The North Dakota House of Representatives has passed the first personhood amendment in the United States, 57-35. Read more
Lisbon, Portugal – 5/2/2012 — The Global Pro-life Unity Summit, sponsored by Personhood USA, Human Life International, and LifeSiteNews.com and featuring pro-life representatives from countries around the world such as Portugal, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Romania, and Ireland, will take place on May 4th and 5th in Lisbon, Portugal. The event’s sponsors including Pro Referendo Vida campaign founders Luis Botelho and Rodrigo de Castro Faria will host a press conference at 1pm on Friday, May 4 at the VIP Grand Lisboa Hotel in Lisbon Portugal.
Recent additions to the itinerary include representatives from the nations of Poland and Colombia.
Poland’s Fundacja Pro has endorsed the summit and has submitted a report of strategic recommendations to summit organizers. Last year, in just two weeks, they collected over 600,000 signatures in support of a personhood bill put before the national Congress. The bill was voted down by a mere handful of votes, but their campaign continues as they organize hundreds of pro-life exhibitions around the country.
Colombia’s Unidos Por La Vida will also participate in the Summit sessions via video-conferencing. Last year, they circulated a petition to add an amendment to the nation’s constitution protecting the right to life of all people “from conception to natural death.” In just two months, the group garnered a total of 5 million signatures.
What: Global Pro-life Unity Summit Press Conference
Who: International Pro-life Leaders, Event Sponsors, and Pro Referendo Vida founders Luis Botelho and Rodrigo de Castro Faria
When: Friday, May 4th, 2012, 1pm
Where: VIP Grand Lisboa Hotel in Lisbon Portugal, Avenida 5 de Outubro, 197, Lisboa 1050-054
Presenters to be featured at the Global Pro-life Unity Summit include:
Dr. Judith F. Szigeti, PhD represents Hungary’s Alfa Association for the Protection of Life, which is associated with Human Life International. Alfa is a non-denominational and non-partisan organization for people who defend the right to life of all human beings. Dr. Szigeti will speak about legal and cultural issues surrounding the new Hungarian Constitution which enshrines the right to life from conception to natural death. She will also relate the success of public awareness campaigns underway to promote the dignity of human life in Hungary.
Rodrigo de Castro Faria is the former president and founder of University Life Association. He joined the pro-life movement during the campaign against Portugal’s 1998 referendum which liberalized abortion laws. Since then, he has led collaborations with various Catholic associations for the defense of life. Today, he represents the national Pro Referendo Vida initiative that is calling a referendum to recognize personhood in Portugal.
Luis Botelho is a professor at the University of Minho who has campaigned for life since the first national referendum in 1998. He was in the “founding fathers” of Portugal pro Vida in 2009, one of the first explicitly pro-life political parties in Europe. He also represents the Pro Referendo Vida campaign.
Dr. Daniela Păun, MD is the coordinator of the incipient team from Bucharest of the Darul Vieţii (“The Gift of Life”) Association in Timisoara, Romania. The association was founded in 2003 and is affiliated with Human Life International. The Gift of Life seeks to change and save lives through prayer, public awareness and information campaigns, crisis counseling for women, and a chastity campaign for youth. The Gift of Life was the first organizer of the Romanian March for Life five years ago. This year, the largest Romanian March for Life on record took place in 20 major cities across Romania.
Father Nuno Serras Pereira made international headlines when he took out an advertisement in a leading Portuguese newspaper declaring his intent to refuse Holy Communion to Catholic politicians that publicly support abortion. To defend the integrity of the Eucharist and hold Catholic politicians accountable, he encourages his flock to adhere to teachings about respect for the human person, including opposition to abortion, euthanasia, cloning, and embryonic stem cell research.
Dr. Eoghan de Faoite has been the Chairman of Youth Defence, Ireland’s largest and most active pro-life organization, since 2002. He has directed highly effective political lobbying campaigns, organized and led nationwide pro-life information projects, and galvanized the youth of Ireland to speak out against abortion. Youth Defence aims to provide real information about abortion, to find new ways of getting that information to the public, and to keep Ireland abortion-free through constant public engagement.
