Friday, April 22, 2011

Pro-life States Press Personhood, Abortionists Sue

Personhood bills are seen as a direct attack on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion a right under the U.S. Constitution. Roe implied that if unborn babies were legal “persons,” they would have a right to life under the 14th Amendment, pro-life groups say.

For background, read Unborn Are People Too and also read Personhood Amendment Pushed in Mississippi

-- From "Drive grows for states to recognize ‘personhood’" by Cheryl Wetzstein, The Washington Times 4/21/11

Mississippi voters are likely to be the first in the nation to add to their state constitution “personhood” language that declares unborn children to be persons, effectively outlawing abortion and setting up a potential Supreme Court showdown — if they get a chance to vote on it in November.

The Alabama Legislature is considering two personhood bills this month, and at least seven other state legislatures introduced similar bills this year, said Keith Mason, a Christian minister who launched Personhood USA in 2008 with fellow evangelist Cal Zastrow.

“Sanctity of life” handles emerging issues like “destructive stem-cell research,” human cloning and creation of human-animal chimeras, said Daniel Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life and author of “Personhood: A Pragmatic Guide to Prolife Victory in the 21st Century and the Return to First Principles in Politics.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 6/6/11: Mississippi Supreme Court hears arguments on personhood amendment

From "Legal challenge to Mississippi ‘Personhood’ amendment maybe headed to state Supreme Court" by Ashley Lopez, The Florida Independent 4/22/11

According to a press release from Personhood USA issued today, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have appealed to the state Supreme Court in their challenge to Mississippi’s controversial Personhood Amendment.

Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment 26 states that the “term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” The amendment could result in making all abortions across the board illegal in the state of Mississippi. Such legislation is seen by members of the anti-abortion movement as walking “right through” a door that Roe v. Wade leaves open.

The Personhood movement has seen some legislative victories in various other states. State legislatures in North Dakota and Iowa have passed bills. According to a Personhood USA press release, representatives in Montana, Texas and Oklahoma have introduced similar legislation. Mississippi remains somewhat unique by seeking fetal “personhood” through a state constitutional amendment — a method that is seen as less likely to provide results.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Planned Parenthood Ignores Fetal Pain; Goes After Personhood Amendments" by Keith Mason, Personhood USA, posted at Christian Newswire 4/21/11

In July of 2010, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed suit to disallow Mississippi voters from voting on the Mississippi Personhood Amendment. In October, the lawsuit was rejected. The Court decision read "Initiative Measure No. 26 has received more than the required amount of signatures to be placed on the ballot and the Constitution recognizes the right of citizens to amend their Constitution."

Now Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have appealed to the State Supreme Court, a decision made especially conspicuous by Planned Parenthood's recent refusal to challenge various "Fetal Pain" bills. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, one abortion in 2010 would have been prevented by the Fetal Pain bill. By contrast, Mississippi's Personhood Amendment 26 would make all abortion illegal by recognizing the personhood rights, first and foremost the constitutional right to life of all children, born and preborn.

This is not the first time that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have tried to stop Personhood USA -- numerous lawsuits have been filed, albeit largely unsuccessfully, in an attempt to stop Personhood USA and its state affiliates.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "New bills in Alabama would grant personhood at the ‘moment of fertilization’" By Sofia Resnick, The American Independent 4/4/11

These proposed laws do not address abortion or the legal implications therein, but [attorney Ben DuPré of the Foundation for Moral Law] told The American Independent that if the personhood bills pass, then Alabama lawmakers will have to address “whatever flows from that.”

DuPré . . . also noted that Alabama’s constitution defines corporations as persons, but not unborn babies.

Asked how the this type of state constitutional amendment would stand up against U.S. law, which grants the legal right to an abortion, DuPré said that within the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, there is a particular passage that opens up the case for personhood:

The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a person within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. . . . If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 156-57 (1973).

“Roe v. Wade leaves a door open and the Personhood amendment walks right through that,” DuPré said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Pro-life Legislation Floods America as well as Life to Personhood Means Death to Roe v. Wade