FARGO, N.D.—On Tuesday, voters here will decide the fate of a proposed amendment to the state constitution that has provoked excitement and fear among combatants in the country’s never-ending abortion wars.
The ballot initiative known as Measure 1—which would enshrine “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development”—has attracted millions of dollars in contributions, as well as the involvement of one of the nation’s best-known conservative strategists.
From the start, Measure 1 was aimed squarely at ending abortion. “I’m hoping it will be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” the amendment’s chief sponsor in the North Dakota legislature declared last year. Leaders of the burgeoning personhood movement—who believe that establishing legal rights for the unborn is the key to overturning that 1973 decision and ending the right to abortion—have made Measure 1’s passage a national priority.