The North Dakota House of Representatives has passed the first personhood amendment in the United States, 57-35. Read more
by Virginia Chamlee | 06.07.11 | 12:43 pm | More from The Florida Independent
Personhood USA, the group responsible for unveiling initiatives aimed at undoing abortion and some types of birth control acrosss the country, released a new video yesterday. The clip — titled “Pro-Life? What Is It?” — urges listeners to “get off the couch” and “bring the church to the streets, bring the streets to the polling place and bring healing to our world.”
The video suggests that being pro-life is more than simply “going outside an abortionist’s office, praying and giving counseling to young women.” While a graphic of Jesus on the cross is displayed, a narrator urges supporters to ”not settle for the protection of just some, not be afraid of defeat, of the future, of death.”
In a press release, the group touted the video as its “latest contribution” and says it “serves as both a moment of self-reflection and a call to action.”
“This is the key question as we examine where we have been in the last 40 years and where we are collectively headed,” said Keith Mason, co-founder of Personhood USA, according to the release. “The video not only helps answer this question, but we also hope it inspires lifelong pro-lifers and activates a new generation to rally in defense of the lives of every human being.”
The group, whose motto is “protecting the pre-born by love and by law,” has unveiled initiatives across the country, in an attempt to undo Roe v. Wade. Personhood supporters argue that the key to outlawing abortion is to redefine what constitutes a “person,” which they argue begins at the moment of fertilization.
Mississippi residents will vote on a personhood amendment to their state constitution in November. Similar amendments were defeated in Colorado in both 2008 and 2010. A personhood initiative is also being attempted in Florida, and while it has yet to receive the signatures required to make it on the 2012 ballot, the head of the Florida affiliate has said he remains undettered.
Watch the Personhood clip: http://www.youtube.com/user/PersonhoodUSA#p/a/u/0/IgDcihrotIA
Exciting updates on Personhood in Louisiana and Mississippi, an inspiring video, news articles, and more!
A bill is advancing in Louisiana that would ban every form of abortion in the state. House Bill, HB645, titled “The Human Life Protection Act,” passed the Health and Welfare Committee last week by a vote of 10-2. It revises the state’s definition of criminal feticide to include surgical abortion and prohibits the prescribing of abortion inducing drugs.
The legislative intent of the bill is clear as it upholds a longstanding policy of the state that every human being is a “legal person” and “entitled to the right to life from conception under the laws and Constitution of the state.”
While not perfect—particularly because of a section added in committee dealing with the criminal penalties for participating in an abortion—the legislation will permanently turn the signs at the abortion mills to “Closed!”
We continue to encourage the people of Louisiana in their steadfast pursuit of a state constitutional personhood amendment to recognize the full rights of every person, born and preborn. However, until this opportunity is presented, this law means that every baby in Louisiana will be safe from the grasp of the abortionists.
Unapologetically pro-life legislator and sponsor of the bill, Rep. John LaBruzzo said, “Every year, more and more abortions take place, and every year we pass legislation to deal with the issue. We’ve been going at it piecemeal—trying to get two yards at a time—but we haven’t gotten one first down. This bill shoots for the end zone.”
Attorney and pro-life speaker, Rebecca Kiessling, was invited to represent Personhood USA and share her story at the hearing. Adopted as an infant, Rebecca learned at age 18 that her conception was the result of rape and that she was nearly aborted.
Testifying on behalf of the legislation, Rebecca explained, “This bill follows the directives within Roe v. Wade. If you wish to afford unborn children their due process and equal protection rights, then you need to recognize them as persons in the full legal sense. This is hitting the issue where it counts. The Court made it clear that personhood is where it counts.”
Watch Rebecca, Rep. LaBruzzo, and many of the wonderful pro-life advocates’ testimonies by clicking here:
The Human Life Protection Act now heads to the full House. Floor debate is scheduled for this Monday, June 6th.
Prayers for Mississippi
Please also continue to keep the people of Mississippi at the forefront of your hearts and minds. We ask for your prayers in the effort to amend the state constitution to protect every child by love and by law.
The Mississippi Personhood Amendment is the standard—defining the term “person” as used in the Mississippi Bill of Rights to “include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” The new law will not only save our youngest brothers and sisters from the abortionists and close down the last remaining abortion mill in Mississippi, but it also ensures legal protections from all chemical abortifactient drugs, human cloning and deadly medical research.
