The North Dakota House of Representatives has passed the first personhood amendment in the United States, 57-35. Read more
NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2012 — Personhood USA applauds the Senate’s refusal to expand abortion provisions through ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The treaty does not protect persons with disabilities in the womb and would put American laws under United Nations control.
The Senate failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to ratify the treaty, after a 61-38 vote Tuesday. Personhood USA opposed the ratification of the treaty earlier this week. www.personhoodusa.com/personhood-usa-opposes-ratification-un-convention-...
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said, “Trying to turn this into an abortion debate is bad politics and just wrong.” Yet Article 25 of the treaty requires “sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes,” which was acknowledged by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to include “access to abortion.” McCain recently called on the Republican party to “drop” the issue of abortion. www.personhoodusa.com/blog/john-mccain-urges-gop-drop-abortion-issue-ins…
McCain also asserted that the treaty is non-binding and would have no effect on American laws. At a United Nations meeting celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday, Mr. Vladimir Cuk emphasized the convention’s role in overturning national laws: “We want clear recognition of the CRPD as a superseding instrument.”
“Dishonesty about this treaty’s ability to reinforce abortion in the United States is unacceptable,” said Josh Craddock, international representative for Personhood USA. “Senator McCain’s remarks are incorrect and incompatible with the goal of protecting persons with disabilities. Personhood must include all human beings, regardless of the state of their physical or mental development. That includes the unborn as well as the disabled.”
“If Congress really cares about persons with disabilities, they shouldn’t encourage practices that systematically exterminate the disabled,” he added. “Abortion targets the disabled in the womb. About 90% of unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. That mentality teaches the public that life with disability is not worth living. It has no place in a treaty designed to protect the disabled.”
Personhood USA thanks the 38 Senators who opposed ratification and encourages them to remain steadfast in their convictions. Any treaty that undermines personhood for all unborn children and especially risks the lives of unborn children with disabilities is unacceptable to Personhood USA. The Senate is expected to reconsider the convention in January.
Washington, D.C. – 10/29/12 – The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear Personhood Oklahoma’s case for free speech. In response, Personhood Oklahoma is re-launching today to begin the petitioning process again.
“In Oklahoma, the people were denied their right to petition and their right to vote,” stated Dan Skerbitz, head of Personhood Oklahoma. “The people have a right to free speech, so we will start again. Women and children deserve better than abortion, and the people of Oklahoma will not rest until our voices are heard, and our women and children are protected from abortion.”
The Personhood movement is the largest prolife grassroots effort in the United States; with thousands of volunteers and churches standing ready to carry petitions and fight against the injustice of abortion.
“ Personhood USA will continue to pursue legislative and initiative efforts in all 50 states and around the globe, until all unique human beings are protected. Neither a pro-abortion president or a pro-abortion court will stop the personhood movement,” confirmed Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., legal analyst for Personhood USA.
Personhood Oklahoma has been waiting on word from the Supreme Court challenge, ready to get back to work if the Supreme Court declined the case. Now the effort has been re-launched to put personhood on the ballot in Oklahoma.
Citizens will again exercise their right to free speech, and their right to petition to change the Oklahoma Constitution.
“We know that abortion will be overturned by the people, not by the courts, and that is why we can never give up,” added Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “It appears that the Oklahoma State Supreme Court has put a supposed ‘right’ to kill another human being over the legitimate rights to free speech. Their decision was clearly wrong and we will continue to fight.”
Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the Oklahoma Personhood Initiative case of Personhood Oklahoma v. Barber. Last spring, the Oklahoma Supreme Court stopped a citizen’s initiative before it was even placed on the ballot.
The proposed amendment would have defined “person” as “any human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being to natural death.”