Stephen Phelan is the director of communications for Human Life International, the world’s largest international pro-life organization. HLI educates, trains and equips our partners around the world in an attempt to enable them to defend life and family in their own language and cultures. With affiliates and associates in over 80 nations worldwide, HLI’s mission is “For the greater glory of God, in defense of life, faith and family.”
John-Henry Westen is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com. He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Westen serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.
Vicente L. Segu is the General Director of Fundacion Incluyendo Mexico and an influential leader in the Mexican conservative movement. He has worked with a number of organizations that promote Catholic values, respect for the life from the conception, and the rights of the unborn. As an RC member, he has participated in several ministries including the promotion of one of 18 Mexican state constitutional amendments defending life from conception.
Keith Mason is the President of Personhood USA, an organization focused on establishing new personhood efforts, and impacting the movement through key media driven events. Mason has served several different political campaigns to protect the preborn around the country, including assisting in the 2006 campaign to outlaw abortion in South Dakota, and helping to lead the 2008 and 2010 personhood amendments in Colorado.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D. is Legal Analyst for Personhood USA. Garcia Jones was born in Spain and emigrated to the United States as a child. He graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin with a double major in history and political science. After clerking for a Denver District Court judge, he attended The George Washington University Law School where he received his Juris Doctor in 2004. Gualberto has served as the Director of Legislative Analysis at the American Life League and Personhood USA. He is also the founder of Catholics for Personhood, The 2270 Society, and Personhood Education.
Washington – May 1, 2012 – The Oklahoma State Supreme Court has moved to deny Oklahoma citizens their right to a ballot access initiative for Personhood.
On April 30, repeatedly citing Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court denied Personhood Oklahoma’s right to petition, ruling the ballot measure “unconstitutional.”
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 issue and the circulator’s right to petition the government. In the Casey decision, Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion brings weight to the State’s right to allow the people to decide the permissibility of abortion:
“The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.” Justice Scalia, Planned Parenthood vs. Casey.
“Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade, according to Justice Scalia’s opinion, have no basis in law. Because of this, the undue burden of the standard of Casey is completely unworkable,” explained Gualberto GarciaJones, Personhood USA legal analyst. “With such a vague standard and any variety of interpretations, it is impossible for citizens to understand it and apply it. Justice Scalia said citizens can resolve the issue of abortion by persuading one another and voting. If Oklahoma citizens are denied the opportunity to do so, our only recourse is to petition the Supreme Court.”Steve Crampton, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Liberty Counsel, who represents Personhood Oklahoma, said: “This ruling epitomizes judicial overreaching. It not only misinterprets and misapplies federal constitutional law, but it also denies states’ rights and strips Oklahomans of their right to petition for a substantive change in state law, which is guaranteed under the state constitution. We are hopeful that the United States Supreme Court will reverse this decision.”
While five U.S. Supreme Court Justices are required for a favorable ruling, only four are required to approve a petition for certiorari.
Personhood Oklahoma had been collecting signatures for the Personhood Amendment for two months. The amendment reads, “A ‘person’ as referred to in Article 2, Section 2 of this Constitution shall be defined as any human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being to natural death. The inherent rights of such person shall not be denied without due process of law and no person as defined herein shall be denied equal protection under the law due to age, place of residence or medical condition.”
“The people of Oklahoma will not be silenced,” explained Dan Skerbitz, Director of Personhood Oklahoma. “We have 13,000 volunteers who have been circulating petitions and are ready and willing to continue this fight for human lives. We are more determined than ever to rise up against judicial tyranny and cowardly State Representatives who do not represent the will of the people of Oklahoma. “
Oklahoma City, OK -- 4/26/2012 -- For the second time in as many days, the Oklahoma Republican House leadership has refused to hear SB 1433, the Oklahoma Personhood Act, thereby running out the clock on the pro-life bill. The measure, which was approved by the state Senate 34 to 8 and given a “do pass” recommendation by the House Public Health Committee, would have defined conception as the beginning of human life and recognized every preborn child as a person, inherently possessed of all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other citizens of the state.
