Question: Why is North Dakota trying to ban abortion?
Don't they know that abortion laws don't work? You can pass all the abortion laws you want, but if a mother really wants to kill her child, she's still going to kill the child with a knife, a bomb, a baseball bat, or a candlestick in the library.
Did you know that heart disease and car crashes kill more North Dakotans every year than abortions? Maybe North Dakota should ban cars and salt too!
Still, that hasn't stopped North Dakota lawmakers from passing the strictest abortion laws in the country.
Last week, the North Dakota State Senate passed two anti-abortion bills, and this week the House passed two more. According to news reports, the measures would ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. There will also be a referendum on next year's ballot that would let North Dakota voters determine that life begins at conception.
State Senator Margaret Sitte, a Republican who sponsored the so-called "personhood" bill that defines life as beginning at conception, is over the moon about the new measures.
"I'm hoping that it will be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade," says Senator Sitte.
Pro-choice advocates, meanwhile, are up in arms. Sarah Stoesz, who heads up the Planned Parenthood offices of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, says, "Politicians in North Dakota are wasting taxpayer time advancing what would no doubt become another divisive constitutional amendment with dangerous unintended consequences for North Dakota families."
So the battle lines are drawn. Some North Dakota lawmakers want to ban abortion altogether; others think the measures go too far.
"We have stepped over the line," says state Rep. Kathy Hawken, a Republican who opposes the measures. "I'm personally pro-life, but I vote pro-choice, because you can't make that decision for anyone else. You just can't."
But let's put aside for a moment the traditional argument of pro-choice versus pro-life.
Because whether you're pro-choice or pro-life, you'd probably agree that moms-to-be can find a number of ways to kill their children, whether or not abortion is legal. It's a point these North Dakota lawmakers don't seem to get.
It's also a point that the gun lobby routinely employs to denounce new gun laws. Gun laws don't work! Killers still kill, no matter how many gun laws you pass!
Well, likewise, mothers still kill, too, no matter how many abortion laws you pass. Right? I mean, let's say abortions are banned in North Dakota. Okay, well, a mother-to-be can still risk arrest and perform the abortion herself.
Or she can drive to Minnesota, South Dakota, or Montana where abortion is still legal.
She can hop the border to Canada, where some abortions are funded by the federal government.
Or she can just wait to give birth, pick up that aforementioned candlestick, and club her newborn baby to death.
The point I'm trying to make is that if North Dakota bans abortion, murderous moms from Bismarck to Bowman will still find other ways to kill their children. Remember -- abortions don't kill people; people kill people!
So why would North Dakota lawmakers waste time, energy, and taxpayer dollars on anti-abortion laws that probably won't work?
The only thing I can figure is that some of these lawmakers think maybe, just maybe, if abortion is banned in North Dakota, you'll see the overall number of abortions go down. New laws might not prevent all abortions from happening, but at least they will prevent some abortions from happening.
Because let's face it, if getting an abortion is made increasingly difficult, there's probably a good chance that less and less women will get them. The more barriers you put up, and the more difficult you make it to get an abortion, the less likely it is that people will even try.
I'm guessing that's what these North Dakota lawmakers believe. They must believe that if they pass more laws and restrictions, they'll probably see fewer abortions as a result.
And you know what? They're probably right. When you pass more laws and restrictions, usually -- and naturally -- you see a decrease in the activity you're trying to restrict. That's why we have laws and restrictions in the first place. That's why some lawmakers in North Dakota want more laws and restrictions on abortion.
It's an interesting concept.
Imagine if we tried it with guns.