The Legislative Can-Can

Dr. Jen Gunter’s comment noting the irony of North Dakota’s stance on abortion and smoking is well taken.

I have never seen the amount of smoking in a general population that I see every day in North Dakota.  Especially among young people.

There were physicians at the legislative hearings regarding the abortion legislation, and according to one of my friends who attended, they were treated with great derision, and there was much reading of Bible verses in response to objections. Frankly, this in not the kind of behavior I look for in my elected representatives.

The Grand Forks Herald’s Tom Dennis in “Doomed to expensive failure” points out another real problem with this kind of posturing by state legislators and the governor: a tremendous waste of tax dollars on purposedly creating legal confrontations the governor himself admits will fail.

On the Jurist, Laura Klein Mullen in “North Dakota governor signs restrictive abortion laws” places the state’s actions in perspective relative to other states actions by those opposing abortion.

The North Dakota legislators have a long history of spending much time legislating things that get the Republican juices flowing in this very Republican state, while the things that really matter never get addressed because of possible lost votes.

From my perspective, the legislators’ time would be much better spent dealing with the problems of a Workforce Safety program which routinely pays very little for the care of persons injured on the job.

Or the state Job Service which pays unemployment to Seventh Day Adventists who refuse to work on Sunday, but not Christians (see Harvey Clinic, P.C., et. al. Petitioner, vs. Job Service North Dakota and Pamela Suckut, File No. 52-2012-CV-00034). By the way, this decision, made on January 13, 2013, has not yet been made available on the North Dakota judicial web site.

North Dakota legislators, because of the unique position the state is now in with the oil in the western region, have an opportunity to initiate and support programs that benefit North Dakota residents in ways no other state can match.

I would much rather see this state earn the respect of other states by championing really innovative health care programs for the benefit of all residents rather than waste my tax dollars putting on a carefully choreographed show worthy of the Ziegfield Follies for the express purpose of garnering political votes.

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