Ashcroft stumps for Measure One

Oct 24, 2014

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft speaking with Measure One supporter Rodger Wetzel.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A former US Attorney General – and governor of Missouri – says opponents of North Dakota’s Measure One are using what he called “propaganda” and “scare tactics.”

John Ashcroft was governor when Missouri’s Legislature passed a pro-life statute that he claims is very similar to North Dakota’s proposed Constitutional amendment. Appearing at a Bismarck news conference and rally on behalf of the group “ND Choose Life,” Ashcroft said the Missouri statute has NOT affected such things as end of life decisions – or in vitro fertilization.

"And the outcome for 30 years has provided an undeniable answer to these questions," Ashcroft said. "And the undeniable answer is, there is no problem in relation to in vitro fertilization, nor is there a problem with end of life decisions, nor as to providing the medical assistance in problem pregnancies."

Opponents say the Missouri law is a statute, not a Constitutional amendment --- and is much more narrowly worded than the North Dakota proposal.

"The Missouri law includes limitations set forth by the Constitution of the United States, by interpretations of the courts, by Missouri state statutes and by the Missouri state Constitution," said Dina Butcher of Bismarck, with the group North Dakotans Against Measure One. "Measure One contains no such limits. And as an amendment to the Constitution, it will have far reaching consequences."

Butcher says the state’s only in vitro fertilization clinic – in Fargo – has said it would close its doors if the amendment passes.