California Personhood Amendment on Abortion Fails to Qualify for 2010 Ballot

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 28, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Personhood Amendment on Abortion Fails to Qualify for 2010 Ballot

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 28
, 2010

Sacramento, CA ( — Organizers of the personhood amendment in California announced today that they failed to obtain enough signatures to qualify it for the 2010 ballot. The amendment would define a person as a human being at the moment of fertilization and would have challenged the status of legal abortions.

In the Golden State, the California Civil Rights Foundation submitted language to the state attorney general for what it called 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 hoped to get the measure before state voters.

The group needed 694,355 signatures to qualify for the 2010 ballot but brought in less than 600,000 signatures despite California’s sizable population.

"We were so very, very close," Hoye told today.

"What a valiant and noble effort it was to fight for the life of the pre-born child with you,’ he said about the pro-life advocates who got involved in the campaign. "I want to express what a pleasure and a privilege it was to meet and work with all of you. Please know that we love you and have prayed for each of you."

Hoye said he has been asked where the personhood movement in California goes from here and Hoye didn’t have any specific answers. But, the pastor said he would be looking to God for direction.

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.

Although California voters will not have a chance to consider the amendment, Colorado voters will once again consider a state ballot measure that would define unborn children as persons starting at conception.

The Colorado Secretary of State evaluated the second set of signatures Personhood Colorado leaders submitted.

This is the second time Colorado residents will vote on a personhood amendment after the first one failed by nearly a 3-1 margin.

In April, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann notified the backers of the personhood amendment in Mississippi that the state ballot measure received enough signatures.

The amendment is the fourth ballot initiative since 1992 to fulfill the requirement of 89,285 voter signatures.

"The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof," it says.

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