January 12, 2023 | Amy Jacobson, Executive Director of Prairie Action ND
Anti-abortion politicians in North Dakota are trying to control our bodies and our lives, take away our freedom, and force their will on the rest of us. These extremist politicians are intent on banning abortion with little regard for our values or what’s best for our communities. Remember, North Dakota voters rejected an abortion ban at the ballot box in 2014 by an overwhelming 2:1 margin. The message was clear, politicians shouldn’t be in control of our lives, we should. Yet here we are again.
We must reject the idea that these anti-choice politicians and lobbyiest are ‘cleaning up’ abortion law with SB 2150. The idea of ‘exceptions’ to abortion bans proves that one-size-fits-all laws don’t work. In order for our laws to address all the possible circumstances that someone who is pregnant might face, we need to end abortion bans and make access to medical care the rule, not the exception. It’s impossible to anticipate all the personal and medical circumstances that unfold during the course of a pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different. We need to acknowledge the complexities of medical decisions and respect patients’ and families’ decisions.
At the same time, these same politicians seek to line the pockets of ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ with $1.6 million in funding (SB 2129). These anti-abortion centers use deceptive and harmful tactics to deter and delay people from getting abortions. They seek to manipulate people’s pregnancy decisions by stoking fear and shame. They do not offer care to people in need and cannot replace the trained medical experts who provide essential health care to people who are pregnant.
The politicians aren’t only targeting abortion access. This is part of a broader agenda to roll back voting rights (SB 2157), target public schools, and deny gender-affirming care to young people (HB 1254). Anti-abortion politicians are trying to control our bodies and our lives, take away our freedom, and force their will on the rest of us.
There is a role for all of us to play to stop these attacks. We must talk with our friends, neighbors, and family, share our stories, provide compassion and care, and work together so that we can make our own decisions about our lives and our futures. Contact your legislators and tell them to reject these bills. Urge them to turn their focus to the real issues facing families in North Dakota like fixing the fractured child care system so parents have accessible, affordable child care or paid family leave so workers are not force to choose between picking up a paycheck or caring for a sick child or fully funding school meals so children don’t go to school hungry.
The freedom to fully control our bodies, lives, and futures is vital to all of us—and we won’t rest until that vision is a reality.