On Wednesday, veteran pro-life legislator Rep. Mike Reynolds, R, Oklahoma City, made a common procedural motion to suspend the House rules and bring the bill to a full vote. Speaker Pro Tempore Jeff Hickman, R., Dacoma, responded, charging that all motions were required to be scheduled by Majority Floor Leader Dale DeWitt, R., Braman.
For clarification purposes, Rep. Reynolds asked which House rule Rep. Hickman was relying upon to deny the motion. Unable to cite any rule, Hickman responded that “it was the custom of the House that business be scheduled through the Floor Leader.”
“If you can’t cite a rule, it makes it impossible for me to ask to suspend that rule,” said Reynolds. “So Mr. Speaker, I guess the motion that you would have me make is that I should suspend the custom of the House. Now that would be ridiculous in any legislative body.”
After scheduling the motion with Floor Leader DeWitt, Rep. Reynolds moved to suspend the House rules again late Thursday. Although the motion had not yet been brought for consideration, Rep. Hickman claimed that it had been struck down the previous day.
Voting to adjourn for the day and killing the Personhood Act were 57 pro-abortion representatives. 22 pro-life House members voted “no” to adjournment, to continue legislative business and grant the bill an opportunity to be heard.
Personhood USA has published videos of the events that can be viewed at the following links:
Earlier this week, Personhood USA called on Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to ask that the measure be sent to her desk for her signature. Fallin’s office released a statement indicating that no request would be made.
The Oklahoma Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, National Right to Life affiliate Oklahomans for Life, and leaders of nearly every Christian denomination held a press conference on Tuesday, demanding a vote on the measure. The Oklahoma Eagle Forum and Personhood Oklahoma had previously endorsed the measure.
“The Republican leadership in Oklahoma is testing the resolve of the state’s pro-life movement. The question at hand is who will fight harder--politicians settling for inaction or the people advocating for the lives of the preborn?” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “The babies cannot wait. Abortion is an intolerable evil, and the people will defeat it.”
The failure of the House to pass the Personhood Act leaves Personhood Oklahoma’s petition drive as the remaining hope for the state’s preborn children. The group must collect 155,000 petition signatures by the end of May to put the Oklahoma Personhood Amendment on the November ballot. For more information on the Oklahoma personhood initiative, visit: www.PersonhoodOklahoma.com.
"The Oklahoma legislature has become the best advocate for a vigorous initiative process. They have proven to the world that there is simply no guarantee that a majority of politicians, Democrats or Republicans, will stand for what's right,” added Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., Legal Analyst for Personhood USA. “Once an initiative is passed, it doesn’t change its mind. We urge all pro-life Oklahomans to take up the banner of life that the legislature so carelessly threw on the ground, and appeal to the people through the personhood constitutional amendment initiative."
Representatives voting to deny the recognition of the rights of the preborn include: Armes, Banz, Billy, Brown, Cannaday, Casey, Condit, Coody, Cooksey, Dank, Denney, DeWitt, Dorman, Enns, Glenn, Grau, Hall, Hickman, Holland, Hoskn, Inman, Jordan, Joyner, Kouplen, Liebmann, St. Martin, McCullough, C. McDaniel, J. McDaniel, R. McDaniel, McNiel, McPeak, Nelson, Nollan, Osborn, Ownbey, Peters, Peterson, Quinn, Renegar, Richardson, Roan, Rousselot, Russ, Schwartz, Scott, Sears, Shelton, Shoemake, Shumate, Thomsen, Vaughan, Virgin, Watson, Williams, Wright, Speaker of the House Kris Steele
Pro-life Representatives casting a vote for the Personhood Act to proceed include: Bennett, Blackwell, Brumbaugh, Christian, Derby, Faught, Hamilton, Kern, Key, Lockhart, Sc. Martin, Moore, Morrissette, Mulready, Murphey, Reynolds, D. Roberts, S. Roberts, Sanders, Stiles, Trebilcock, and Wesselhoft
Oklahoma City – Personhood USA is joining the call of the Oklahoma pro-life movement and the state’s pro-life legislators to bring SB 1433, the Personhood Act, to the House floor for an up or down vote before Thursday’s deadline. The group is asking Governor Mary Fallin to use her influence to dislodge the bill, request that it be sent to her desk for her signature, and affirm what has been scientifically evident for decades—human life, and therefore the right to life, begins at conception.
