Measure 1 Goes Too Far: Why North Dakota Needs to Vote No

By Taylor Kuether

North Dakota voters will vote on Measure 1 this fall, a personhood initiative that endangers women’s health and takes away women’s rights – all while granting rights to the unborn.



Measure 1 was originally written to ban abortions in the state of North Dakota, and while it will do that, it will also do a lot more harm in addition.

  • If Measure 1 passes, abortion will be illegal in North Dakota. This measure was written specifically to ban abortions, no matter the circumstance – including in cases of rape, incest and potential fatality or harm to the mother for carrying a pregnancy to term. Abortions will be illegal in North Dakota if Roe v. Wade is ever repealed, instantly, but the catch is that that is not going to stop people from having them. If abortion becomes illegal, it will just create demand for unsafe and illegal methods of pregnancy termination, including a return to the back-alley abortion. Our choices – and our lives – are at risk.
  • If Measure 1 passes, popular forms of birth control could become illegal. Are you on any kind of birth control right now? Do you like being on that birth control? If the answer is yes, then you should definitely be voting no on Measure 1. Since the measure is so vaguely worded, we are not sure what will and what will not be included, but you can probably count birth control in. Many groups see some forms of birth control as a type of abortion because you are keeping the eggs from being fertilized and, therefore, keeping a life from being brought into this world. Sounds ridiculous, right? That’s because it is. We all know birth control isn’t abortion, but some groups are still trying to lump it all together and keep it off the shelves.
  • If Measure 1 passes, the few doctors in North Dakota who perform In Vitro Fertilization will no longer be able to. This is because IVF removes the eggs from the ovaries and combines them with sperm in the lab, and this can sometimes result in abnormal eggs. The measure would protect those eggs, however, abnormal eggs can often result in a miscarriage. IVF is often the only successful option for infertility patients, and if Measure 1 is passed, North Dakota couples could struggle to have families.
  • If Measure 1 passes, end-of-life care preferences could be compromised. If you decided that you didn’t want to be put on a respirator, but something were to happen to you while you were pregnant that required one to keep you alive, the government could forcibly put you on a respirator because they are protecting the “life of every human being at any stage of development.”

The groups pushing for Measure 1 are not helping women – they are shaming them. My peers and I are against Measure 1 because we trust women to make their own choices. We want to have the right to make choices for our own bodies and we want to feel safe in the state we live and go to school in. Voting no on Measure 1 ensures that, for the time being, we can rest assured that we can.

By Taylor Kuether

Taylor is a journalist, feminist, cat enthusiast, and proud Wisconsin native. She works for Feminist Majority Foundation as the Campus Communications Associate. Her two favorite things besides her cat, Emma, are coffee and art museums.


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