By James Tillman
ATLANTA, Georgia, July 22, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a non-binding poll this Monday, Georgia voters supported an amendment to the state Constitution declaring the right to life to be "vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death."
"I believe that we're the first state in the nation where voters have approved a Personhood Amendment - or at least, [where] they have indicated that [approval] through a non-binding straw poll," Daniel Becker, President of Georgia Right to Life, told LifeSiteNews.com.
The non-binding poll was principally conducted on Republican primary ballots, although the question also appeared on the Democratic ballot in one county. In all 46 counties and on all ballots, between 60% and 92% of voters supported the Personhood Amendment. An average of 75% of voters supported the amendment.
Although only 46 of 159 Georgia counties were polled, Becker told LSN that the poll provided a fair sample of opinion throughout the state.
"These 46 counties represent most of the metro areas throughout the state of Georgia - the major counties," he said. "It was clearly a cross-sample."
He continued: "Atlanta's liberal counties - DeKalb and Fulton - turned in remarkably high scores for their presumed constituents."
"No one anticipated that those liberal counties would be as pro-life as they are."
The full text of the poll asked: "Do you support an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the earliest biological beginning until natural death?”
Georgia Right to Life plans to use the results of the ballot to push the Georgia Legislature to place a referendum amending the state constitution on the 2012 general election ballot.
"We're going to be able to approach formerly pro-abort Republican moderates and Democrats and give them empirical data on their own local House and Senate districts - how their own constituents had voted, and how pro-life they are," said Becker. "It'd be very difficult for a legislator to ignore a vote of their constituency."
"There is no question that the people of Georgia would pass a Personhood Amendment IF given the chance!" he said.
The Personhood movement, which seeks to amend state constitutions to define "person" to include all human beings from the beginning of their biological development, has been controversial, even within pro-life circles.
Some argue that, should a Personhood amendment to a state constitution be passed, the Supreme Court of the United States would likely overthrow it and simply strengthen existing precedent behind Roe v. Wade.
Becker does not accept such arguments.
"I would respond [to that argument] that that was also true of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban," he said. "I would respond that that was also true of [Planned Parenthood v.] Casey."
All pro-life actions, he continued, risk some sort of setback. All provide "an opportunity to establish a firmer foundation for Roe. So, if we were to follow that reasoning, we would never do anything."
"We believe that this is the new move within the 21st century pro-life movement," he said. "Personhood all the way."
See related stories on LifeSiteNews.com:
Montana Catholic Bishops Will Not Support Constitutional Amendment Defining Personhood
Georgia Prepares to Battle Roe v. Wade