Late last week, the Oklahoma House leadership, including Republican Speaker of the House Kris Steele, and under the guise of a unified caucus, chose to deny the Personhood Act a vote on the House floor, ignore the House Public Health Committee’s “do pass” recommendation, and buck the national and state Republican Party Platforms which support and affirm the personhood of every unborn child.
“Governor Fallin should provide clear and identifiable leadership on this issue and utilize her influence as head of the state Republican Party to bring the legislation to a vote,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “The time has come for her to demand that the House leadership cease this obstruction.”
As a United States Congresswoman, Fallin co-sponsored the Right to Life Act, a bill that would “implement equal protection for the right to life of each born and preborn human person” by the authority granted to Congress to enforce the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. “The right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being,” it reads. “The terms `human person’ and `human being’ include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including, but not limited to, the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”
“Unborn babies are losing their lives in Oklahoma today with no legal recourse. Personhood is one issue where the Governor should fulfill the promises she made to her constituents and avoid a share in the blame by leading the way for the passage of the Personhood Act,” continued Mason.
Every major Christian and pro-life Oklahoma organization has lent their support for the measure including the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Oklahomans for Life, Personhood Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Eagle Forum.
State representatives are already calling for the removal of Speaker Steele. “The next motion would be that we remove the speaker and get rid of this tyranny that we’re dealing with in the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Mike Christian, R, Oklahoma City.
Other House members including Rep. Gus Blackwell of Laverne are calling for a vote: “We’re pro-life. We want a vote on this bill. We demand a vote so our constituents can see that what we say, we back up with a green light on this bill.”
Rep. Sally Kern, R, Oklahoma City told CapitolBeatOK, “I am pro-life and do not agree with refusing to grant a floor hearing to any pro-life bill that has gained committee approval.”
Oklahoma City, OK — More than a dozen lawmakers and area pastors gathered at the state Capitol on Monday to declare that the Oklahoma Personhood Act will not go down without a fight. The measure, which would define the beginning of life at conception and recognize the rights of unborn children at every age passed overwhelmingly in the state Senate in February by a vote of 34 to 8. The bill also received the backing of the House Public Health committee in late March with a recommendation of “do pass.”
“We’re pro-life. We want a vote on this bill. We demand a vote so our constituents can see that what we say, we back up with a green light on this bill,” said Rep. Gus Blackwell, R, Laverne.
A second group, including representatives from the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Oklahomans for Life and other pro-personhood organizations and legislators will hold a gathering today to continue the call for an up or down vote.
“As Baptists we uphold the value and sanctity of life,” said Dan Fisher, Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon. “We believe that life should be protected from the moment of conception, and we believe that anything that stops that other than a natural process is the unnecessary ending of life that is called murder.”
“In our country, no person or government can arbitrarily and unilaterally just deprive you of your life,” added Paul Blair, Pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond.
The Baptist General Convention sent an action alert following Speaker Steele’s decision to disallow a vote on the measure.
“Speaker Kris Steele and the State House Republican Caucus yesterday decided the Personhood Act, SB 1433, would not come to the House floor for a vote. He and your state representatives need to hear this is unacceptable!” it read. “Oklahomans are pro-life and they need to hear that from Oklahoma Baptists TODAY! Let them know that you support the pro-life Personhood Act, SB 1433, coming to a vote and ask it be heard immediately on the house floor.”
Likewise, the Catholic Dioceses distributed a handout supporting personhood in every Oklahoma parish.
“The Personhood Act was passed by the Senate and approved by a House Committee; but on Thursday of this week Speaker of the House Kris Steele announced that he would not allow SB1433 to be voted on by the entire House,” it read. “Please immediately call, email, fax and/or visit with Speaker Steele and with your own Oklahoma House Representative and tell them that an unborn child is a person and demand that the entire House be allowed to vote on SB 1433.”
Rep. Mike Christian, R, Oklahoma City commented, “We need to put it on the board and put a vote on it and let the people see where we stand. And again, if he doesn’t want to do that, then we take another step forward in the next couple of weeks to remove him as speaker.”
