The attempt to put an anti-abortion “personhood” amendment on the ballot in Ohio not only failed, but failed miserably. The backers of the “personhood” amendment needed 385,000 signatures to get the amendment on the ballot in November. They collected only 30,000.
Most anti-abortion groups bill themselves as pro-life even though their agendas are typically anti-woman and anti-life since they seek to not only restrict the right of a woman to have an abortion, they often do so in such a way as to force women to carry malformed fetuses to term or risk their own health in order to carry a fetus to term.
The group behind the amendment has pledged to continue gathering signatures and to try and get this amendment on the ballot in 2013. Patrick Johnson, the head of Personhood Ohio, stated “I did not get enough (signatures) in the mail today. It’s going to take a little longer.”
Supporters of these kinds of amendments have failed to get enough signatures in Nevada and California, and the attempt was blocked in Oklahoma because the state’s highest court noted that it was unconstitutional.
Voters also rejected this kind of amendment in Colorado in 2008 and 2010 as well as Mississippi, one of the US’s most anti-woman states, voted this amendment down in 2011. Anti-woman campaigners are pushing the amendment again in Colorado where they need only 86,000 signatures. The last two times they put this on the ballot, they only got about 35% of the vote.
The measures vary in some details, but in general they define human life as beginning with fertilization and are intended to ban virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. Many physicians have said the measures could make some birth control illegal and deter in vitro fertilization.
Supporters in Ohio had hoped to alleviate those concerns by rephrasing their proposed amendment to say it wouldn’t affect “genuine contraception” or in vitro fertilization procedures.
Johnston stated that “These kinds of things are going to grow by increment. We have to change people’s minds one at a time.”
These amendments are in violation of the Biblical beliefs of many of these people. For the majority of the history of Christianity life began at the first sign of movement or when the blood flows. The idea that life begins at conception ties into the beliefs that sperm were complete human beings known as homunculi, and that they were planted inside a woman’s womb to grow, but that the woman supplied nothing to the creation of the new life.
For the majority of these groups, life is only important so long as it is in the womb and not outside. Often the oppose those measures that reduce abortion rates in the United States including access to contraception, prenatal care, access to healthcare, and increased economic standing for women.