The War on Women Widens in North Dakota

By now you’ve probably heard that the governor of North Dakota signed three abortion bills into law, including one that bans abortions after just six weeks, but there is at least one aspect of this otherwise horrible mess I can derive a sliver of dark humor from.

From the governor’s statement on the law:

I have signed HB 1456 which would ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. 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. Because the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed state restrictions on the performing of abortions and because the Supreme Court has never considered this precise restriction in HB 1456, the constitutionality of this measure is an open question. The Legislative Assembly before it adjourns should appropriate dollars for a litigation fund available to the Attorney General.

Knowing full well that the chances of this bill being struck down as unconstitutional are extraordinarily high, Governor Jack Dalrymple is asking the state legislature to appropriate whatever funds are necessary to fight for a losing cause. Because there is nothing else those funds could be used for.

A fourth — yes a fourth — abortion bill pending approval in the state legislature would ban all abortion after 20 weeks and block Planned Parenthood’s sex-education program in partnership with North Dakota State University, among other things.

More from ThinkProgress.

NDSU won a three-year federal grant to partner with Planned Parenthood to provide sexual education resources to at-risk youth. The voluntary sex ed program is designed to offer family planning resources and life coaching for teenagers at high risk for unintended pregnancy, and would take place outside of school hours. However, the grant was frozen earlier this year after abortion opponents attempted to derail the initiative because Planned Parenthood was participating — even though the state’s affiliates don’t perform any abortion services. North Dakota’s Attorney General gave NDSU permission to proceed with the sex ed program last month.

North Dakota lawmakers have a serious problem with women and, evidently, providing advice to teenagers who are at high risk of becoming pregnant. Also common decency in general. The breadth of arrogant stupidity at play here is beyond description.

War on Women Fiction

There is no silver lining or “good news” to add here. I can only say that I don’t believe there is much of a future in the country for culture warriors and whatever victories they score today will be short lived, but not free of consequence. In the interim, women and other disadvantaged persons will suffer because some of their fellow citizens derive self-righteous meaning and fulfillment from their troubles.

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  • muselet

    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.

    “The boundaries of Roe v. Wade.” If Sandra Day O’Connor hadn’t come up with her pseudo-Solomonic “unreasonable restrictions” test, women wouldn’t be suffering through nonsense like this.

    Because the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed state restrictions on the performing of abortions and because the Supreme Court has never considered this precise restriction in HB 1456, the constitutionality of this measure is an open question.

    “The Supreme Court has never considered this precise restriction.” In other words, this law has been deliberately made so extreme the Supremes will have no choice but to decide whether it’s over the line.

    And blocking a sex-education program—especially one designed for at-risk teens—because it has Planned Parenthood cooties is beyond stupid.

    –alopecia

  • Chachizel

    “The breadth of arrogant stupidity at play here is beyond description.” Haha….love that. Sorry, but I am definitely “borrowing” that line for most of my descriptions of the right wing idiotic bullshit