The North Dakota House of Representatives has passed the first personhood amendment in the United States, 57-35. Read more
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Anti-abortion vigil held in Dublin
Several thousand people attended an anti-abortion vigil outside Leinster House in Dublin tonight.
Throughout the vigil, many participants held candles, banners and posters calling for Fine Gael to keep its “pro-life promise”.
Organisers – the Pro-Life Campaign, Youth Defence, the Life Institute, and Family and Life – estimated that more than 10,000 people attended the vigil. Gardaí would not confirm a figure when contacted.
In an impassioned speech, Niamh Uí Bhrian, spokeswoman for the Life Institute, said their anti-abortion stance had not changed.
“We are not for turning and we will not yield,” she said.“We are proud to be a pro-life nation, we are here to tell the politicians in Dáil Eireann that they may have destroyed our economy but we will never let them kill our children.”
She said “The lives of our children are worth fighting for and the mothers who are driven to abortion in fear are worth fighting for and the pro life ethos in this country is worth fighting for.”
Caroline Simons, legal consultant with the Pro Life Campaign said the State was not obliged to legislate for abortion because of the European Court of Human Rights ABC case.
“There is no such obligation,” she said. “All we are supposed to do is clarify our own position in relation to abortion here…We have one of the best maternal mortality rates in the world so abortion is never the answer. It is not going to save mothers lives and we don’t want to see it on our shores.”
Ms Simmons said the vigil took less than a week to organise and that the next step will be an anti-abortion rally
Among those in attendance, were the Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary, Bishop of Kilmore Leo O?Reilly, Bishop of Killaloe Kieran O?Reilly, Bishop of Ossory Seamus Freeman and the Administrator of Derry diocese Msgr Eamon Martin.
They attended with the full support of their colleagues on the Irish Episcopal Conference who are currently holding their winter meeting at Maynooth.
Catherine Kavanagh from Limerick attended the vigil “to support the pro life cause”.
“I feel innocent life should be protected, it’s a no brainer,” she said.
Alan Hannigan from Dublin who attended the vigil said: “I’m here because abortion is absolutely disgraceful and it shouldn’t be let in to the country. It’s murder. None of us has the right to kill a child and that’s just the way it is. It’s the law of heaven.”
Siobhan Casey from Kerry said people who do not want abortion in Ireland “aren’t necessarily against the mother”.
“I think it’s important to protect the mother and the child. If you’re talking about protecting the child there also needs to be care for the mother such as pre-natal clinics and peri-natal hospices, crisis pregnancy centres, not abortion centres are what is needed at this time.”
Medical Symposium’s Findings that Abortion Never Necessary in “Life of the Mother” ‘Exceptions’ Substantiate Personhood Amendments in US
A medical symposium in Ireland has determined that abortion is not necessary to save the mother’s life in any circumstance; debunking one of the most common arguments against personhood abortion bans in the U.S.
According to the Irish organization Youth Defence, “Leading medical experts speaking at a major International Symposium on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare held in Dublin have concluded that ‘direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a mother.’ “
Over 140 medical professionals attended the Symposium where new research and extensive clinical experience was presented by experts in obstetrics and gynecology, mental health, and molecular epidemiology. The symposium’s final determinations were published in a declaration titled “Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare” which reads:
“As experienced practitioners and researchers in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”
“It was fascinating to learn about new therapies involving the safe delivery of chemotherapy during pregnancy and the exciting field of in-utero fetal surgery, “ stated Dr Eoghan de Faoite, a member of the symposium’s organizing committee. “This Symposium puts an end to the false argument that Ireland needs abortion to treat women, and it was encouraging to hear the international speakers commend Ireland’s high standards of maternal healthcare and low rates of maternal mortality.”
Recent studies have determined that countries where abortion is illegal or severely restricted enjoy the lowest maternal mortality rates. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0036613
“The International Symposium on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare has affirmed what Personhood amendments have sought to establish – that there is no situation in which it is necessary to dismember and kill an innocent child,” commented Personhood USA spokesperson Jennifer Mason. “Here in the United States, we have some of the most radical abortion laws in the world, and our women and children suffer as a result. As Youth Defence in Ireland seeks to keep Ireland abortion-free and safer for women and children, Personhood USA will never stop attempting to abolish abortion in the United States to seek the same standard of healthcare and protection for moms and babies.”
