot committees that oppose and support the amendment, have raised $829,786 and $588,601respectively. Planned Parenthood affiliates from across the country have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the measure’s opponents.

If Measure 1 passes, it is scheduled to go into effect in December. Opponents argue that passing the amendment could undermine dying patients’ end-of-life instructions, poke holes in do-not-resuscitate orders, and make in vitro fertilization impossible. (Sitte disputes this. But she wrote an article in 2012 endorsing the idea that IVF is immoral. “Children are begotten, not made,” read title of her piece. “In IVF, children are created in a glass dish, not through an act of love.”) Supporters claim that passing the amendment would protect the status quo in North Dakota, but that failing to pass the amendment would make North Dakota—which has just one abortion clinic—”the most abortion-friendly state in the union.” In reality, it is very likely that Measure 1 will encounter a court challenge and that a judge will temporarily block the amendment before it goes into effect.

Despite the million-dollar-plus campaign fight, a large portion of North Dakota voters remain undecided on Measure 1. The University of North Dakota released a poll in early October showing that 50 percent of voters supported the amendment, 33 percent of voters opposed it, and 17 percent were undecided. A more recent poll, conducted by private polling firm for two local news outlets, found that 45 percent of voters opposed the bill and 39 percent supported it, but 16 percent were still unsure.

Nash says it’s not just a matter of what changes Measure 1 will or won’t make to the law. “It would be a real blow to women’s rights and psychological blow to reproductive health advocates, the idea that we would lose one of these personhood fights,” Nash says. “This is pretty extreme.”

North Dakota residents, please vote NO on personhood bill ‪‎Measure 1‬.

H/T: Molly Redden at Mother Jones

North Dakota is far from being the only state where women’s reproductive rights are in peril. Across the nation we have politicians fighting to make abortion, sex ed, and even birth control less accessible if not entirely illegal, such as in Texas where Planned Parenthood was defunded earlier this year. But most troublesome of all are the proposed “personhood” bills supported by the likes of former Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, which would give full 14th Amendment rights to single-celled organisms inside the womb and criminalize the use of birth control pills. “Personhood” amendments were widely rejected by voters in Mississippi in 2011, so it’s unlikely that such legislation would ever be passed into law while the American people have a say in it, but conservative politicians and an organization called PersonhoodUSA are now fighting for these measures harder than ever. The “Sanctity of Human Life Act” was introduced to Congress on January 3rd, 2013 on behalf of 18 politicians, 17 of whom were men. The stated goal was “To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.”

Looking at all these pieces put together, the big question here is why? Why are politicians, overwhelmingly male politicians, putting so much focus on the legislation of female reproduction and so little on the welfare of children once they are born? Why is Governor Dalrymple of North Dakota prepared to spend millions of dollars to test the limits of Roe v. Wade, but is making no discernible efforts to make sure that families and children in poverty have the resources they need? Why do some conservative politicians “value life” to the point that they are willing to strip women of their bodily autonomy to protect fertilized eggs, but don’t value it enough to enact stricter gun regulations in the wake of a tragedy where 26 people, most of whom were aged 5-7, were murdered in cold blood?

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fatal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in Bismarck granted a temporary injunction Monday that blocks the law from taking effect on Aug. 1.

The law was passed this year by the North Dakota Legislature. It would outlaw the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before some women know they are pregnant.

The law was one of four that the Republican-controlled Legislature and GOP Gov. Jack Dalrymple passed this year that combined make North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation in which to get an abortion.

Ruth Urdahl, Letter to the Editor: Don’t blame election workers who followed the law. Blame Al Carlson's Republican Supermajority that wrote the law that deliberately complicates voting in North Dakota.

Al Carlson

Telephone:   701-232-5832 Fax:   701-232-5832 Email:   acarlson@nd.gov

While the North Dakota Legislature defeated a bill to ban LGBT discrimination statewide earlier this year, cities in the state are taking steps to add a level of protection. The Grand Forks City Council is likely to adopt an ordinance next month to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the city’s rental housing market, which would make it the first city to do so in the state. Grand Forks adopted a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender discrimination ban on city government employment earlier this year. Fargo also is moving ahead with city employment and housing discrimination bans. The discussion has started to spread to other cities as well.

North Dakota Democrats are denouncing Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer’s recent vote to reduce spending on the food stamp program and using the controversy to spur recruiting of a candidate to run against him in 2014. Two Grand Forks legislators appear to be on the short list.