Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Republicans Want Personhood Amendment To U.S. Constitution

Republicans in the U.S. Congress and Republican presidential candidates want a federal Personhood Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that directly parallels the Mississippi Personhood Ballot Initiative 26 state constitutional amendment.

Last Tuesday, November 8, 2011, Mississippians voted on Ballot Initiative 26, a personhood amendment to the state constitution that defines a person as “every human being from the moment of [egg] fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.” Personhood amendments represent an extreme reach into a family’s privacy that would grant zygotes the same rights as the women who carry them and outlaw common forms of birth control.

Even in Mississippi—a Bible belt state with only one abortion clinic—58 percent of voters rejected Ballot Initiative 26.

Sponsored by the Colorado-based evangelical Christian group Personhood USA, and modeled after a provision that failed in Colorado twice, Mississippi Initiative 26 would have outlawed abortion in Mississippi, even in cases of rape, incest, domestic violence and life-threatening ectopic pregnancies. In addition, this change in the state’s constitution would have criminalized in-vitro fertilization and birth control methods, including birth control pills and IUD's.

Personhood Mississippi head Les Riley—who in June sponsored a “Conceived in Rape” speaking tour to promote Initiative 26—refused to acknowledge the Initiative 26 loss last Tuesday: “We are not conceding because we did our duty. We have obeyed God,” he told CNN. Proponents are reportedly planning other personhood initiatives on 2012 ballots in Florida, Mississippi (again), Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Nevada and California.

Republicans in the U.S. Congress want to pass a federal Personhood Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As Mother Jones reported:

Sixty-three U.S. House Republicans, or over a quarter of the GOP conference, are cosponsors of HR 212, Rep. Paul Broun's (R-Ga.) "Sanctity of Human Life Act," which includes language that directly parallels that of the Mississippi personhood amendment.

And Rep. Duncan Hunter's very similar HR 374 has 91 co-sponsors. In the U.S. Senate, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) has introduced a companion bill to HR 374, which already has the support of more than a quarter of the Republicans in the Senate.

Rick Perry said during an Iowa campaign stop that he supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying life begins at conception.

The DNC prepared a video which shows Romney saying that he supports a constitutional amendment that says life begins at conception.

Mitt Romney and nearly all the other GOP presidential candidates are committed to overturning the Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decisions through a constitutional amendment that defines life as beginning at the moment of "conception," as defined by the Mississippi personhood Ballot Initiative 26 constitutional amendment.

Many people today do not remember that the purchase and use of birth control products, even by married couples, was against the law in many states until 1965.

There are those who, for the last 46 years, have worked to reverse the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court finding that women have a fundamental "right of privacy" to make family planning decisions, which includes the right to learn about and use contraceptive products for birth control. The Griswold decision is the foundation for the court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade.

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