Colorado Personhood Coalition to Challenge Colorado Secretary of State’s Determination on Personhood Signatures
Denver / August 29, 2012 / The Colorado Personhood Coalition has announced plans to challenge the Colorado Secretary of State’s determination on valid signatures.
The Colorado Secretary of State determined that the Colorado personhood amendment has fallen 3,700 valid signatures short of qualifying for the ballot.
Upon review of the discarded signatures, the Colorado Personhood Coalition has determined that in many cases, entire petitions were discarded despite valid signatures and valid affidavits.
1-40-118 C.R.S. allows 30 days to file a protest. The Colorado Personhood Coalition has engaged election law specialist Shayne Madsen of the Jackson Kelly law firm.
“The law states that we have 30 days to file a challenge, and we fully intend to do so. Based on the Secretary of State’s 5% sample, we are have calculated that we will be able to recover the signatures necessary to appear on the ballot,” explained Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., legal analyst for Personhood USA. “This disqualification is by an extremely narrow number, and as we have seen thousands of valid voter signatures discarded unnecessarily, we will be filing a challenge to ensure that every Colorado voter’s voice is heard, and that every signature counts.”
The proposed amendment states “(1) Purpose. In order to affirm basic human dignity, be it resolved that the right to life in this constitution applies equally to all innocent persons. (2) Effect. The intentional killing of any innocent person is prohibited.” The amendment goes on to detail the effects that the amendment will have on issues such as birth control, in vitro fertilization, medical treatment for the mother, and miscarriage. The full text is available at www.personhoodco.com.
Over 100,000 signatures were collected, and petitions were circulated by nearly one thousand five hundred volunteers.
“Other 2012 Colorado ballot initiatives had nearly two months longer than we did to collect signatures,” continued Garcia Jones. “Because of a frivolous lawsuit from our opponents, we were denied the full petitioning time, yet we still collected over 112,000 signatures. After an amazing effort on the part of our volunteers, this narrow disqualification is something that we believe will be reversed. We did the work, we gathered the signatures despite a significant loss of time, and we will fight to ensure that every valid signature is counted.”
Romney snubbing pro-lifers, GOP platform
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)
Thursday, August 23, 2012 9:38 AM
Personhood USA is calling on presidential candidate Mitt Romney to retract a statement he made this week about abortion.
Jennifer Mason is a spokesperson for Personhood USA, which supports proposed state amendments that define personhood at the biological beginning of life. She says her group also wants Romney to change course on Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-Missouri), who recently made a misstatement about children conceived in rape.
Mason, Jennifer (Personhood USA)“We have recognized that Mitt Romney has basically turned his back on the Republican Party platform by claiming that he will uphold abortions in cases of rape and incest,” Mason explains. “The Republican Party … our organization and pro-lifers nationwide believe that all life is valuable and sacred.”
Romney made his statement and call for Akin’s withdrawal from the race on Monday, after Akin admitted his statement for “legitimate rape” was wrong.
“While [his words] were insensitive, [Akin] has apologized for those, and he has basically been a 100-percent pro-life candidate,” the Personhood USA spokesperson notes. “So we’re calling on Romney to support Akin and not turn his back on him in this upcoming Senate race.”
It was after Akin’s verbal snafu that Romney announced he would not stand against abortion in cases of rape, which is contrary to the Republican platform. He also asked Akin to withdraw from the race and has declined to change his mind on that, even though Akin has apologized.
Not everyone in the GOP is running from the embattled Senate candidate. Why are social conservatives sticking with the “legitimate rape” political pariah?
posted on August 23, 2012, at 10:05 AM
Some social conservatives are standing by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), arguing that his position on abortion is actually an integral part of the GOP platform.
Some social conservatives are standing by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), arguing that his position on abortion is actually an integral part of the GOP platform. Photo: Facebook/Todd Akin SEE ALL 9 PHOTOS
Best Opinion: American Vision, Wash. Post, Personhood USA ...
Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) has been in elective politics since 1988, and in Congress since 2001, and along the way, “he has made loyal allies among conservative legislators and Christian groups,” say Stephanie McCrummen and David A. Fahrenthold at The Washington Post. Now, as Republicans and most right-leaning commentators are stridently calling for him to step down from his race for Senate after Akin claimed that abortion should be denied in all cases because “legitimate rape” victims can’t get pregnant, those old social conservative pals are just about the only friends he has left. From groups like the Family Research Council and the Susan B. Anthony List to individuals like Phyllis Schlafly and Mike Huckabee, Christian conservatives and anti-abortion advocates are standing by Akin and his decision to stay in the race. Why? Here, five reasons social conservatives are sticking with their man:
1. Akin was wrong, but he apologized
Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” were “indefensible” and “inappropriate,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins tells The Washington Post. But “he’s acknowledged as such,” and it’s time to move on. “When others have made mistakes, you haven’t seen the entire Republican establishment abandon him. I think it’s somewhat suspect.” It’s obvious Akin is “not for rape,” agrees Phyllis Schlafly. “That’s ridiculous.” Everybody’s “making a big thing about an unfortunate remark,” and the GOP establishment should butt out and let the people of Missouri decide Akin’s fate.
2. Substantively, he’s in the Republican mainstream
Mitt Romney and other Republicans “are throwing a pro-life congressman under the bus over a blunder, and it seems they are doing so because they disagree with his no-exceptions position on abortion,” says Personhood USA spokeswoman Jennifer Mason. Well, Akin’s position “is an integral part of the Republican Party platform, the same position that was held by President Ronald Reagan.” So why should Akin step down? He’s a true Reagan Republican — unlike the “Romney Republicans, a fringe group of liberals” who support “the death penalty for children conceived in rape.” Right, many lives have resulted “from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape,” said Mike Huckabee on his radio show. “And sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”
3. Akin’s a “good man” who made one verbal slip
“I’ve known Todd,” Don Hinkle, editor of the Missouri Baptist Convention newspaper, tells The Washington Post. “I know his character and the man that he is.” And though “grieved over” his rape remarks, “I know that his words didn’t match his heart.” Even Akin “said he misspoke,” actor Kirk Cameron tells NBC’s Today. Personally, “I like to evaluate people based on their entire life, their entire career, and (what) they stand for,” and with Akin, “I believe he’s a good man.” He’s a “strong Christian man with a wonderful family,” says Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). Rather than “petty personal attacks,” this election “should be about how did Todd Akin vote and what did he vote for and what did he stand for.”
4. Akin is the real victim
The real travesty here is that “everybody is gang-tackling Todd Akin,” says the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer. “You talk about a forcible situation, you talk about somebody being a victim of forcible assault, that would be Todd Akin.” He needs our help. The “old Northeastern establishment Republicans like Romney” obviously feel threatened by Akin, and so “that establishment savages him — violently and in unison,” says American Vision’s Joel McDurmon. “Call it a political gang rape — a legitimate one.”
5. Conservatives just shouldn’t attack conservatives
Look, what Akin said really “was offensive, insulting and wrong, but I’m bothered by this rush to pile on,” says Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.). “And I’m bothered by the silence of members of our own party to stand up for him.” His unfortunate “legitimate rape” comment “could have been quickly and easily handled with a consolidated response,” says American Vision’s Joel McDurmon. But, predictably, Republicans balked, because unlike liberals, “conservatives shoot their wounded.”
Read more political coverage at The Week’s 2012 Election Center.
By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter
August 22, 2012|12:37 pm
Only a few days after praising Rep. Paul Ryan’s pro-life record, Personhood USA, one of the largest anti-abortion organizations in the U.S., is now criticizing the Romney-Ryan campaign for endorsing abortion in instances of rape.
“Personhood USA does not endorse political candidates, but we had hoped that Congressman Ryan would be a good influence on Governor Romney, considering Romney’s liberal abortion record,” said Jennifer Mason, Communications Director for Personhood USA. “Reading today that babies conceived in rape should suffer the death penalty under a Romney-Ryan administration is extremely concerning, and indicates that Congressman Ryan’s pro-woman and pro-baby positions would have little influence if he wins the office of Vice President of the United States.”
Mason, in the organization’s public statement, was referring to Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial remarks on Sunday in which the Wisconsin Republican said that “legitimate rape” victims have a way of preventing pregnancy from happening. Republicans across the board slammed Akin’s statement, which he later apologized for, with Romney and Ryan both stating that they would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.
“Governor Romney and Congressman (Paul) Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,” the Republican candidates’ campaign said in a statement.
Ryan has insisted that he is “proud” of his pro-life record, but has said that he will stand behind Romney’s views on abortion.
“I stand by my pro-life record in Congress,” Ryan said. “It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”
Personhood USA’s relationship with the Romney-Ryan campaign remains complicated.
The organization highlighted last week several instances in which Ryan has stood up for pro-life causes, which stands in contrast to a previous statement the organization made revealing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s alleged failures to support the rights of unborn children during his time as governor of Massachusetts.
“We would say that since someone had to be chosen, Ryan does seem to support the same values that we support, and the same values of the Republican Party,” Mason told The Christian Post last week.
“I think that if Ryan is able to influence Romney in such a way that he able to counter-balance some of the more pro-choice actions that he has taken, that would definitely be a turn in the right direction,” Mason added at the time.
In the most recent Persoonhood USA statement, Mason claimed that while Romney expresses pro-life views, his belief that babies conceived in rape can be aborted stands contrary to the GOP platform and contrary to the views held by most pro-life Americans. “All babies have a right to live, regardless of the circumstances of their conception,” she added.
“As someone who really cares about rape victims, I want to protect them from the rapist, and from the abortion, but not the baby. A baby is not the worst thing that could ever happen to a rape victim – an abortion is,” said Personhood USA spokesperson Rebecca Kiessling.
“We need to educate the American public on the truth in this matter and not make public policy based on myth and misinformation,” Kiessling, who was conceived in rape, added.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party approved a platform on Tuesday that seeks a constitutional amendment that would ban all abortions regardless of circumstances, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the life of a pregnant woman.
The GOP’s declaration was lauded by many pro-life advocates, such as Priests for Life.
“Priests for Life is grateful to those who have served on the platform committee for the Republican Party for reaffirming the truth that ‘the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,’” said Priests for Life National Director Fr. Frank Pavone.
“A declaration like this goes far beyond party politics and national boundaries. It affirms the very purpose of government and an essential condition of civilized society – a purpose and condition which, to our alarm, has been forgotten by some parties and public officials.”
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/personhood-usa-slams-romney-and-ryans-...
—ANTI-ABORTION GROUPS URGE ROMNEY-RYAN TO STAND UP FOR AKIN – From the department of suggestions that are unlikely to be heeded, Personhood USA put out a statement yesterday asking Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to reverse their call for Todd Akin to drop his Missouri Senate bid. The groups also asked the ticket to give its full support for the Republican Party’s platform, which opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. “In calling for Congressman Akin’s exit of the Senate race, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan are throwing a pro-life Congressman under the bus over a blunder, and it seems they are doing so because they disagree with his no exceptions position on abortion — a position that is an integral part of the Republican Party platform,” Jennifer Mason, a spokeswoman for Personhood USA, said in a statement.
—GETTING PERSONAL — Another Personhood USA spokeswoman, Rebecca Kiessling, who is identified as having been “conceived in rape” in the statement, called Akin’s comments a “faux pas,” and said she was alive because of politicians and activists who share Akin’s beliefs. The Personhood USA statement: http://bit.ly/PGPYz3
Democratic Underground / Daily Beast "GOP Grassroots Furious at Romney Over Akin, Abortion Rape Exception"
Anti-abortion activists are incensed at the candidate’s claim that he wouldn’t ban abortion for victims of rape—and at his rejection of Todd Akin, who’s trying to capitalize on that anger with a fundraising push.
Jennifer Mason, the communications director of Personhood USA and wife of the group’s co-founder, Keith Mason, is very disappointed with the way Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have responded to the Todd Akin flap. She’s particularly incensed by the campaign’s insistence that a Romney-Ryan administration wouldn’t try to ban abortion for rape victims. “Romney and Ryan have turned their backs on the Republican Party platform in cases of rape,” she says. “That’s a huge problem.”
Even since Akin introduced the phrase “legitimate rape” into the political lexicon, Republican leaders have been scrambling to distance themselves from him. Romney called on him to drop out of the race, and both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and American Crossroads, Karl Rove’s super PAC, have said they won’t support him financially. But the rush to reject Akin is infuriating the anti-abortion movement, which sees it as a further sign of Romney’s weak commitment to social conservatism. “For goodness’s sake, the guy won’t defend a chicken sandwich, let alone his own Senate candidate,” says conservative radio host Steve Deace, who recently co-wrote a book, We Won’t Get Fooled Again: Where the Christian Right Went Wrong and How to Make America Right Again, arguing that social conservatives have been shafted by the GOP.
Akin is hoping he can capitalize on grassroots anger with Republican leadership. On Wednesday, an appeal on his fundraising page for his Missouri Senate bid said: “Join us as we fight back against the party bosses. Help us raise $24,000 in 24 hours!” By late afternoon, he’d exceeded that by several thousand dollars. A few minutes later, the site set a new goal—$100,000 by midnight. On Thursday morning, Akin announced they’d they’d beat it, with thousands of people donating.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Personhood USA is calling on Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan to support Congressman Todd Akin following his apology for misspeaking about abortion in cases of rape.
A day after his insensitive misstatement regarding the tragedy of rape in regards to abortion, Congressman Akin apologized for the comment on his website, stating, “I made a mistake. I used the wrong words in the wrong way. What I said was ill-conceived and it was wrong and for that I apologize.”
On Monday Governor Romney disavowed the Republican platform on abortion, supporting the death penalty for children conceived in rape, then called for Congressman Akin to drop out of his Senate race, despite Akin’s conservative voting record and apology after his misstatement.
Conceived in rape, Personhood USA spokeswoman Rebecca Kiessling criticized Akin’s comment as a “faux pas”, but noted that Akin is a prolife politician, who correctly does not compromise on the lives of preborn children, no matter the circumstances of their conception. “Rape exceptions serve to perpetuate the injustice against rape victims…it further leaves the majority of impregnated rape victims wholly unprotected under the law.”
Kiessling, who was featured on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight last night stated “I owe my life to prolife advocates and legislatures who saw that mine was a life worth saving.”
“In calling for Congressman Akin’s exit of the Senate race, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan are throwing a prolife Congressman under the bus over a blunder, and it seems they are doing so because they disagree with his no exceptions position on abortion – a position that is an integral part of the Republican Party platform, the same position that was held by President Ronald Reagan,” explained Jennifer Mason, Personhood USA spokesperson. “We are left with Reagan Republicans, who agree with the Republican Party platform on abortion, and Romney Republicans, a fringe group of liberals who compromise on human life.”
“Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan now have the opportunity to stop their opposition to the Republican Party platform,” continued Mason. “By withdrawing their call for Akin to quit the race, and retracting their anti-life position on the death penalty for children conceived in rape, Romney and Ryan would at the very least be in agreement with the Republican Party’s position on abortion.”
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1ltEp)
Charlie Butts – OneNewsNow – 8/7/2012 9:55:00 AM http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=1648438
It looks like Colorado residents will again have the opportunity to decide the legal point at which human life begins.
Keith Mason of Personhood USA spearheaded a tough campaign to gain a position on the ballot for the Colorado Personhood Amendment, and he was pleased to drop off the abundance of petition signatures at the secretary of state’s office.
“We have turned in 112,121 signatures to place personhood on the ballot for a third time,” he reports. “The state requires 86,105 signatures, so we’re well over 30,000 over what we need.”
Keith Mason (Personhood USA)Mason notes the recent movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado that left 13 dead. The alleged shooter, however, only faces 12 murder charges.
“Even more tragic is that one of those humans will not have any justice, and the reason is because she was a preborn baby,” the pro-lifer explains. “One of the women, one of her children was six years old, and there will be murder charges filed there. But her preborn baby, which she’s told the media was one of her reasons to live, will not see justice, because in the state of Colorado, they’re not considered persons.”
This is the third time personhood language has made it on the ballot in The Centennial State, and with each effort, voters have become better educated on the value of life and when life begins. Mason is confident that enough petition signatures will be validated to let Coloradoans vote once more.
The Personhood USA spokesman earlier told OneNewsNow that the language does not affect miscarriages or ban contraceptives that do not kill “unique human individuals.” That “little deviation” from the normal personhood language was to keep the media from having the chance to play on the “lies of Planned Parenthood.”