In less than a week, North Dakotans will vote on the Measure 3 ballot initiative which would amend the North Dakota state constitution to permit a person or religious institution to practice or carry out any action based on their religious beliefs. The vagueness and ambiguity of the measure could have devastating unintended consequences, especially for women in North Dakota.
Here are five major potential consequences of passing Measure 3:
- Could threaten the lives of women and children: A man could claim domestic violence or child abuse laws don’t apply to him because his religious beliefs give him the right to beat his wife and children.
- Could deny medical treatment to children: Parents who believe in faith healing could deny medical treatment to their seriously ill child.
- Could endanger women’s health: An employer could deny birth control coverage or other needed medical treatment to a woman under its health plan on basis of the employer’s religious belief. Also, a pharmacy could refuse to fill a birth control prescription on the basis of its religious belief.
- Could undermine North Dakota laws to prohibit discrimination: An employer could use his religious beliefs to fire a pregnant woman because she is unmarried. People could use one set of beliefs to hurt or discriminate against others.
- Could result in endless litigation that costs taxpayers: The lawsuits and litigation as a result of this measure could cost North Dakotans millions of dollars in unnecessary legal fees. In addition, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution already guarantees freedom of religion.
If you know someone in North Dakota please get in contact with them, tell them to go to the polls next Tuesday June 12, 2012, and vote NO on Measure 3. Share this blog with them and point them towards other resources on this harmful measure. If they need to find their polling location they can find it here. North Dakota does not have a voter registration system in place, so there is no need to worry about registering to vote. Click here for more information about elections in North Dakota.
If you do not know someone in North Dakota be sure to Facebook, tweet #NDNoOn3 and blog about it! There’s not much time left so take action now!