The Oklahoma attorney general had approved the ballot title and summary, and Personhood Oklahoma was in the process of gathering signatures in order to place the issue before the voters, when the ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and others filed a lawsuit claiming the proposed amendment was unconstitutional. Ten days later, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the initiative violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Commenting on the case, Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said, “The Court’s decision not to take up the Oklahoma Personhood initiative has no precedential value. The issue is not about the merits of personhood but about whether a state court can interfere with the rights of citizens to gather signatures to amend their constitutions. On the issue, the Oklahoma Supreme Court decision is wrong. But this is by no means the end of the road in Oklahoma. Personhood initiatives will continue to expand throughout the country. The time has come for government to acknowledge what science has long recognized – that human life begins from the moment of conception or fertilization and should be protected in law from its earliest beginnings.”
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
New poll shows Uruguay abortion decision unsupported by majority of citizens; will lead to increase in maternal mortality warns Personhood USA
Associated Press Photo
Washington D.C. – October 15, 2012 – In the middle of the night, tacked onto another bill, the lower house of Uruguay’s congress passed a bill to legalize abortion 50-49 – yet the most recent polls show that Uruguay citizens oppose this decision.
As a part of it’s global outreach, Personhood USA sponsored the largest poll ever conducted on the issue of abortion in Uruguay, contacting 118,264 households from October 12, 2012 to October 14, 2012. 51,922 households responded in favor of abortion, while a majority of 66,342 households identified themselves as prolife and in favor of protecting life before birth.
The numbers, translated to 56.1% prolife and 43.9% pro-abortion, are a clear indicator that the majority of Uruguay citizens are not in favor of abortion.
This 118,264 household poll directly challenges a much smaller survey of only 800 people, which appeared to inaccurately claim that the majority of Uruguay citizens were in favor of abortion. This survey was referenced by the Huffington Post.
As the bill awaits final approval, Uruguay could be the second country in Latin America, only behind Communist Cuba, to legalize abortion. The new law allows even late-term abortions in certain medical cases, despite the findings of a recent medical symposium in Ireland which determined that abortion is never medically necessary.
“It is a tragedy that the government in Uruguay is attempting to impose this death sentence to its smallest citizens,” commented Gualberto GarciaJones, J.D., legal analyst for Personhood USA. “Worse, we have seen major physical and emotional risks to women who suffer abortions. We know that abortion is dangerous for women, and lethal for innocent babies. Uruguay must put a stop to the legalization of killing in their country, or the consequences will be dire.”
Recent studies have determined that countries where abortion is illegal or severely restricted enjoy among the lowest maternal mortality rates, such as Ireland and Chile.
“Uruguay need only look at the United States to see the damage legalized abortion can cause,” continued GarciaJones. “Our families are broken, multitudes of women suffer permanent injuries, and one third of our children have been brutally killed by abortion. Uruguay’s citizens do not want abortion, and it should not be forced upon them. The women of Uruguay deserve better.”
Photo found on Google from Associated Press.
Romney turns his back on Republican base and Personhood; Will Maintain Extreme U.S. Abortion Laws says Personhood USA
Washington D.C. -In what some consider to be a direct affront to Personhood legislation, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the Des Moines Register’s Editorial Board that “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” according to Reuters.
Personhood USA is working to abolish abortion in all 50 states, and is the leading organization introducing prolife legislation and ballot initiatives in the U.S. Governor Romney’s statement, if not directed at Personhood legislation, certainly includes it.
With an historic personhood case pending before the United States Supreme Court, Romney’s pointed remarks have raised red flags about his ability to represent conservatives nationwide.“The U.S. has among the world’s most liberal abortion laws, and Romney seems unwilling to do anything to change that,” stated Jennifer Mason, spokesperson for Personhood USA. “Governor Romney is insisting on maintaining the status quo of abortion on demand with no exceptions, through all nine months of pregnancy. This latest statement certainly indicates that he is out of touch with the conservative base and is turning his back on America’s women and children.”
For at least the second time on the campaign trail, Governor Romney’s statement is in direct opposition to the Republican Party Platform, which states that the “unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life that cannot be infringed.”
In January, Romney refused to sign the Personhood pledge to uphold the Republican Party platform, and last year refused to sign the Susan B. Anthony prolife pledge.
In August, Governor Romney also determined to uphold the status quo on the death penalty for innocent babies conceived in rape.
“A recent Gallup poll found that 21% of prolife voters will not vote for a candidate who doesn’t share their views,” continued Mason. “If Romney continues to turn his back on innocent babies, he can’t expect that 21% – which translates to 9% of registered voters – to vote for him. Governor Romney needs to be a 100% prolife candidate in order to win the prolife voters. Unfortunately, his candidacy is a dramatic departure from both the values of conservative voters and the Republican party platform.”
Obama and Romney must choose sides in Personhood debate as Personhood Oklahoma Supreme Court challenge escalates
Denver, October 2, 2012 – Thomas Goldstein, a leading Washington lawyer and publisher of SCOTUSblog.com predicts that the upcoming Supreme Court term is “probably the biggest term in at least a decade.”
Prominent among the handful of politically charged issues facing the Supreme Court is Oklahoma’s personhood initiative. On April 30, in a rare move against the people of Oklahoma, the State Supreme Court ruled against the ballot initiative before it went to a vote, denying the people’s right to vote on the measure which seeks to protect all human beings from conception.
The Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU filed briefs on Friday, September 28, challenging Personhood Oklahoma’s petition to the US Supreme Court.
“We knew the day would come when the Personhood initiative would come before the U.S. Supreme Court,” stated Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., legal analyst for Personhood USA. “With the presidential election in full swing, the debates just around the corner, and the future of the supreme court in the balance, the question now looms larger than ever: will a real pro-life presidential candidate please stand up for the pro-life movement?”
In August, Mr. Romney’s campaign urged the reported 100% pro-life U.S. Senate candidate from Missouri, Congressman Todd Akin to withdraw from his run for the U.S. Senate after a misstatement about abortion in cases of rape. Although he apologized for his statement, and although many Republicans are now backing Congressman Akin, Governor Romney is still opposing his candidacy.
“Governor Romney’s poor pro-life track record, his refusal to sign Personhood USA’s presidential pro-life pledge, and now his aggressive opposition to Congressman Akin worries the pro-life movement,” stated Garcia Jones. “We expect President Obama to address the issue during the debates, but the real question is about Governor Romney: can he articulate a prolife position that reconciles his stated belief that life begins at conception with his support of aborting children conceived in rape?”
Wednesday’s first presidential debate will take place in Denver, Colorado, the heart of the personhood movement, where the Colorado Personhood Coalition is currently suing the Secretary of State to receive a spot on the November ballot.
The Colorado Personhood Coalition has filed suit in Denver today, after an unjust dismissal by the Secretary of State’s office.
An unsuccessful lawsuit from Planned Parenthood shortened the petitioning time by about 60 days, giving the Colorado Personhood Coalition fewer petitioning days than any other Colorado ballot initiative. In spite of this, the Personhood Coalition collected over 112,000 signatures, about 30,000 more than signatures collected in 2010.Other initiatives were also granted a 15 day curing period to make up lost or invalidated signatures, which the Colorado Personhood Coalition was denied. After turning in far more than the number of signatures required for ballot placement, the Secretary of State’s office determined that the amendment could not appear on the ballot, discounting over 6,800 registered voters’ signatures.
“The Secretary of State’s actions unconstitutionally deprived us of our fundamental right under the State and Federal Constitutions to the initiative process which is core political speech,” explained Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., legal analyst for Personhood USA. “After being denied the same timeframe that every other initiative received, and denied the opportunity to appear on the ballot, we have filed a writ of mandamus to ensure that our rights are recognized and the hard work of our volunteers is not dismissed.”
The Colorado Personhood Coalition’s language is different than any other in the nation, addressing a myriad of issues in detail that have never before been explored, including birth control, IVF, miscarriage, and rape.
The full language is available at http://personhoodco.com/amendment-text/.
“Our nearly 1,500 volunteers worked incredibly hard,” commented Susan Sutherland, Director of the Colorado Personhood Coalition. “Despite the odds, we did the work and got the signatures. We deserve to be on the ballot, and we will not quit until every signature is counted and ultimately, every innocent human life is protected in Colorado.”
Following Congressman Akin’s controversial remarks on Sunday, the Romney-Ryan campaign quickly released the following statement: “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.”
After praising Congressman Ryan’s pro-personhood record in a press release last week, Personhood USA has now expressed concern about the appearance of compromise on the part of Congressman Ryan.
“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,” explained 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.”
In December, Personhood USA asked GOP Presidential hopefuls to sign a “Personhood Pledge”, affirming the Republican party platform and following in the steps of President Ronald Reagan. Governor Mitt Romney declined to sign the prolife pledge.
Personhood USA spokesperson Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived in rape, has had the opportunity to speak to many presidential hopefuls over the past five years. When speaking with Governor Mitt Romney several years ago, Rebecca commented that he was largely unresponsive and seemingly disinterested. By contrast, Rebecca’s conversation with Texas Governor Rick Perry made headline news, with Governor Perry stating “Looking in her eyes, I couldn’t come up with an answer to defend the exceptions for rape and incest.”“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,” explained Kiessling. “We need to educate the American public on the truth in this matter and not make public policy based on myth and misinformation.”
“Governor Romney claims to be prolife, but it appears he is prolife with exceptions – if the baby was conceived in rape, it seems that Romney does not believe that baby has a right to life. This position is contrary to the Republican party platform and contrary to the beliefs of prolife Americans nationwide. All babies have a right to live, regardless of the circumstances of their conception,” concluded Mason.
DENVER, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Personhood Colorado submitted signatures to the Secretary of State’s office today for the Colorado Personhood Amendment. The signatures submitted totaled 112,121, although only 86,105 were required. All signatures are pending validation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.
“Once again, we are amazed at the tenacity of our nearly fifteen hundred volunteers,” remarked Rosalinda Lozano, Amendment Sponsor. “We had seven fewer weeks to petition due to another failed lawsuit from Planned Parenthood, yet we are turning in over thirty thousand signatures more than in 2010. Thousands of hours of work over this very hot summer have gone into collecting these signatures, and we are so thankful for the hard work of everyone involved.”
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.
“Colorado’s Personhood language is the first of it’s kind,” commented Keith Mason, Colorado native and President of Personhood USA. “Our opposition has built a reputation of using scare tactics to deter voters from human life amendments. Now that we have specifically outlined the effects of the amendment within the law, we believe that Colorado voters will not be intimidated by those who profit from abortion.”
Once the signatures are verified by the Colorado Secretary of State, the amendment will be placed on the 2012 ballot and put to a vote.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has until September 5th to verify the validity of the signatures.
The Colorado Personhood Coalition is a grassroots organization comprised of Colorado citizens who value all human life, from biological beginning to natural death. The Colorado Personhood Coalition has sponsored the Personhood Amendment to the Colorado constitution.
SOURCE Colorado Personhood CoalitionPR Newswire (http://s.tt/1k7wO)
DENVER, August 3, 2012 – The Colorado Personhood Coalition will hold a press conference Monday to make an important announcement regarding the number of signatures gathered to place the personhood initiative on the ballot.
“We won’t be certain of the number of signatures until Monday,” stated Rosalinda Lozano, ballot sponsor. “We do know that our volunteers have had to work much harder this year after a 7-week delay in the signature process. On Monday morning, when we have our final total, we will announce the number collected at the press conference.”
“There should be no question about what this personhood amendment will and will not do,” continued Lozano. “The 2012 personhood amendment will recognize the personhood rights of every human being; and by doing so, will ensure a safer Colorado for women and children. We are eager to get our final signature count and complete the signature phase of this campaign.”
Press Conference Details:
WHO: Colorado Personhood Coalition
WHAT: Announcement regarding signature count and turn in signatures to Secretary of State.
WHERE: 1700 Broadway Denver, Co
WHEN: Monday, August 6 2012, at 2:30pm
The 2012 attempt at Personhood in Colorado includes unprecedented amendment language, aimed at disarming scare tactics and correcting false statements from opposition to the amendment. The amendment text is available at www.personhoodco.com.
Personhood Colorado is a grassroots organization comprised of Colorado citizens who value all human life, from biological beginning to natural death. Personhood Colorado has sponsored the Personhood Amendment to the Colorado constitution.