Jack Minor is a journalist and researcher who served in the United States Marine Corps under President Reagan. Also a former pastor, he has written hundreds of articles and been interviewed about his work on many TV and radio outlets.More ↓Less ↑
Heather Surovik’s unborn son, expected to be delivered literally within hours, allegedly was killed by a drunk driver who will face no punishment, because Colorado law inexplicably leaves those not yet born completely unprotected.
She knows there never will be justice for the death of Brady, killed when Gary Sheats, with multiple DUI offenses on his record, allegedly slammed into Surovik’s car earlier this year.
But she’s not going to be silent about the injustice.
“I realize my son will never see justice for his murder, but I intend to see that other children will be protected under the law,” she told WND. “I want to look lawmakers who oppose personhood in the eye and ask them why they think my son, who was perfectly viable, did not deserve to be protected and why they believe his killer should go free.”
It was several months ago, shortly after Surovik had seen her doctor and learned that Brady could be delivered as early as that evening, when her car was smashed by the allegedly drunk driver.
She said she believes her child was placed on this earth to help save others.
“If it were not for Brady, the doctors said I would have probably died in the crash. He prevented me from suffering more severe injuries that would have killed me,” Surovik said. “He gave his life to save me, and I hope his death can be used to help save other children as well.”
The organization Personhood USA, which advocates for changes in state laws and constitutions to recognize the unborn as “persons,” now is making a TV commercial featuring Surovik. A longer segment is intended for churches to draw attention to the issue.
No states have adopted the definition promoted by personhood campaigns – that humans lives are persons before birth just the same as after they are born – but the issue has been around only for a few years.
Several campaigns have promoted the idea this year, and it played a key role in the Republican presidential primary election. Personhood USA held a series of pro-life forums that asked the candidates tough questions about their positions on abortion. Every candidate with the exception of Mitt Romney signed a pledge to commit to passage of a Human Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which would provide rights to the unborn.
The Republican Party platform now has acknowledged the personhood movement by calling for a “human life amendment to the Constitution” and affirms the “unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”
Voters twice in Colorado, where Surovik lives, have rejected the idea. Earlier this week, Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced a personhood amendment that would provide legal protections to unborn children would not be on the November ballot due to a lack of signatures.
Gessler said the supporters were 3,859 signatures short of the required 86,000 needed to ensure a place on the ballot.
Media outlets and pro-abortion groups quickly seized on the news, declaring the personhood movement dead.
The Denver Post conveyed that the personhood movement is on its last legs, saying “the measure has steadily lost momentum since first launched in 2008.”
However, the issue has garnered more support each time it has come before Colorado voters. In 2008, the first time the issue was on the ballot, it received less than 27 percent of the vote, but in 2010 the support increased to nearly 30 percent.
Part of the reason for the measure’s defeat was misinformation from abortion giant Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups that spent millions of dollars to defeat the measure. Opponents have claimed that if passed, women suffering from miscarriages would be prosecuted and all forms of birth control would be outlawed.
This year’s proposed initiative was worded in common language, saying it provided protection for “innocent persons” and specifically protected women suffering miscarriages.
Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, said the organization will challenge Gessler’s ruling in court.
“After we reviewed the discarded signatures we discovered that in many cases entire petitions were discarded, despite having valid signatures and affidavits,” Mason said. “We have not yet gone through all of the rejections, but right now we estimate we can get over 10,000 of them reinstated, which is more than enough to get the issue on the ballot.”
Among the discarded petitions is one that appears to have been lost by the secretary of state’s office.
“We have copies of all the petitions we submitted, and one of them with a large number of signatures appears to have been lost or misplaced by Gessler’s office. This is just one example of valid signatures that should be counted,” Mason said.
Mason said he does not consider Gessler’s decision to be a setback for the movement.
“Despite this ruling, we have not lost the war. This is just one battle in a war against spiritual darkness, and we will ultimately prevail.”
The ballot issue in Colorado is not the only assault on the abortion lobby by the organization. The movement is making inroads in several states.
In North Dakota, personhood supporters defeated incumbent state Sen. Curtis Olafson, who personally killed personhood proposals in 2009 and 2011. Mason said Olafson’s defeat clears the way to get personhood before the voters.
Politicians in Georgia have been put on notice. By a 2-to-1 margin the state’s GOP primary voters in a non-binding vote have said they want a personhood amendment to the state constitution placed on the ballot in 2014.
The non-binding vote supporting the measure passed in 158 of 159 counties in the state. The single county voting against it had a large number of Democrats voting against Doug McKillip, who lost by 62 votes out of 13,000 cast.
“McKillip was a former staunch pro-abortion Democrat, who trusted Christ as his savior and became just as zealous for the pro-life side. The Democrats never forgave him for this,” said Dan Becker of Georgia Right to Life. “On election day many Democrats voted Republican just so they could defeat him for his commitment to the unborn.”
Last month, Liberty Counsel, representing Personhood Oklahoma, filed a writ of certiorari asking the United States Supreme Court to consider hearing a case on personhood after the Oklahoma high court denied petition gatherers the right to place the issue before the people for consideration.
Steve Crampton, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel for Liberty Counsel, said the Oklahoma court’s ruling provides a “perfect opportunity” for the court to reconsider the landmark Supreme Court cases on abortion, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
“By claiming Casey as the justification for its decision, they have unwittingly given us the perfect opportunity to formally petition the court for a re-consideration of Casey and Roe,” he said.