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Home Law State Constitutional Amendments Personhood Protects the Disabled

Personhood Protects the Disabled

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"What more dramatic confirmation could we have of the real issue than the Baby Doe case in Bloomington, Indiana? The death of that tiny infant tore at the hearts of all Americans because the child was undeniably a live human being — one lying helpless before the eyes of the doctors and the eyes of the nation. The real issue for the courts was not whether Baby Doe was a human being. The real issue was whether to protect the life of a human being who had Down's Syndrome, who would probably be mentally handicapped, but who needed a routine surgical procedure to unblock his esophagus and allow him to eat. A doctor testified to the presiding judge that, even with his physical problem corrected, Baby Doe would have a "non-existent" possibility for "a minimally adequate quality of life" — in other words, that retardation was the equivalent of a crime deserving the death penalty. The judge let Baby Doe starve and die, and the Indiana Supreme Court sanctioned his decision.

Federal law does not allow federally-assisted hospitals to decide that Down's Syndrome infants are not worth treating, much less to decide to starve them to death. Accordingly, I have directed the Departments of Justice and HHS to apply civil rights regulations to protect handicapped newborns. All hospitals receiving federal funds must post notices which will clearly state that failure to feed handicapped babies is prohibited by federal law. The basic issue is whether to value and protect the lives of the handicapped, whether to recognize the sanctity of human life. This is the same basic issue that underlies the question of abortion. . .

The real question today is not when human life begins, but, What is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother's body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law — the same right we have."

President Ronald Reagan, 1983

"Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person." Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer, May 20, 2009

A Personhood Amendment would be the first step in establishing ethical paramenters that protect human dignity in the 21st century.

On Tuesday, July 15, 2008 Forsyth county placed a non-binding resolution on the ballot that allowed the voters of the 8th fastest growing county in the nation to express their opinion on the following   question,

“Do you support an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the moment of fertilization until a natural death?”

64% of the voters said yes!


What will your county decide?

On Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 your county will get the chance to answer this same question. Help us in encouraging all Georgians to get out and vote for all human life to be valued.

This ballot initiative will send a message to the Georgia legislature that the people of Georgia want to vote on a Personhood Amendment in 2012.

Two important pro-life objectives would be affected by this amendment to our state Constitution. It establishes and affirms in principle that Georgia is a 'pro-life' state that seeks to protect all human life from its earliest moment of development as a matter of constitutional law; and it provides a direct challenge to the central holding  of Roe v. Wade.

The adoption of the Personhood Amendment and its positive pro-life effect is not limited to the issue of abortion, but would restore respect and effective legal protection for ALL human beings from the first moment of biological development until natural death. This would include the elderly, infirm, disabled and all other stages of human dependency and vulnerability. If we fail in our efforts define personhood then the following classes of humans will be at risk in the 21st century and will be labeled:


• Pre-Persons     (Preborn)
• Post-Persons   (The elderly infirm)
• Non-Persons    (infant with disabilities)
• Un-Persons     (Human-animal hybrids)

So, when did you become a person?

Was it at 65 or 18?  How about at 2nd grade or maybe when you could walk?  Maybe it was sooner.

This is the crux of The Personhood Amendment which is based on 2007's Georgia House Resolution 536 and 2009's HR 5 sponsored by Rep. Martin Scott and co-sponsored by Reps Byrd (20th), Everson (106th), Mills (25th), Crawford (16th) and Rice (51st).  In short, the Personhood Amendment states that "the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the moment of fertilization without regard to age, race, sex, health, function or condition of dependency.  The right to life is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person."  

The entire Roe vs. Wade argument pivots on the definition of personhood.  In the decision written by Justice Harry Blackmun, he stated, "(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."

On July 20th, the voters of over 45 liberal and conservative Georgia counties across the state will have an opportunity to weigh-in.  Local Georgia Right to Life (GRTL) chapters approached Democrat and Republican Party County Chairmen to request that they place a "Party question" on their respective ballots.  Over 45 Party chairs responded by requesting their local Election Board to certify the question for the July Primary.  The Party question on the ballots will serve as a straw poll of voters on the issue of when life begins.

In 2011, GRTL will use the results of the ballot to lobby the Georgia Legislature to place a constitutional amendment on the 2012 general election ballot.  A super-majority of each chamber of the Georgia General Assembly is required to place the Personhood Amendment on the ballot.  Once placed on the ballot, it would require a majority vote from the citizens of Georgia (50% plus 1 vote) for the item's passage.

If Georgia adopts the Personhood Amendment, the state will remain one of the most pro-life states in the nation.

So, we ask again.  When did you become a person?

