By James Tillman

ST. LOUIS, MO, November 4, 2009 (—Planned Parenthood is suing the state of Missouri in an attempt to keep Missouri’s citizens from voting on a pro-life ballot initiative that would define “person,” as used in certain sections of the Missouri state constitution, to include every human being “from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.”

“Planned Parenthood is again trying to stifle the will of the people by forcing their twisted political and business agenda through court action,” said Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, in a statement issued Monday. “They know the people are against them.”

Planned Parenthood is arguing against the measure on several grounds, including saying that the proposed summary text to be submitted to voters in the ballot “fails to advise voters of the far-reaching legal changes and consequences that would result” from the amendment and “thus is likely to deceive and mislead voters.”

Judie Brown responded, however, that the “only legal implication of any personhood proposal, including Missouri’s, is equal justice and human rights for all human beings – if Planned Parenthood wants to oppose that, then their true motivation has been exposed and they should have the courage to say so.”

Keith Mason of Personhood USA similarly stated that “the legal and constitutional ‘fallout’ of a Missouri Personhood amendment, is that all humans in the state of Missouri have human rights. … All humans are people, and must be protected.”

Advocates of the measure also say that Planned Parenthood’s accusations regarding the alleged lack of clarity of the ballot text are unfounded.

“Our amendment is easy to understand, and simply protects all humans from their biological beginning,” stated Dr. Gregory Thompson, chair of Personhood Missouri.

Indeed, an alternate summary text proposed by Planned Parenthood appears less clear in many respects than the text submitted by Personhood Missouri. Their summary devotes over two-thirds of its words to cautioning voters of the supposedly dangerous effects of passing the amendment, warning ominously that it would alter “many laws … in potentially unforeseen ways,” and calls unborn human beings simply “fertilized eggs.”

Planned Parenthood does not merely wish to alter the text submitted to voters, however, but to quash the initiative entirely. They argue that because of the many potential effects of the amendment, it violates a requirement that petitions amending the Constitution do not contain more than one subject. However, precedent in this case is not on the side of Planned Parenthood: a similar measure in the state of Colorado was found to be a single-subject measure.

Personhood Missouri’s Dr. Thompson pointed out that the Planned Parenthood lawsuit will cost taxpayers additional funds and use valuable government resources: “The very organization that uses tax dollars to cause the deaths of millions of innocent human beings and many mothers, along with years of physical, mental, and spiritual pain, is now using government resources again to keep this issue from going to the voters.”

“The motivation of Planned Parenthood is highly suspect,” Personhood USA’s Keith Mason said. “This is clearly an act of desperation by a billion dollar industry, seeking to keep the issue of Personhood away from the people of Missouri.”

Planned Parenthood also recently brought a lawsuit against another pro-life ballot initiative in Missouri. The initiative would “protect taxpayer dollars from being spent on abortion, somatic cell nuclear transfer (human cloning), and research that destroys human embryos,” according to Frederic G. Sauer of the Missouri Roundtable for Life.

Using arguments resembling those employed in the other lawsuit, Eve Gartner of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said that the bill’s language was ambiguous because it did not define “abortion services,” according to the Missouri Lawyers Media.

See related stories on

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Colorado Pro-life Group Introduces Amendment Recognizing “Personhood” of Unborn Child

Florida Pro-Life Group Announces Personhood Amendment Campaign