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What oil money has to do with protecting life in North Dakota

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 25th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A flurry of activity has North Dakota poised to become the first truly abortion-free state, protecting children from the moment of conception. The state is booming thanks to its oil industry and new money may help fund its legal battles as it prepares to defend the lives of its youngest people.

BISMARCK, ND (Catholic Online) - North Dakota has suddenly gained national attention as the state moves to legally recognize children as human beings from the moment of conception. If a series of proposed bills become law, North Dakota would be the only state where children are legally protected at all ages.

In most states, children must survive a certain number of weeks in the womb before they can be entitled to legal protection. This gap in protection is what allows mothers to end their children's lives while growing within the womb, without any legal ramifications.

North Dakota's newest bills would protect a child as soon as a heartbeat can be detected, which can be as quickly as six weeks after conception. Another bill could recognize that life begins at conception and would end all abortion in the state.

Another bill would stop abortions in cases where genetic tests for conditions such as Down Syndrome, show a positive result.

North Dakota has only one abortion mill, in Fargo, and many people would be happy to see it closed.

However, anti-life activists claim the bills will not survive, despite popular support. They criticize that the legislation has come from out-of-state pro-life organizations, and in one case, some of the language in one bill was taken straight from Wikipedia, an open source online encyclopedia.

However, wise legislation is wise, no matter whence it originates. North Dakota is also one state where the coffers are overflowing with $2 billion in budget surplus, a benefit from the massive expansion of the oil industry in that state. North Dakota now produces more oil than all other states except Texas. This fact could enable North Dakota lawmakers and attorneys to go the distance and fight legal battles all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

For now, it appears that the popular pro-life legislation will easily pass, and if vetoed by the governor, the vetoes will likely be overridden. The state will certainly then see the new laws thrown into the courts where they will languish for years as the cases make their way to the state and national supreme courts.

Despite the battles ahead, they must be fought, and success will save many lives, even if that success comes later than most people would like.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)