Nevada Pro-Life Groups Oppose Personhood Amendment, Abortion Strategy Poor

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 17, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nevada Pro-Life Groups Oppose Personhood Amendment, Abortion Strategy Poor

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 17
, 2009

Carson City, NV ( — Two Nevada pro-life organizations said today they plan to urge their members to oppose the personhood amendment proposed there — not because they oppose personhood for unborn children, but because they believe the strategy will not result in stopping abortions and only waste time and money.

As reported in October, Richard Ziser, a longtime pro-life activist in Nevada, launched a signature drive for a personhood amendment.

The campaign, similar to others taking place in a couple dozen states, would have the measure, that would theoretically stop abortion and scientist research that kills unborn children by declaring an unborn child a person at conception, appear on the 2010 and 2012 statewide election ballots.

Although they oppose abortion and practices like human cloning and embryonic stem cell research, leaders of Nevada Life and Nevada Eagle Forum say the amendment would use money that could be reserved for stopping abortions now on a gamble that would not likely pay off.

The two groups were joined by Nevada Families and the conservative Independent American Party.

"We believe in the fundamental right to life for ourselves and our posterity–born and unborn, and the protection of that right under law," they said in the statement provided to "We believe that the courts are the greatest threat to the unalienable right to life of the unborn. Roe v Wade has brought about the wholesale killing of the innocent unborn. We oppose abortion and support the right to life of the unborn."

The pro-life groups and advocates worry the measure has legal problems and wouldn’t actually stop abortions.

"Unfortunately, we believe the personhood initiative petition filed in Nevada with good intent will not protect the unborn or stop abortion," they continue. "It is so vague and general that it may not even apply to abortion at all."

They also say the amendment "cannot overturn Roe v Wade," which is the only method of allowing states to approve abortion bans.

"This amendment will harm the pro-life movement by giving pro-abortion courts more power to decide all matters relating to abortion," the statement goes on to say. "These matters should be decided by the elected representatives of the people–state legislatures and Congress, not the unelected courts."

The groups said they "appreciate the sentiments of those filing the measure, but recognize that it will not protect the unborn. It will end up giving unlimited power to the courts to perpetuate and expand the disastrous effects of Roe v Wade and will interfere further with any legislative efforts to stop abortion."

Personhood Nevada will need 97,002 valid signatures on its petitions by August 4. That process could be halted because pro-abortion groups have filed a lawsuit against the amendment’s ballot summary.

Unlike other states, Nevada requires that state constitutional amendments get two ballot votes instead of just one.

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