The Personhood movement, which is based in Colorado, has made several attempts around the country to have state legislatures pass laws that would grant full citizen rights to “persons” from the moment the sperm hits the egg. Failing that, they have tried for state constitutional amendment. So far, they have failed, repeatedly.
In Ohio, the group is trying to get a personhood amendment on the November ballot. They have until July 4 to submit 385,000 signatures to accomplish that. While they say they have “stacks” of signatures waiting to be counted at their Columbus headquarters, the fact is they have only eleven days left for this most recent effort.
There are also signature drives in Colorado, where only 86,000 are needed by early August, and in Montana where they needed 49,000 by today.
In 2008 and 2010, Personhood failed at ballot initiatives in Colorado. They failed in Mississippi in November. They failed to get enough signatures in Nevada and California for this year, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court threw the amendment out as unconstitutional.
The intent of these Personhood efforts is to ban all abortions, even in the case of rape, incest or the life of a mother. They could also make some forms of birth control illegal and prevent the use of in vitro fertilization for couples having difficulty with natural conception. Ohio supporters are hoping to rephrase the amendment so that it will not effect “genuine contraception” or in vitro fertilization.
The purpose of the amendments is to force one into effect so that pro-abortion groups will bring it to the United States Supreme Court. They assume that the current court will overturn Roe v. Wade. But the measure is so extreme it does not even have the support of more traditional anti-abortion groups.
I really love the rhetoric Personhood uses, how they will keep this up until everyone’s child is “protected by love and by law.” That is so much bullshit. If they wanted to assure all children would be wanted and loved, they would be out there supporting better access to birth control and better, more factual sex education. They would be funding adoption efforts. They do nothing to prevent unwanted pregnancy and even less to protect those who have been born.
But the abortion rights groups aren’t exactly being smart in their efforts these days. There is a world out there full of solid, hard data to support the argument that the combination of better access to birth control and legalized abortion reduces abortion, and particularly later-term abortions.