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Greg Hodur, Fargo, Published September 03 2013

Letter: Grande takes it ‘Down Under’

Not content with launching a quixotic, costly legal battle that North Dakota’s taxpayers will have to pay millions to defend, District 41 Rep. Bette Grande, R-Fargo, has taken her extremist attack on women’s reproductive rights on the road to, of all places, the state of Tasmania in Australia.

According to a story in the Examiner newspaper in Tasmania, it seems the state legislature there is moving to decriminalize abortion. So, who shows up to share her sage views on abortion? None other than the queen of recriminalization in North Dakota, Bette Grande. Interestingly, the article doesn’t mention who’s paying for Grande’s junket.

But it does include some interesting quotes from Grande.

For example, the Examiner quotes Grande as saying, “We, as a society, have determined over time and have always stated that a beating heart is considered life.” It goes on to say she says the extreme anti-abortion measures she advocates don’t impinge on a woman’s right to control her own body because “That right is still in place, because up until the conception they have the right to all those things.”

Now, I don’t know what Grande’s medical credentials are, but I think at least some people with actual medical degrees might disagree with her simplistic definition of life. Similarly, I don’t think Grande holds a law degree, but I do, and I think most lawyers would agree the law of the land, whether Grande likes it or not, is that a woman’s right to control her own reproductive health does not end with conception.

Perhaps the Tasmanian health minister’s reaction to Grande’s visit puts the most proper perspective on the matter: “... the views of the 86 percent of Tasmanians who think terminations should be a matter for a woman and her doctor should carry more weight than the view of a far-right politician from North Dakota.”