“I believe Oklahomans are overwhelmingly in support of the personhood initiative which says life begins at conception,” explained Rep. Mike Reynolds, R, Oklahoma City. “It’s on the agenda. All he has to do is recognize her.”
After numerous reports that the Oklahoma Personhood Act, SB 1433, was “dead”, Personhood USA and local affiliate Personhood Oklahoma have learned that the Personhood Act is still alive and could still be brought down for a vote before Thursday, April 26, 2012.SB 1433 received the backing of the House Committee on Public Health by a vote of 7 to 4 in late March with a recommendation of “do pass”, and passed the State Senate in February by a vote of 34 to 8. Despite it’s overwhelming support, and expectancy to pass in the House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Republican Kris Steele blocked the vote on Wednesday, denying prolife House Representatives the opportunity to vote on the historic measure. Representative Steele publicly stated at a state Capitol press conference that the House Republican Caucus had voted not to take up the measure. It has now been reported in the Tulsa World that Representative Randy Terrill asserted that there was no caucus vote, followed up by Speaker Steele’s admission that it was in fact a utilization of the whip system instead, so there is no record of votes on the matter. http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20120…
“The idea that this was a caucus decision is bogus,” confirmed Rep. Mike Reynolds, R, Oklahoma City. “It is my understanding that there was no vote in caucus.”The Tulsa World also reported that according to Representative Steele, if the measure comes up for a vote, he will vote yes.
In 2011, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed HB 1571, a personhood-like bill that ended up dying in the Senate committee. However, none of the local or national pro-life groups were able to support that bill after a hostile amendment was introduced in the House of Representatives by pro-abortion Rep. Doug Cox.“We are not surprised that there are a few Republicans such as Representative Doug Cox and House Speaker Steele, who wish to suppress life-affirming and pro-family legislation such as the Personhood Act,” commented Keith Mason, Personhood USA President. “However, it is surprising that these Republicans can be allowed to do everything in their power to kill a bill and then blame the entire Republican caucus. It is not too late – truly prolife Oklahoma Representatives can still call for a vote and pass SB 1433.”
House Representatives have told Personhood Oklahoma and Personhood USA that the bill is still alive and could still be heard before next Thursday. Pro-life and pro-family organizations are calling for a vote.
“We are calling on the Oklahoma House of Representatives to vote on the Personhood Act, and we call on Oklahoma voters to remind them of the importance of SB 1433,” continued Mason. “If the Christians in Oklahoma will rise up and demand a vote, it will happen but they must act now! We are encouraging all prolife people in Oklahoma to relentlessly call their Representatives and the Governor and demand that 1433 receive a vote.”
Oklahoma GOP Leadership Fails to Bring Personhood Act to Floor Vote; Personhood Oklahoma Petition Drive Can Bring Preborn Personhood Rights to Statewide Vote
Oklahoma City, OK — Republican members of the Oklahoma House have decided to abandon SB 1433, the Oklahoma Personhood Act. The bill would have defined the beginning of human life at conception and recognized that unborn children are possessed of the same rights as all persons.
“The life of each human being begins at conception. The laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state,” it reads. “‘Unborn child’ and ‘unborn children’ shall include all unborn children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development.”
Republican Speaker of the House Kris Steele released a statement today indicating that the decision was made by the House Republican Caucus:
“The House Republican Caucus voted today not to hear the personhood bill on the House floor. This decision was not made unilaterally, but as a caucus collectively. I accept the will of our caucus.”
“The idea that this was a caucus decision is bogus,” said Rep. Mike Reynolds, R, Oklahoma City. “It is my understanding that there was no vote in caucus. Even if there had been one, many members were not present.”
The Oklahoma Personhood Act was passed by the state Senate in February by a vote of 34 to 8 and given a recommendation of “do pass” by a vote of 7 to 4 in the House Public Health Committee. The bill had received the endorsement of the state’s National Right to Life affiliate, Oklahomans for Life, the state’s Personhood USA affiliate, Personhood Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Eagle Forum.
“It seems the Oklahoma GOP leadership is trying to fill the Romney Republican mold—pro-life speech with no action,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “Not voting on the Personhood Act with majorities in the House and Senate and GOP Governor begs the question; if they won’t vote pro-life, why should we vote for them?”