The measure is currently on the ballot for November of this year. We are just five short months from ending abortion in the state, once and for all!
However, your prayers are still needed because our enemies are on the move—attempting to block the measure from reaching the ballot. That’s right, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have, once again, teamed up to sue us and stop a vote by the people to recognize the rights of every human being.
So far, we’ve won every round of the court battle. Last year, Judge Malcolm Harrison ruled that the “plaintiffs carry a heavy burden in attempting to restrict the citizenry’s right to amend the Constitution. Initiative Measure No. 26 has received more than the required amount of signatures to be placed on the ballot and the Constitution recognizes the right of citizens to amend their Constitution.” This is a huge victory for the babies and the people! However, the pro-abortion groups have vowed to appeal.
The Alabama Senate Bill, SB301, passed the Senate 23-7. Last minute changes to the bill changed it from a personhood bill, which would have banned all abortions, to a ban of all surgical abortions and many chemical abortions. If the bill passes the House, it will be the first time in state history that all surgical abortions will be outlawed since Roe v. Wade.
The original text, introduced by Senator Phil Williams, read : “The term ‘persons’ as used in the Code of Alabama 1975, shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization or the functional equivalent thereof.”
The amended text now reads “The term ‘persons’ as used in the Code of Alabama 1975, shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization and implantation into the womb.” SB301 is now scheduled to be heard Thursday, June 9th.
Stand with us as we declare before the whole world that every person is uniquely created in God’s image and deserving of the full protection of the law!
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
-Keith Ashley, Personhood USA Communications
Mississippi Personhood Amendment 26 Kicks Off ‘The Rape Victim’s Child’ Tour Today
Contact: Les Riley, 662-760-8695; www.personhoodmississippi.com
JACKSON, Miss., June 2, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — As part of their educational outreach, Personhood Mississippi is sponsoring the “The Rape Victim’s Child” tour, which kicks off today, featuring renowned speaker Rebecca Kiessling. Not only will the tour promote Amendment 26, Mississippi’s Personhood amendment, but it will also raise funds for crisis pregnancy centers in Mississippi.
Rebeccca Kiessling has long been an advocate for the personhood rights for every human being, no matter the circumstances of their conception or birth. Rebecca will be answering the “tough” questions on abortion, specifically discussing children conceived in rape, as she was. Conceived in rape and targeted for abortion, Rebecca will explain why Mississippi voters should vote “Yes” on Amendment 26, and what the abortion “exceptions” proposed by many really mean. “I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue. For them, it’s just a concept — a quick cliche, and they sweep it under the rug and forget about it,” Rebecca explains on her website, rebeccakiessling.com. “I do hope that, as a child of rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue.” Rebecca passionately defends the rights of preborn babies, and was recently quoted at a Personhood hearing as saying, “If you really care about a rape victim, you would want to protect her from the abortion, and not the baby. A baby is not the worst thing that could ever happen to a rape victim – an abortion is.”
The “Rape Victim’s Child” tour has four stops, beginning in Southaven today and ending in Gulfport. All are welcome to learn the truth about “exceptions” and to learn how they can participate in Amendment 26.
Trinity Baptist Church
7200 Swinnea Rd – just North of Goodman
7:00 PM – Thurs June 2
The Loft (Restaurant)
535 Central Ave
12:00 to 1:00 PM (Luncheon)
Friday, June 3 — Admission free, but please buy a plate lunch
Trinity Lutheran Church
4805 Highway 39 North
7:00 PM – Fri June 3
14281 Oneal Rd
6:00 PM – Sat June 4
Personhood Mississippi is a statewide grassroots organization of concerned citizens who value human life. Personhood Mississippi is sponsoring the Personhood Amendment to the Mississippi constitution, Amendment 26, which “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”
Personhood Mississippi has received endorsements from leading Democratic legislators including Speaker Billy McCoy. The Democratic endorsements are further evidence that the effort to pass Amendment 26 is not a partisan, politically motivated effort, but rather a growing movement with broad based support to protect unborn children and their mothers.
House Speaker McCoy (D-Rienzi), in noting that he has always been pro-life, gave a written statement that included a strong affirmation of the goals of Personhood Mississippi to “amend the Constitution to provide a definition of the term ‘person’.” Speaker McCoy continued, “That term is defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization. This definition corresponds to my personal pro-life beliefs.”
