To: Senate Judiciary Committee
From: Christopher T. Dodson, Executive Director
Subject: House Bill 1466 (Prohibitions on Abortion)
Date: March 13, 2007

The North Dakota Catholic Conference supports House Bill 1466 as a step forward toward a better world, one that does not turn its back on women in need or the unborn children they carry.

You are certain to hear cries about “legislating morality” and planned lawsuits. You will hear euphemisms like “products of conception,” “termination of pregnancy,” “privacy,” and “choice.” None of the rhetoric or fear mongering, however, can hide the fact that abortion is the deliberate killing of a developing child in the womb. This is not a religious opinion. It is not a personal opinion. It is a fact supported by science and reason.

House Bill 1466 is about whether we sit idle and complacently settle with a
status quo that ignores common sense and science about human life or whether we become a society that is intellectually honest about what abortion -- what it is and how it diminishes society.

House Bill 1466 is about whether we settle for a world where a human life can be ignored, discarded, dehumanized, and destroyed, simply because he or she is seen as inconvenient, or whether we become a world that embraces all human life, no matter what a person’s age, size, or appearance, and no matter the challenges he or she brings.

House Bill 1466 is about whether we settle for a world that turns its back on women in need, pitting them against their unborn children, leaving them alone with their “choice,” or whether we work for a society where no woman ever feels that destroying her unborn child is a solution to a difficult situation.

Legal abortion means that we have failed to meet the needs of women. In fact, abortion has become a barrier to meeting women’s needs. So long as abortion is legal, men have an excuse to treat women as items for sexual pleasure without accepting the consequences. So long as abortion is legal, employers have an excuse to discriminate against mothers, before and after birth. So long as abortion is legal, society can drag its feet in creating a health care, economic, education, and social services system that ensures that women, children, and families receive the basic rights, services, and goods necessary to live lives of dignity.

Women deserve better. Unborn children deserve better. North Dakotans deserve better. House Bill 1466 is a choice for the better. We ask for a Do Pass recommendation on House Bill 1466.

Note: Similar testimony was presented to the House Judiciary Committee on January 22, 2007.