CARSON CITY, Nevada, December 22, 2011 ( – A Nevada judge has thrown out one petition to establish personhood for unborn children as hopelessly vague, days after allowing a similar petition to go forward after rewriting it to include specifics about its potential legal impact.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday that the decision to throw out Personhood Nevada’s petition came after a 45-minute hearing in which District Judge James Wilson was dissatisfied with the group’s explanation of the petition’s effects.

Wilson granted a preliminary injunction sought by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU against signature-gathering for the potential constitutional amendment, saying state law required the petition to be more specific about the actual ramifications of what voters would be weighing on the ballot. “It is not capable of being rehabilitated through writing,” he said.

Calls and emails placed by to Personhood Nevada were not answered.


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On Monday, Wilson ruled in favor of circulating another personhood petition by the Nevada Pro-Life Coalition. However, the judge rewrote the petition’s description of its own legal effects, including statements saying that it would make treatment for ectopic pregnancies illegal, and impact the birth control pill, in vitro fertilization, and embryonic stem cell research, “which offers potential for treating diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and others.”

National personhood advocates criticized the rewrite as incorrect, and pointed to the Mississippi Center for Public Policy’s judgment that a personhood amendment would still allow access to contraceptives and fertility treatments.

“The judge appears to have taken a page from Planned Parenthood’s book of scare tactics,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA, in a press release Tuesday. Mason also noted that, while adult stem cell technology has produced cures and treatments for scores of ailments, including those listed by Wilson, embryonic stem cells have yet to produce a single treatment.

Organizers have stated their intent to either appeal the decision or resubmit the language entirely.


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