Personhood bills introduced, gain traction across U.S.
February 15, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Personhood bills and amendments are gaining notice and approval across the United States, with a one such bill having passed the House in North Dakota and another the Iowa House subcommittee. Georgia, Montana, Texas, and Oklahoma have also introduced personhood legislation, reports Personhood USA.
House Bill 1450, The Defense of Human Life Act, overwhelmingly passed the North Dakota House last week 68-25. The text defines “human being” as “an individual member of the species homo sapiens at every stage of development.”
“The overwhelming community and legislative support for HB 1450 proves that North Dakota could be the first state to recognize the value and dignity of every living human being,” stated Representative Dan Ruby who introduced the bill. “The Defense of Human Life Act is just common sense… I look forward to its passage in the Senate in the near future.”
However, American Life League, in its Pro-Life Today email for Feb. 15, announced that it believes the Kansas Bill is not a “genuine personhood bill.” ALL writes, “the bill itself states that it does not apply to “Contraception administered before the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing.” “This provision,” says ALL, “means that it is not a true personhood bill as it will not protect the lives of children prior to implantation.”
In Iowa, the House subcommittee approved a personhood bill in a 2:1 vote on Monday. House File 153 states, “life is valued and protected from the moment of conception, and each life, from that moment, is accorded the same rights and protections guaranteed to all persons.” The bill will soon go to the full committee for a vote.
“The Personhood movement is growing rapidly, and we expect victory in every state,” stated Keith Mason, cofounder of Personhood USA. “Personhood USA is in it to end it, and as we continue to see new personhood amendments and legislation, we are witnessing a historical movement to finally end the destruction of human lives and to protect women and children at all stages of life.”
The Georgia Senate has filed a new amendment to State Constitution today that would recognize the personhood of an individual from the moment of fertilization.
Senate Resolution 153, called “Paramount Right to Life,” states, “The rights of every person shall be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life … the word ‘person’ applies to all human beings, irrespective of age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency, including unborn children at every stage of their biological development.”
Georgia Right to Life sponsored a non-binding poll in 46 Georgian counties last July that gauged voter support of a personhood amendment, the results of which indicated that Georgians are largely in favor of the new amendment. The poll question, which received between 60-92% support, was almost identical to the question submitted with SR 153.
Monday also saw the introduction of a personhood amendment in Montana. The Constitutional Initiative No. 102 or “Personhood” Amendment has nearly identical wording to Georgia’s, recognizing the personhood rights of all human beings.
Rebecca Kiessling, a woman conceived in rape, gave a moving testimonial to the Montana Legislature at the hearing Monday. “I may not look the same as I did when I was four years old or four days old yet unborn in my mother’s womb, but that was still undeniably me and I would have been killed through a brutal abortion.”
Meanwhile Texas introduced amendments to the Health and Safety Code in House Bill 1109, filed earlier this month. The bill maintains that life begins at fertilization and that preborn children have “the rights, protections, and privileges accorded to any other person in this state.”
In Oklahoma, a personhood amendment was also recently introduced. “Protecting everyone, including the preborn, is consistent with the vision of our Founding Fathers,” stated Representative Blackwell, one of the bill’s sponsors.