Many North Dakotans are pushing for common sense amendments to women’s rights—a wise move in a state where the governor, legislature and state Supreme Court are all dominated by Republicans and where Republicans hold every statewide office. The new policy revisions come as no surprise; the Trump administration has rolled back many laws and regulations protecting women’s health care, reproductive rights and economic security since the start of his term.
One proposed amendment aims to strengthen abortion rights in the state, by creating exceptions in cases of rape, incest or medical emergencies and preventing insurance companies from denying health care coverage due to pre-existing conditions such as being pregnant. Additionally, the amendment would protect abortion clinics from buffer-zone restrictions, allowing doctors more time and space to administer treatments.
Another amendment would protect and guarantee paid parental leave so that parents are able to take the time they need to bond with their newborn, while ensuring job stability. Finally, policymakers have proposed requiring gender pay parity amongst employees by eliminating disparities in pay that result from gender bias alone.
While change on this issue might not be immediate, these proposed amendments are a step toward much-needed progress for women’s rights in North Dakota, an increasingly important matter during a contentious presidential election year. Every woman who lives or works in North Dakota should be supportive of these amendments for future generations of women in the state.
Women’s rights in North Dakota are continuously under attack and gender inequality persists. From the lack of access to reproductive healthcare services to limited legal protections for survivors of sexual harassment and assault, it is clear that much more needs to be done to ensure that women in the state have equitable rights. In recent years, various “common sense amendments” aimed at advancing women’s rights have been proposed by lawmakers. These amendments would improve existing laws, create higher standards of protection for victims of abuse, and provide access to vital health care services.
One key amendment calls for sweeping reform on workplace policies concerning remedies for victims of sexual harassment and discrimination. Currently, there is little incentive for employers to take action against such behavior, as statutory caps on damages or reimbursement limits limit firms’ financial exposure. This amendment would remove these caps, allowing victims to seek additional compensation from their employer. It would also allow employers to be held liable if they fail to take appropriate action against reports of harassment.
Another amendment seeks to strengthen punishments for violence against women by making non-consensual sexual contact a felony instead of a misdemeanor offense. This means harsher penalties for perpetrators and more meaningful justice for victims; it also has the potential to strengthen deterrence and reduce cases of assault.
Finally, an amendment has been passed mandating improved access to vital reproductive healthcare services such as birth control and abortion in North Dakota. These proposals protect clinics from being forced to close down due to state law restrictions by creating a legal path which allows them to remain open and offer these services free from interference or pressure from legislators or outside groups. The commitment to providing these important solutions indicates that North Dakota is taking steps towards promoting women’s rights and bettering the lives of women in the state.
Overall, common sense amendments like these are needed not just in North Dakota but across the nation in order to promote gender equality amongst all citizens. Such measures have the potential not just to benefit female individuals directly but also advance gender equity overall. From improving legal protections against discrimination to granting access to essential healthcare solutions, these changes are critical towards upholding women’s basic civil rights and helping create a more just society for all involved.