An Indian tribal council in North Dakota has approved a resolution that would ban abortions on the tribe’s land. The resolution, adopted by four of eight members of the council, states that, “under no circumstances will abortions be performed and allowed within any private or public facility within the boundaries of the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation and other lands under the jurisdiction of the tribe.” It says that the “Governing Body faithfully believes that life is sacred and begins at the moment of conception” and that “pro-life is a universal issue of common sense, moral righteousness for the common good of life.” It also states that the majority the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians are Christians.

The resolution makes sense not only from a moral point of view but from the perspective of the tribe’s survival. However, its validity has been questioned by one of the tribe, and an official of the local Indian Health Service, which runs the only hospital and clinic in the area, has said the facilities are not subject to tribal resolutions. However, no abortions had been performed there in recent years, he added. ~ Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, Oct 29

Meanwhile a South Dakota ballot proposal to ban abortions except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life, has been lost. Other states voting on abortion this week were California, where a proposal for parental notification seems to be lost, and Colorado, where a proposal to amend the state constitution to define the term "person" to include "any human being from the moment of fertilization" has been rejected by a large majority. Michigan seems to have approved stem cell research on human embryos by a small margin. These results are based on exit polls. ~ CNN Election Centre


Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet