State Lawmakers Continue Abortion Debate | VideoJessica Roose | 2/18/2013
With just nine days left until crossover, lawmakers in both chambers are working to discuss and vote on all the bills left in each side, and several are related to abortion.
"The preponderant of scientific evidence especially that most recently acquired, indicates that the unborn child is capable of feeling pain by 20 weeks post fertilization age," said Senator Spencer Berry (R) from Fargo.
The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks, when some claim an unborn child can feel pain. Not everyone agreed on that marker for pain, some lawmakers claimed it doesn`t happen until much closer to thirty weeks.
Opponents say this bill isn`t necessary, according to the most recent data from 2011.
"The Red River Clinic has stated in writing that there were four abortions that were preformed that year at 16-weeks. But they also had stated in writing that none were done beyond 16 weeks," said Senator Judy Lee (R) from West Fargo.
The bill does have an exception for pregnant women with a medical emergency, it passed with 30 votes.
The next bill on the agenda also dealt with abortions, this one by defining a human being at every stage of development.
"It is felt by many doctors that this bill places this body in the position of being the decision maker at the point where a doctor and his or her patient should be deciding where to proceed," said Senator John Grabinger (D) from Jamestown.
Opponents say this bill would cause problems with the in-vitro fertilization process. Specifically relating to what can be done to frozen embryos that are being stored.
Proponents say while it would bring changes, they wouldn`t be drastic.
"Why would anyone fertilize multiple embryos when you could keep those eggs frozen if you wanted to and then you can fertilize a couple now and you can fertilize a few later," said Senator Margaret Sitte (R) from Bismarck.
The bill passed by just one vote and will now move on to the House for consideration.
Opponents also had concerns that the bill would ban certain kinds of birth control that prevent pregnancy after fertilization by not allowing the embryo to implant.