By Patrick B. Craine
TALLAHASSEE, Florida, September 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A group of pro-life advocates in Florida initiated a campaign today to introduce an amendment to the Florida Constitution that would recognize the personhood of the unborn from the earliest stages of life.
Personhood Florida (PF), a Christian non-partisan organization founded to protect the personhood of the unborn, held a press conference today where they announced the submission of the amendment, which they hope to put to voters on the 2010 ballot.
The group is part of a nationwide effort, launched after a similar campaign in Colorado, to bring in personhood amendments across the United States. The Colorado organizers, whose attempt failed at the ballot in 2008, have launched Personhood USA to support this national effort.
The Florida campaign and the national movement have also been strongly supported by the American Life League (ALL).
The amendment would extend the definition of 'person' to every human being "from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."
This language, as explained on the ALL website by Dr. Dianne Irving, was chosen carefully in order to include every person within the legal definition. She explains that these words "specifically bypass all the falsehoods of the pro-abortion and pro-human embryo research propaganda, [guaranteeing] the personhood of each and every human being, leaving no one out - legally."
If you were to define 'person' as "beginning at fertilization," she says, for example, then that would exclude "one of every pair of naturally occurring human monozygotic twins reproduced within the body of the woman, as well as those human beings asexually reproduced in IVF [in vitro fertilization], ART [assisted reproductive technology], and other 'fertility' laboratories and clinics."
In order to get onto the Florida ballet in 2010, the campaign will need to collect 676,811 petition signatures by February 1. If they are not successful this year, they can keep trying - the signatures will remain valid for four years.
In June, Colorado Right to Life, the state's largest pro-life organization, announced that they were teaming up with Personhood USA to launch a new 2010 personhood initiative for Colorado, this time with the same language as is being used in Florida.