Anti-abortion rights activists target “personhood” amendments
When Americans go to the polls for the congressional elections in 2010, in some places they may also be asked to vote on state “personhood” amendments that would effectively define life as starting at fertilization or the “start of biological development.”
A proposal like this was rejected by voters in Colorado in November but anti-abortion rights activists hope to get similar ballot measures together in at least a dozen states for 2010.
This could have broader political implications as initiatives in the past on so-called hot button social issues such as gay marriage have brought conservative Christians — an influential voting block in the out-of-power Republican Party — to the polls.
One of the groups involved is the “American Life League” or ALL, a socially conservative Catholic organization that had a booth on Saturday on the sidelines of a summit of self-styled “values voters” in Washington.
Among other things, ALL would like to see an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which won’t happen any time soon) “to establish that legal personhood is granted to all human beings in the United States from the beginning of their biological development.”
Communications director Katie Walker said, “It is a very simple concept that is fulfilling the civil rights movement.”
In Florida, activists have launched a campaign to collect the 676,811 signatures they say are required to bring the proposed “personhood” amendment to a vote. Walker said there were plans to get similar initiatives rolling in several other states such as Montana and Colorado.
This is one to keep an eye on.