Debate Over Abortion Bills | VideoJessica Roose | 3/21/2013
The issue has been debated all session. Supporters continue to stress that the legislation would offer protection to the unborn. But some doctors say the bills would have consequences for women in the state.
Protecting the rights of the unborn is a clear priority for many Republicans in the state. But some fertility doctors say what`s being considered in the legislature could have severe consequences on doctors who perform in vitro fertilization.
"Regardless of what the language says, the bill is in the criminal code. So if I dropped a catheter I could be charged with negligent homicide. If a embryologist dropped a lab dish, she could be charged with seven counts of murder," said Dr. Stephanie Dahl.
Supporters say charges like that would have to come from a prosecutor and they don`t believe it would get that far.
"I can`t imagine a prosecutor that would want to take that case. Or would even consider going there against a doctor who in good will had an accident," said Senator Margaret Sitte (R) from Bismarck.
Sitte and others claim parts of the bill were drafted based on language Dr. Dahl herself helped to draft in 2011.
Which the doctor says couldn`t be further from the truth. "For her to say that, we sat down and worked on the language together is absolutely crazy. Her and I were arguing and yelling at each other"
"She sat there and advised Senator Olafson. I don`t think that he`s an expert by himself, that she is now claiming that he wrote the amendments by himself. She was his advisor and sat right next to him as they were sitting next to him," Sitte said.
The former Republican Senator says he did, in fact, come up with the amendments himself and that Dr. Dahl only provided expert medical advice and expressed concerns with the legislation.
Dr. Dahl says she and the other two fertility doctors in the state will not perform IVF procedures any more if these bills pass.
Representative Dan Ruby, who was also at the press conference, says he is doubtful of that claim.