The move to drop the bill from consideration leaves Oklahoma’s pro-life citizens with the lone option of pursuing a state constitution personhood amendment through the citizen initiative process.
The Oklahoma Personhood Amendment petition drive was launched on March 1st, anticipating inaction in the state legislature. 155,000 signatures collected by the end of May will send the personhood amendment to a vote of the people in November.
Similar to the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution, Oklahoma’s personhood amendment will guarantee that the rights of all persons cannot be denied:
“A “person” as referred to in Article 2, Section 2 of this constitution shall be defined as any human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being to natural death. The inherent rights of such person shall not be denied without due process of law and no person as defined herein shall be denied equal protection under the law due to age, place of residence or medical condition.”
Oklahoma’s pro-life personhood supporters are being encouraged by the group organizing the initiative, Personhood Oklahoma, to visit www.PersonhoodOklahoma.com to download and circulate the statewide personhood petition.
In a procedural move rarely seen or used in Oklahoma politics, Oklahoma Speaker of the House Republican Kris Steele blocked the Oklahoma Personhood Act, SB 1433, from coming to a floor vote today giving pro-abortion supporters hope that the measure would not reach pro-life Governor Mary Fallin’s desk. The bill received the backing of the House Committee on Public Health by a vote of 7 to 4 in late March with a recommendation of “do pass,” and the state Senate by a vote of 34 to 8 in February.
Pro-personhood legislators and several dozen pro-life Oklahoma citizens who arrived for today’s session are currently circulating a petition that would provide the House an opportunity to bypass the Speaker and allow the bill to be put to a full vote. The petition must be signed by 68 of the state’s 101 Representatives.
Both the National Right to Life affiliate, Oklahomans for Life, and Personhood USA affiliate, Personhood Oklahoma have endorsed the measure, with unprecedented support from the Oklahoma Eagle Forum.
Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich released a statement in support of the bill in February:
“I applaud the Republicans and the Democrats in the Oklahoma Senate who voted last week in favor of bipartisan personhood legislation. As I have stated a number of times in this campaign, I support the personhood principle, and I support states finding ways to defend life by defining personhood under their state constitutions. It is my hope that Congress will one day pass pro-life legislation under the 14th Amendment that defines personhood as beginning at conception.”
“The life of each human being begins at conception,“ reads the Oklahoma Personhood Act. When passed in the Senate, Pro Tempore President Brian Bingman was quoted by Reuters as saying, :“Oklahoma is a conservative pro-life state-we are proud to stand up for what we know is right. This bill is one of many Senate Republicans have advanced which affirms the right to life and I am proud to support it,” he added. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/16/us-oklahoma-personhood-idUSTRE…
Setting the legal definition of the beginning of human life, the Personhood Act brings Oklahoma law in line with what scientists have taught for decades.
The late Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics, told a 1981 U.S. Senate hearing: “After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. It is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”
The hearing determined: “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being—a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”
The measure will also guarantee the personhood rights of all preborn children from conception.
“The laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state,” reads SB 1433. “‘Unborn child’ and ‘unborn children’ shall include all unborn children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development.”
“All of the major pro-life organizations support recognizing the personhood rights of the preborn in Oklahoma. Speaker Steele has demonstrated today that he does not represent the interests of his constituency. There is absolutely no reason for an allegedly pro-life Republican to block a pro-family, pro-life measure,” stated Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “Speaker Steele’s actions are unforgivable. He must hear from the pro-life citizens of Oklahoma that what he has done will cost him his reputation and damage the Republican Party in Oklahoma.”
Washington D.C. - Personhood USA is partnering with Human Life International and LifeSiteNews.com to co-host the Global Pro-life Unity Summit. The event will take place on May 4th and 5th in Lisbon, Portugal and will feature representatives from countries around the world including Portugal, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Romania, and Ireland.
Pro-life advocates in Portugal are in the midst of a national personhood petition. The Pro Referendo Vida campaign has collected half of the 75,000 signatures needed to convene a national referendum and add a pro-life amendment to the Constitution recognizing the “inviolability of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.” The Global Pro-life Unity Summit will call attention to the Portuguese movement and present an opportunity to demonstrate the wide, international support for the national referendum.
