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As life-long Republicans, we fundamentally believe that individuals – not the government – are responsible for their actions and have the right to make decisions about their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Our party principles also point out that we are all guaranteed certain individual freedoms – regardless of age, creed or sex. In comments made at the North Dakota State Republican Convention, NDGOP Chairman Harms highlighted these sentiments very well and Representative Al Carlson echoed personal responsibility in his comments to those gathered in Minot.

As Republicans, Measure 1 contradicts our principles of individual freedom and responsibility. This is the measure on the statewide ballot in November that would permanently change our state constitution to require that we must ‘recognize and protect life at every stage of development’.

Because of its vague language, this measure could lead to government interference in private health care decisions. We think of our friends and family who have had children or grandchildren through the miracle of science. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has assisted so many couples in North Dakota to build the families they longed for. If Measure 1 passes IVF doctors have stated that they will no longer be able to practice in our state.

We think of friends and family members who have suffered the loss of parents and children. We support their end-of-life decisions to pass away on their own terms – with dignity and peace. Measure 1 places government between a patient and their doctor when making those difficult end-of-life decisions.

As Republicans, we don’t want to inhibit any individual’s ability to make an individual choice about his or her life or health care. The freedom to make those choices is for them, not the government – and especially not a judge – to decide.

For us, it’s about believing that government needs to stay out of our personal decisions. That’s why we, as North Dakota Republicans, will be voting no on Measure 1.

DeAnn Bjornson, Fargo                   Nancy Myrdal Brandvik, Bismarck

Jenny Buell, Fargo                               Dina Butcher, Bismarck

Bev Clayburgh, Grand Forks          Vicki Fredrikson, Fargo

Rep. Kathy Hawken, Fargo              Rep. Nancy Johnson, Fargo

Barbara Larson, Bismarck             Elizabeth Lucus, Bismarck

Robin Nelson, Fargo                           Cody Kay Strothman, Bismarck

Debbie Olson, Williston                    Alvina Fueller, Bismarck

Wilbert Fueller, Bismarck              Abby Lein, Fargo

David Gross, Fargo                             Christine Bjornson Hughes, Cavalier

Julien Batcheller, West Fargo         Barry Batcheller, West Fargo

Gerridee Wheeler, Fargo                  Brietta Johnson, Kindred

Ashley Davies, Minot                           Shelby Nelson, Minot

Taylor Locken, Minot                          Brianna Berglof, Minot

Dan Kielty, Fargo                                   Lisa Swanson, Williston