Also giving life affirming endorsements of Amendment 26 were Senators Nickey Browning (D-Pontotoc) who said he had “always been pro-life” and Eric Powell’s (D-Corinth) statement of “I’m with you.”
Senator Powell also stated that he believed the amendment would pass overwhelmingly.
Amendment 26 Sponsor and Personhood Mississippi Founder Les Riley of Hickory Flat expressed gratitude for the bi-partisan support: “This is not about Democrats, Republicans, or independents. Ours is a grassroots, volunteer-led non-partisan organization of around one thousand churches and thousands volunteers from across the state. These supporters share the common goal of stopping abortion; protecting women and children; reestablishing the rule of law and equal rights; and challenging unjust court rulings.”
Prominent Medical Professionals and Elected Officials Announce Support for Mississippi Personhood Amendment 26
Personhood Mississippi has announced endorsements from several notable medical, political, religious, and business leaders in Mississippi, adding to a sizable list of Mississippians who support Amendment 26. These endorsements are added to a rapidly increasing list of thousands of Mississippians who are seeking the recognition of equal rights for all Mississippians regardless of size, location, or developmental stage. Endorsers of Amendment 26 desire the end of abortion and respect for life restored, as well as the protection of women from abortion and the rule of law and Constitutional government restored.
Endorsements and support amassed for Amendment 26 have proven it to be a bi-partisan measure – during the signature gathering phase of the amendment, many prominent Democrats, Republicans, and third party leaders lent their support. Legislators from both parties were present to show support at the Amendment 26 kickoff rally.
“The bi-partisan collection of support we have received for the Personhood Amendment shows us clearly that this is not a single party issue – it is an issue of life or death,” explained Les Riley, Amendment 26 sponsor. “We are so thankful for the many medical professionals and public officials who are willing to take a stand for the simple truth that every human being is a person, and every person has a God-given right to life.”
Representative Brian Aldridge, of Tupelo, and Senator Chris McDaniel have added their support, with Representative Aldridge adding, ““The greatest blessing I’ve ever received is to be called daddy. JennaLeigh and I couldn’t imagine our lives today without our three beautiful children. The joy they bring on a daily basis is without
explanation. Hearing their heartbeats at 10 weeks of pregnancy is the most special sound our ears have ever heard. How anyone could say that life doesn’t begin at conception, after hearing the heartbeat for the first time, is beyond my comprehension. The efforts of Personhood MS is one of the greatest causes I’ve been fortunate enough to be a partof. I look forward, over the course of this year, to continuing my fight for the rights of the unborn!”
Amendment 26 also received the endorsements this week of five additional medical professionals:
> Gena Vail, CFNP, Family Clinic of New Albany
> Mindy Quinn, CFNP, Family Clinic of New Albany
> Dale Jones, CFNP, Acute Care + Family Clinic of Pontotoc
> Leslie Peterson, CFNP, Acute Care + Family Clinic of Mooreville
> Cathy Wacaser, CFNP, Acute Care + Family Clinic of Tupelo
SO MUCH has been going on for Amendment 62 this week!
Check out this week in Personhood News at www.personhoodusa.com/news, be encouraged, and take some friends with you to vote "YES" on Amendment 62 November 2nd! At the bottom of this message, find an easy way for your kids to be involved in helping to pass Amendment 62!
Abortionist Richard Grossman from Durango falsely claimed that Amendment 62 would be applied to a woman's ovaries - scare tactics at their worst. We responded, along with LifeGuard in Durango, and shortly after Planned Parenthood canceled Grossman's public speech against Amendment 62!
We released the Planned Parenthood group "Advocates for Choice" debate against Amendment 62, in which the Planned Parenthood group claimed that science wasn't important and a baby's heart doesn't start beating until 24 weeks.
Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actor Michael Moriarty of "Law & Order" (circa 1990's) fame wrote an article called: America's Last Chance: Amendment 62, in which he stated "On election day, Tea Party Coloradans, be sure to vote yes for Amendment 62!", linking to our video!
The Planned Parenthood/ACLU evil alliance was dealt a major blow in Mississippi when their motion against the 2011 Personhood Mississippi Amendment was DENIED. Victory! We'll have the chance to protect every innocent person in Mississippi in 2011!
Fox News National listed us a measure that could "Upend (the) Status Quo". When the status quo is killing children, we are thrilled to upend it!
Pam Tebow, mother of Heisman Trophy winner and Denver Bronco Tim Tebow, endorsed Amendment 62.