Personhood USA is currently working in all 50 states and on the federal level to advance personhood legislation and constitutional amendments that affirm the rights of all human beings regardless of their size or age. In 2009, Personhood USA traveled to the Dominican Republic to support the people in the ratification of a constitution that established personhood for every human being. “The right to life is inviolable from conception until death," it reads.
Hungary adopted a new national constitution which took effect on January 1st of this year. Dubbed “a constitution for the 21st century” by its authors, and approved by a vote of 262-44, Article 2 states: "Human dignity is inviolable. Everyone has the right to life and human dignity; the life of a foetus will be protected from conception."
Eighteen states in Mexico have passed measures enshrining into law full personhood protections for preborn children. The Supreme Court of Mexico ruled in September of last year to uphold the constitutional amendments of Baja California and San Luis Potosi (cases: 11/2009 and 62/2009).
Ireland has continued to remain abortion-free since their independence in 1922. In 1983, the people of Ireland added an article to their constitution that “acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”
“Around the globe, the pro-life movement is uniting to recognize the basic human rights of all people and protect life from conception to natural death. These monumental efforts will change the course of history in the 21st Century,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “The Global Pro-life Unity Summit is an opportunity to grow and explore partnerships in support of the value of human life.”
Cultural news outlet LifeSiteNews.com will carry exclusive coverage of the summit. Details and updates from the conference will be available at the pro-family, pro-life website www.LifeSiteNews.com.
“The international pro-life movement is vastly outspent and does not hold the seats of power. But we do speak with the voice of the people, especially in the developing world, those who are in the crosshairs of the massive population control juggernaut,” added Stephen Phelan, spokesperson for Human Life International. “It is crucial that we work together to defend life at every stage, for every person regardless of his or her place in society. Human Life International is proud to be working with our friends at Personhood USA and all of the other great pro-life organizations represented.”
Madison, WI — Former Pennsylvania Senator and current GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has endorsed the Wisconsin Personhood Amendment. The measure would “extend the inalienable right to life found in the Wisconsin Constitution to all preborn children from the beginning of their lives” reports Pro-life Wisconsin.
“I support the efforts of Wisconsin to protect the unborn through a state Constitutional Amendment. As our founders declared, our Creator endowed us with inalienable rights—of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Protecting the unborn is the starting point for preserving the American dream and opportunity for all,” said Santorum.
“We thank Senator Santorum for speaking out in support of this critical legislation,” said Matt Sande, Pro-Life Wisconsin Director of Legislation. “The introduction of the Wisconsin Personhood Amendment is a watershed moment in the history of the pro-life movement in our state. It seeks to end abortion in Wisconsin, not to regulate or restrict it. It seeks to end all violence toward preborn children in Wisconsin—surgical, chemical, experimental, etc.—at all stages of development.”
The Wisconsin Personhood Amendment seeks to correct what Pro-life Wisconsin calls “a glaring error at its outset.” Section 1 of the state constitution would be amended to apply the rights of persons to all human beings and remove the stipulation of birth. “In specifying the beneficiaries of its human rights, it leaves out the preborn. It applies rights to only those people who are ‘born,’” said Pro-life Wisconsin. “Representative Jacque is proposing a minimal but absolutely essential correction, a personhood amendment, to make the Wisconsin Constitution cover all people, every person, at any stage of development.”
“All people are equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; to secure these rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. As applied to the right to life, the terms “people” and “person” shall apply to every human being at any stage of development,” it reads.
Senator Santorum joined fellow presidential candidates Speaker Newt Gingrich, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Governor Rick Perry, and Congressman Ron Paul in signing the Personhood Republican Presidential Pledge. “I stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting ‘the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death,’ and with the Republican Party platform in affirming that I ‘support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children,’” the pledge reads.
“Human equality for all people, regardless of race, gender, disability or age, is a principle that our nation has striven to achieve since our founding, and personhood is the embodiment,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. ”The national candidates have earned our respect and gratitude for supporting the measures that would put this principle into action.”