On Monday, a star-studded pro-life line-up – Lila Rose, Judie Brown, Pastor Walter Hoye, and “Bella” movie producers Jason Jones and Leo Severino – announced the launch of the California Human Rights Campaign.
This will be an effort to add the Human Rights Amendment as a California ballot initiative in 2010.
If passed, the amendment would “recognize[ ] the inherent human rights, dignity and worth of all human beings from the beginning of their biological development,” read a statement.
In other words, we have here another personhood initiative.
This followed the Aug. 24 announcement that the Colorado Title Board had approved language for a personhood ballot initiative redo there in 2010.
And the Sept. 2 announcement that the Montana attorney general had approved language for a personhood ballot initiative there in 2010.
And the Sept. 11 announcement that language had been submitted to the Florida secretary of state for a personhood ballot initiative there in 2010.
And the Sept. 17 announcement that pro-lifers had submitted language to the Missouri secretary of state for a personhood ballot initiative there in 2010.
Mississippi pro-lifers meanwhile did not get enough petition signatures to get their personhood initiative on the 2010 ballot but are well positioned for 2011.
Pro-lifers in Oregon had hoped to get a personhood initiative on their 2010 ballot, but an antagonistic attorney general may have succeeded in running out the clock for this round. Stay tuned for 2011.
Then there are the legislative personhood efforts.
The Los Angeles Times reported Sept. 28 that while personhood measures failed in Montana and North Dakota legislatures earlier this year, “the close votes alarmed supporters of legal abortion.”
Come next January pro-aborts will have a six-alarm fire to quench, since pro-life legislators in Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana and Texas have all signaled their intent to introduce personhood statutes.
So the personhood movement has quickly grown too big to contain, and it has not been just pro-aborts interested in doing so.
Smart pro-lifers whose motives I do not for a moment question have argued either the time isn’t right to trigger the inevitable Supreme Court response to a personhood state law or constitutional amendment, or such a trigger wouldn’t lead to the overturn of Roe v. Wade anyway.
I don’t know the answer to that.
But because it goes totally against my grain to expend energy undercutting fellow pro-lifers’ efforts (aside from flakes), and because it’s never wrong to do the right thing, and because a ratified personhood state amendment or statute would be a good problem to have, and because I think public education is critical, I support personhood initiatives.
The most interesting educational component of personhood endeavors is what they force the other side to admit. From the L.A. Times:
“It’s so extreme it could literally outlaw IUDs and birth control pills,” said Katherine Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
And Amanda Marcotte on RH Reality Check:
If they pass, that means that anti-choicers not only have a platform to issue challenges to abortion, but also that they have a chance to go after other anti-choice goals, namely pushing for bans on reliable, female-controlled contraception like the birth control pill and the IUD.
In other words, hormonal birth control pills and the IUD may become contraband if laws or constitutional amendments are enacted that protect persons from the “beginning of biological development,” since both may kill currently unclassified humans.
The other side has gone to great lengths to hide this fact. First, it changed an important definition back in the 1970s. It’s amazing what frightened people will admit. From the Feminists for Choice blog:
But consider this – the medical community currently defines pregnancy as occurring at the time of implantation. A fertilized egg must actually be in the uterus in order for a woman to be pregnant. Drugs that prevent implantation, such as emergency contraception (aka “Plan B”) could be deemed illegal if the definition of pregnancy is defined from the moment of conception.
Second, the other side obscures terminology. For instance, makers of the popular birth control pill Ortho Tri-Cyclen ambiguously state on a well-hidden web page it can “reduce the likelihood of implantation.” Manufacturers commonly use this verbiage to explain The Pill’s pharmacology.
In other words, it may stop a 5- to 9-day-old embryo from implanting in the uterus.
In other words, it may abort.
Not that this educational process won’t make those pro-lifers who avoid discussing contraception uncomfortable.
As it should.