Florida, California Pro-Lifers Launch Personhood Campaigns Against Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 23, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida, California Pro-Lifers Launch Personhood Campaigns Against Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 23
, 2009

Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in California and Florida have launched campaigns to get state voters to approve personhood amendments targeting abortion. The measures would make it so unborn children would be defined under state constitutions as people from the moment of conception.

In the Golden State, the California Civil Rights Foundation has submitted language to the state attorney general for what it calls the Human Rights Amendment.

Founded by Walter Hoye, a black pro-life pastor who has been unfairly jailed for protesting abortion outside a local abortion center, the group is working on getting the measure before state voters.

“The California Civil Rights Foundation recognizes the inherent human rights, dignity and worth of all human beings from the beginning of their biological development,” Hoye told LifeNews.com today.

“If passed, this historic legislation would make California the first state in the Union to acknowledge full human rights for every human being. We believe all human beings should be protected by love and by law," he said.

In Florida, Personhood Florida is backing a constitutional amendment seeking to recognize the personhood of unborn children and has submitted ballot language to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The group has to gather 676,811 signatures by February 1 to make it on the 2010 ballot.

The amendment reads as follows: "The word ‘person’ and ‘natural person’ apply to all human beings, irrespective of age, race, health, function, condition of physical and/or mental dependency and/or disability, or method of reproduction, from the beginning of biological development of that human being. This amendment shall take effect on the first day of the next regular legislative session occurring after voter approval of this amendment."

Similar personhood campaigns have taken place in other states such as Colorado, where voters rejected the effort by a 3-1 margin, and Montana and Michigan, where enough signatures were not gathered to get it on the ballot.

Some pro-life groups have spoken out against the tactic of floating personhood amendments — not because they oppose personhood for unborn children but because they find them strategically unsound.

Apart from legal concerns that the personhood measures will not accomplish their intended goals, they also say they will be overturned in court and add to the pro-Roe v. Wade case law for legal abortions.

Any such measure would likely find its way to the Supreme Court, where abortion advocates have at least a 5-4 majority and would declare such measures as unconstitutional.

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