PLUS, we released the list of leaders that say to vote YES on Amendment 62: Southern Baptist Convention, American Family Association, Joe Scheidler, Morton Blackwell, David Bereit, Focus on the Family, Human Life International, Rebecca Kiessling, Lila Rose, Summit Ministries, Alveda King, and many more!
Don't forget - Amendment 62 is the ONLY pro-life issue on the ballot anywhere in the U.S. Let's send a strong message to the nation - we will not tolerate child killing any longer! Make a commitment to encourage your friends and family to vote YES on Amendment 62!
One easy way to help pass Amendment 62 THIS WEEKEND is to minister on Halloween. Our good friends at LifeGuard had a great idea for October 31st. If you hand out candy, or attend a church Fall celebration this weekend, you might consider putting a label or taping a piece of paper on each piece of candy you hand out that says "Protect Children - vote YES on 62!" If your church supports Amendment 62 and is hosting a Fall Celebration, you can put a message on every piece of candy they distribute! Most parents go through the candy at the end of the night, and that message might make a difference!
Remember that your vote counts, and we can't win without it! Tell your Colorado friends and family to join you in voting YES!
The Mississippi Personhood Amendment, Initiative Measure Number 26, was notified that the motion to remove the Amendment from the Ballot, filed by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, has been denied.
ACLU and Planned Parenthood attorneys filed a lawsuit against the Mississippi Secretary of State in July, seeking to disallow Mississippi voters from voting on the Mississippi Personhood Amendment.
Amendment sponsors and volunteers exceeded state signature requirements on February 17, becoming only the fourth successful ballot initiative since 1992. The one-sentence amendment, Initiative Measure Number 26, reads, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”
The ACLU then filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the Personhood amendment, which seeks to define the term “human being”, modifies the Bill of Rights, which is expressly prohibited by Section 273(5).
Steve Crampton, Liberty Counsel attorney for Personhood Mississippi, explained that Section 273(5) does not prohibit the definition of an otherwise undefined term, such as “person”. Crampton went on to explain that the Personhood Amendment complies with section 273(5)(a) because it does not propose any new right and does not modify or repeal any existing right guaranteed under our bill of rights. Instead, the Personhood amendment merely defines the term “person”, and does not modify the Bill of Rights in any way.
The Court decision read “Initiative Measure No. 26 has received more than the required amount of signatures to be placed on the ballot and the Constitution recognizes the right of citizens to amend their Constitution.” The decision was ordered by Judge Malcolm Harrison.
“Isaiah 59 tells us that ,’ the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear’ so we first give all praise and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ for hearing our prayers and giving us the victory in this round” explained Les Riley, amendment sponsor. “We are grateful from this clarification. From the early days of the petition drive those opposed to the amendment have claimed that our amendment was flawed and did not meet the Constitutional muster based on a surface level researching of the law. We have been certain that we have the right to define the term ‘person’, and that right was affirmed by the Circuit Court and Judge Harrison. The Personhood Amendment, in defining the term ‘person’, merely seeks to recognize the rights of every innocent human being in Mississippi. The people of Mississippi have spoken – they want to vote to recognize those Personhood rights in November 2011.”
“It is time for Mississippi voters to recognize that all human beings are people, and every person should be protected by love and by law,” added Cal Zastrow, co-founder of Personhood USA. “We are praising Jesus that Planned Parenthood was thwarted in their efforts to protect their billions with frivolous lawsuits.”
For Immediate Release
Contact: Les Riley, Personhood Mississippi – (662) 760-8695
Liberty Counsel Files Response to ACLU Lawsuit Against
Personhood Mississippi Ballot Initiative
August 12 (Jackson) – Liberty Counsel will file a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood in Hinds County, Mississippi Circuit Court today on behalf of Les Riley and Personhood Mississippi to prevent the voices of over 130,000 Mississippi voters from being silenced.
Last month, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed suit against Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann asking the court to stop Secretary Hosemann from doing his duty under law and delivering the Mississippi Personhood Amendment (Initiative Measure 26) to the legislature to be placed on the ballot next year. Last year over 1000 grassroots volunteers helped collect and certify the signatures of over 130,000 voters across Mississippi to put the measure on the ballot in 2011. Initiative 26 would legally define the unborn child as a “person” in state law, ensuring equal rights to all people including the unborn, and setting up a possible challenge to Roe v. Wade.
