Gary Emineth Condemns Heitkamp’s Pro-Abortion Rights Vote
BISMARCK, N.D., Jan. 29, 2018 – Former North Dakota Republican Chairman Gary Emineth on Monday condemned Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s opposition to legislation that would ban abortions once the unborn child has been alive in the womb for 20 weeks.
Emineth is strongly considering a bid for the Republican nomination to challenge Heitkamp’s re-election campaign this year. He expects to decide within a few weeks whether he will make the race. Emineth is attending Bismarck Republican district conventions on Wednesday to discuss his possible candidacy, and to declare his intent to be a delegate to the state convention from District 35, in central Bismarck.
“There is considerable scientific evidence that an unborn child at 20 weeks is a fully developed human being. The unborn child has 10 fingers, it has 10 toes, can live independently. It feels pain,” Emineth said. “It is barbaric that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp will not protect a 20-week-old unborn child from being killed.”
Supporters of the 20-week abortion ban say there is strong medical evidence an unborn child can feel pain in his or her 20th week of development. The legislation, which was approved 237-189 in the House last October, is called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer voted in favor of it.
On Monday, the Senate voted 51-46 in favor of breaking a Democratic filibuster of the bill, which fell well short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster. Heitkamp voted to oppose the bill and extend the filibuster. North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven, who is a co-sponsor of the measure, voted to end the filibuster.
After Heitkamp cast her vote on the Senate floor, she exchanged a celebratory handclasp with the Senate’s Democratic minority leader, Chuck Schumer of New York.
Emineth said as a senator, he would support abolishing the filibuster as a tool for a minority group of senators to block legislation.
“There is nothing in our Constitution that says senators have the right to filibuster a bill. It is a tradition and nothing more,” Emineth said. “The Senate should allow legislation to pass on a majority vote, rather than allow a smaller group of pro-abortion zealots to thwart the will of the people.”