The following counties will have the Personhood question on your ballot on the Republican ballot on July 20, 2010:

Appling, Bacon, Banks, Bartow, Brantley, Bulloch, Burke, Butts (Republican and Democrat ballots), Carroll, Chatham, Cherokee, Clayton, Coffee, Colquitt, DeKalb, Dooly, Fannin, Fulton, Glynn, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jones, Lamar, Liberty, Lowndes, Murray, Muscogee, Paulding, Pickens, Pierce, Spalding, Thomas, Tift, Towns, Troup, Twigs, Union, Walker, Walton, Ware, Wilcox, and Worth.

 

 

For detailed information on the Personhood Amendment

 

 

 

Books and Publications

Personhood: A Pragmatic Guide to Prolife Victory in the 21st Century and the Return to First Principles in Politics

by Daniel Becker

“History will one day look upon the movement to affirm the personhood of unborn children in the same way we now look upon the abolition of slavery and the end of the Holocaust. Dan Becker has been a reliable and principled voice for the unborn. His book advancing personhood for the most vulnerable among us is like a sound of the trumpet that will reverberate throughout time. The Holocaust of the unborn is the darkest chapter in American history and Dan Becker’s book is a call to turn the page and restore a culture of life. It is a must read.”

Mathew D. Staver
Dean and Professor of Law
Liberty University School of Law

 

“All believers in God should insist, without compromise, that the human law must always treat every innocent human being as a person entitled to the right to life. Dan Becker courageously affirms this truth.”

Professor Charles Rice
Emeritus Professor of Law University of Notre Dame

 

 

“'Personhood' is at the very heart of the 21st Century Civil Rights Movement. My Uncle Martin once said that to deny a person is “ to say that he has no right to existence.” Whether it is Dred Scott, Sojourner Truth, 1968 Sanitation Workers, or a baby viewed in a 3D Ultrasound, from conception until natural birth, a person is a human being, entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This right to personhood is a civil right. So, this book is an essential tool for these times."

Dr. Alveda C. King
(Niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
King for America, Priests for Life
 

 "Dan Becker's book is a great blend of prudence, pragmatism and principled politics, it is certain to cause us to re-think pro-life strategy in the 21st century"

 

Dr. Donald Wildmon
Founder and Chairman Emeritus of
American Family Association and American Family Radio

 

"The push for personhood across the United States is motivating the pro-life movement while also inspiring others to take up the cause.  Dan Becker has been out front in leading the personhood charge and his book gives special insight on how we can all work together to make the US a true pro-life nation."

Tom McClusky
Sr. Vice President
Family Research Council Action

 

"I just got around to reading your book tonight, and I think I won't stop until I am done.  It is the finest pro-life work I have read, period."

Gualberto Jones
Prolife Attorney

 

The Emerging Brave New World

by Thomas Glessner

Beginning in 1973 with the infamous Roe v. Wade decision American society has increasingly accepted the concept that humanity can be divorced from personhood and thereby some human beings can be manipulated and destroyed for the selfish gains of others because they are not considered "persons.”

 

 

How to be a Christian in a Brave New World

by Joni Eareckson Tada and Nigel Cameron

This book serves as a guidebook for believers, to awaken their interest, offer practical help, enable them to think through big questions in light of Scripture, and prepare them for the greatest issue of the 21st century: our new power to redesign human nature and determine the boundaries of human life through abortion, cloning, euthanasia, eugenics, and robotics.

To Order Click Image

Lessons from History

Personhood Initiatives

Federal Personhood Amendment (ongoing)

Alabama Personhood Bill (2010)

California Human Life Amendment (2010)

Colorado Personhood Amendment (2010)

Florida Personhood Amendment(2010)

Georgia Human Life Amendment (2007-ongoing)

Iowa Personhood Amendment (2013)

Maryland Personhood Amendment (2009)

Michigan Personhood Amendment (2010)

Missouri (2010)

Mississippi (2010)

Montana (2010)

Nevada (2010)

North Dakota Personhood Bill (2009)

North Dakota Personhood Amendment (2013)

South Carolina Personhood  Bills (2)

Virginia Right to Life Bill (2010)

What is Personhood?

Right click on image to view fullscreen

Personhood Oral Arguments

Supreme Ct Oral Arguments on PersonhoodRight click on image to view fullscreen

Whitepapers & Links - Strategy for the 21st Century

Personhood – Being Pro-life in the 21st Century

Personhood is the pro-life battle-ground of the 21st century.

The Prolife Cause and the Coming Revolution

Abortion and the Death of Man by Nigel M. de S. Cameron

Re-thinking Pro-life Strategy

Personhood attorney Robert Muise's excellent article on state Human Life amendments

Prudence and Clarity in the Quest for Personhood,
Gualberto Garcia Jones makes the case that moral cowardice can at times be disguised as political prudence.

Is Human Life Ever Negotiable?

As we enter the 21st century, Georgia Right to Life finds itself in the middle of a raging debate regarding the future of the pro-life movement. 

Dealing with Exceptions

Can we support laws that are less than perfect?

American Life League's Legislative philosophy