The North Dakota House has approved a measure giving fertilized eggs the same legal rights as humans, the Associated Press is reporting. Representatives voted 51-41 in favor of the measure, which essentially bans all abortions in the state of North Dakota.
According to the bill, "any organism with the genome of homo sapiens" is a person protected by rights granted by the North Dakota Constitution and state laws. The bill's sponsor, however, insists that the bill does not automatically ban abortion.
"This language is not as aggressive as the direct ban legislation that I've proposed in the past," Rep. Dan Ruby said during a House floor debate. "This is very simply defining when life begins, and giving that life some protections under our Constitution — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
The bill will now go to the North Dakota Senate.