by Steven Ertelt
January 8, 2008
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — It’s not every day that a leading presidential candidate comes to town to assist a pro-life legislative effort, but that’s what will likely happen when Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee appears in Georgia later this month. The former Arkansas governor will address a pro-life rally in Atlanta that could generate 10,000 participants.
Georgia Right to Life, which has endorsed Huckabee’s presidential bid, is planning the January 22 rally as it has every year.
But, this year, the group has more to fight for as it has been supporting a personhood constitutional amendment bill in the state legislature — H.R. 536, or the “Paramount Right to Life” amendment.
The measure would extend constitutional protection to unborn children “from the moment of fertilization without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency.”
Huckabee’s support for the amendment played a role in his receiving the pro-life group’s endorsement.
Dan Becker, president of GRTL, and Mike Griffin, the group’s new legislative director, both made trips to the state capitol on Tuesday to support the measure. But, they told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they think Huckabee’s appearance at their rally will give it a boost.
They joined State Rep. Martin Scott, a Republican from Rossville who is sponsoring the measure in the legislature, is telling lawmakers that it could help boost turnout among the GOP base in the 2008 general elections if they can get it on the ballot.
“With an amendment like this, it would drive up the pro-life, traditional-values vote,” Scott told the newspaper.
Scott talked about the proposal at an August kickoff rally.
"The right to life is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person … and the word ‘person’ applies to all human beings," he said.
Scott says that passing House Resolution 536 would make Georgia the first completely pro-life state that outlaws every objectionable practice that targets unborn children or the disabled.
“The time is now, and Georgia is the place to launch a final assault on Roe v. Wade," he told the Chatanoogan newspaper. "But while we are attempting to save the lives of these unborn babies, let us not forget to care for their mothers."
Becker says he thinks the group has enough votes in the legislature to send it to Governor Sonny Perdue, who is pro-life.
Becker said the group is "within striking distance" of having the votes and discussed the positive change in the number of pro-life lawmakers since seven years ago when they began a concerted effort to change the makeup of the statehouse.
The Thomas More Law Center, a pro-life law firm based in Michigan, drew up the legislation for the group and it focuses on establishing a full-fledged right to life for unborn children.
The state legislature has approved other pro-life laws that have lowered abortions. Though Georgia’s population has increased 42 percent, the number of abortions has dropped 18 percent.