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A couple of points on a complex issue

September 24, 2010
Sen. Ryan Taylor-D

In response to Betty Regstad's letter concerning my votes on HB 1466 in 2007, I need to add a couple points.

A key point is HB 1466 was amended on the floor of the senate on April 5. It changed the legislation from making most abortions a class C felony when the state attorney general recommended "that it is reasonably probable that the Act would be upheld as constitutional," to an act that would call a special three day session of the legislature to meet and decide state restrictions on abortion if Roe v. Wade was overturned. The three day session amendment passed by an overwhelming vote of 41 to 6. Both parties and differing factions felt this was a clear and sensible way for the legislature to act on something so important.

I stood by my support of that floor amendment when voting to return the bill to conference committee to reinstate that senate amendment language, and that a conference committee report without that language be laid on the table. I made those votes in support of what I thought was a sensible solution, a three day session dedicated solely to any new Supreme Court developments.

A straight up or down vote was then asked on the bill. I had said in a public forum that I would not vote for the bill as introduced because it did not have exceptions for victims of rape or incest. Those exceptions were added, and, to keep my word, I voted for the bill even though I preferred the previous bill calling for a three day session.

I've made a lot of pro-life votes in my four sessions as a senator, following closely the recommendations of groups like the N.D. Catholic Conference. Last session I authored a bill that would raise North Dakota's standing in providing prenatal care to pregnant women in poverty from one of the lowest in the nation to a rank more suitable for a state with North Dakota's wealth and citizens who care about healthy babies. Extending prenatal care to the state's poorest women most at risk with the question of seeking an abortion passed the Senate almost unanimously, but was defeated in the House with "no" votes from nearly all of its most ardent pro-life legislators. The increased pre-natal care would have cost the state general fund $964,000, and was defeated in an oil rich state with a billion dollar surplus.

Not every vote I've made will satisfy everyone, but they are made honestly and thoughtfully.

Taylor represents District 7 in the state senate and is seeking re-election to that office. He resides south of Towner.

 
 

 

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