North Dakota Gets Creative In Attempt To Ban Abortion

Last year, the state of North Dakota attempted to enact a “Fetal Heartbeat Bill” that would prevent women from seeking an abortion once a heartbeat can be detected, or at 6-7 weeks. This, however, was quickly overturned by a judge because it violated the standard set by the Supreme Court of 24-25 weeks.

Now, this isn’t some arbitrary number. The reason it’s set at 24-25 weeks is because that’s when the fetus becomes viable. Women in this country have the right to abort up until a time when the fetus can survive on it’s own outside the womb.

Alas, North Dakota really, really, really wants to ban abortion. Or, rather, the people who make laws in North Dakota really, really, really want to ban abortion. I would assume that because there are women obtaining abortions at the state’s one abortion clinic, that not everyone in North Dakota is actually all that desperate to ban abortion. If that were the case, there would be no abortions in North Dakota to begin with, and they wouldn’t even have to bother with laws.

However, this recent setback isn’t going to keep North Dakota from trying. An attorney representing the state is now trying to “prove” that — with the help of some science fiction-type technology – a fetus could hypothetically be “viable” in the first trimester.

Via Reuters:

Daniel Gaustad, an attorney who represents North Dakota, argued Tuesday that the state’s law, the most restrictive in the nation, did not violate U.S. Supreme Court rulings that permit abortion before a fetus is viable. Current law determines that period to be about 24 weeks.

“It’s a standard that’s been applied for centuries to determine the life of a human being,” Gaustad told a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments on both cases.

North Dakota is seeking a bench trial at which it could present medical evidence that a fetus can survive for several days with medical assistance even in the first trimester. In previous filings, a doctor for the state argued that viability begins at conception since an embryo can be kept alive in a lab and reinserted into the womb.

Oh. OK, so because Daniel Gaustad can imagine a hypothetical situation whereby — I assume — a fetus is removed, kept in a laboratory for a spell, and then re-implanted into the womb, then the fetus should officially count as being viable at the moment of conception. Huh.

Were this technology to actually be a thing (it is not), it would actually be a pretty great development for those of us on the pro-choice side of things. I mean, women who don’t wish to have babies could just have their fetuses removed, and then implanted into another woman.

But who? Well, I am sure the anti-choice ladies will just be lining up around the block to get their hot fetus injections! Because their opposition to abortion is definitely all about saving the precious fetuses, and not at all about scarlet women receiving their righteous punishment for their promiscuity, right? This would be a great opportunity for all of us, I’m sure.

[Wonkette]

[Reuters]