Measure 3 was defeated with some ease on Tuesday. As KVLY reported, a significant reason had to do with the $1 million of antagonistic ads from Planned Parenthood. I also think a factor was the (surprising to me) objections of the ELCA. The ELCA supported an earlier effort to call for our State Department to place pressure on Turkey’s government to help both the Ecumenical Patriarch and all religious minorities in Turkey. I posted on that a while back. So, the ELCA is hardly against religious freedom.
It seems to me that what happened was a perfect storm of slippery slope arguments that tumbled headlong into scare tactic red herring arguments combined with a lot of people not taking the time to research the measure or the issue. The government already has a well established track record of a “compelling interest” in preventing abuse (whether child or abuse), even over allegedly religious reasons for doing so. I must admit that I am saddened to see so many failed to realize this. It really would only take a little thought and time but in our society today, we are overly pressed for time and so taking the time to think through something like this will be difficult for many.
Hopefully, dialogue can come out of this, so that people on both sides can work through some hang ups and this can be given another shot. No one on either side wants women and children abused. Nothing in this measure would have closed down anything at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Fargo. Instead, I suspect Planned Parenthood either did this to support political allies or did this because there is a long-range hope to be able to force Roman Catholic hospitals in the state (like St. Alexis in Bismarck) to offer certain insurance coverages or even “emergency” abortions. Perhaps there is another factor or factors I am not considering but if I’m right, I’m doubly disappointed because 1) a religiously affiliated entity should have some religious protection concerning what practices are allowable for it–with other practices being offered elsewhere and 2) those of us wanting better religious freedom protection were sacrificed on an anti-anti-contraception altar.