The suit claims that Initiative 26 is unconstitutional because it violates the prohibition against using the initiative and referendum process for “the proposal, modification or repeal of any portion of” the bill of rights. Initiative 26 does not propose any new right, nor does it modify or repeal any portion of the Mississippi Bill of Rights.
When asked about the Liberty Counsel filing on their behalf, Les Riley of Personhood Mississippi stated, “The misnamed ACLU has been dishonestly perverting the Constitution and using court decisions for decades to support the denial of rights to unborn people. We want to stop them from denying the rights of Mississippians to participate in the process, vote, and ensure equal rights to all. I do not know whether Planned Parenthood is concerned that the passage of the Personhood Amendment will interrupt their systematic genocidal program against minorities or it is worried about the impact it will have on their profitable abortion-releated services revenue stream that is part of their billion-dollar annual budget. But it is obvious they understand that if the citizens of Mississippi vote then the days of killing unborn children and harming women under color of law may be coming to an end.”
Steve Crampton, a Tupelo attorney with Liberty Counsel commented : “We do not
believe there is any merit to this lawsuit, and are eager for an opportunity to rebut the baseless charges of the ACLU. Perhaps more telling than the substance of the lawsuit is the fact that several New York lawyers for both ACLU and Planned Parenthood Federation of America signed the complaint seeking to deny Mississippians the fundamental right to vote on a proposed amendment to our State Constitution.”
Pastor Joseph Parker of Tupelo commented, “Planned Parenthood has killed more African-Americans in a 7 day period than the Ku Klux Klan killed and/or lynched in the last 150 years. They are no friend of the Black community and never have been. This lawsuit is not surprising; this is very much in line with who they are and what they are all about.” Parker has served in the African Methodist Episcopal Church for most of the last 34 years in Mississippi and Tennessee. He and his wife Birdie are part the growing tide of pro-life minority Christian leaders; they have been involved in standing for life and against abortion for the past 15 years.
Personhood Mississippi responds to lawsuit against right to life and right to vote in Mississippi
ACLU and Planned Parenthood attorneys have filed an injunction against the Mississippi Secretary of State, seeking to disallow Mississippi voters from voting on the Mississippi Personhood Amendment.
Amendment sponsors and volunteers exceeded state signature requirements on February 17, becoming only the fourth successful ballot initiative since 1992. The one-sentence amendment reads, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”
“I find it ironic that the plaintiffs would wait until the first day the court is open after Independence Day, then file a lawsuit that seeks to continue the oppression of the preborn and deny the rights of over 130,000 Mississippi voters,” commented Steve Crampton, renowned Liberty Council Constitutional Attorney.
In regards to the injunction, Lt. Governor Phil Bryant said, “It is unfortunate that certain people would want to block the protection of innocent human life here in Mississippi by filing suit. Not only are they trying to stop pro-life policy but are also trying to deny the voters of Mississippi an opportunity to voice their beliefs on this issue. Those of us who believe there is nothing as important as protecting the unborn will continue to fight to give Mississippians the right to vote to end abortion in our state.”
The ACLU has also joined forces with Planned Parenthood in Nevada, Missouri, and Alaska, employing similar tactics to keep Personhood petitioners and voters from exercising their Constitutional rights. In those states, despite costly delays, the courts have yet to issue a ruling.
“As to the statement that we are ‘redefining a fertilized egg as a person’ it has always been the practice of those who want to deny rights to others to use terminology to dehumanize them. There is no such thing as a fertilized egg, as the new life they are referring to is no longer an egg but a person with his or her own DNA,” explained Les Riley, sponsor of the Mississippi Personhood Amendment. “Further, The ACLU and Planned Parenthood attorneys allege that the one-sentence amendment modifies the Bill of Rights, yet the proposed amendment does not modify any section of the Bill of Rights, it simply clarifies to whom those rights apply. We are not in any way ‘amending’ the Bill of Rights. We do not strike out, insert, substitute any words, or formally alter the current Bill of Rights in any way.”
Continued Riley, “This is clearly a preposterous lawsuit, intended to interfere with Mississippi citizens’ right to vote, and to protect Planned Parenthood’s abortion cash cow. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are seeking to protect Planned Parenthood’s one billion dollar a year profit, while Mississippi voters are seeking to protect innocent life. We intend to fight this suit, defending our rights as Mississippi voters and the most basic right of preborn children, the right to life.”