Many political experts expect Personhood, a state amendment that would end legal abortion with no exceptions, to pass in Mississippi by a wide margin in November 2011. If Mississippi Personhood passes with the voters, then the genie is out of the bottle. The pro-aborts then get to decide if they want to sue and risk challenging Roe v. Wade or let Mississippi be an abortion free state. They almost certainly will challenge it.
If the Personhood gets to the the Supreme Court and the “swing vote” Justice Anthony Kennedy upholds the Mississippi Amendment, that will not end legal abortion in all 50 states. The only road then is to get it passed in 38 out of 50 (three-fourths) of the states that are needed to pass a U.S. Constitutional Amendment. If the Supreme Court strikes down Personhood, the result is the same. The only road is to get 38 states to pass a Personhood Amendment. Either way, Personhood in 38 states is the only road to victory.
Our goal is not to overturn Roe v. Wade because that would not end legal abortion in any state. The states would then have to make their own laws. Our goal is to pass a Personhood amendment to the US Constitution in 38 states. These would probably include most of the states where abortion was illegal prior to 1973.
The way to do that is to get the public support first in the ballot access states and work to build support in the legislatures over time. We don’t know how long the process will take. But we do know the tide public opinion is turning. The majority of Americans in poll after poll now consider themselves to be pro-life. We also know that raising the question of Personhood has helped to turn public opinion in every state where it has been tried. We should continue to raise the question and spark public debate until we are successful.
Therefore, there is no sense in waiting for the make-up of the Supreme Court to change.
Furthermore, some pro-life groups who perviously hedged or opposed Personhood are now endorsers. James Dobson endorsed Personhood after he left Focus on The Family. Some of the Right to Life chapters are turning. Several Americans United for Life (AUL) members in Mississippi left the organization to support Personhood. The American Family Association (AFA) is now in charge of passing Personhood in Mississippi.
Tony Perkins and some of the state Family Policy chapters are on board now.
Kansas Family Policy Council supports the Personhood Amendment for the state of Kansas. Human life starts at the beginning of our biological development, and all human beings should be afforded the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as stated in the Declaration of Independence. – Donna Lippoldt, Director, Kansas Family Policy Council
The Family Policy Council of West Virginia looks like it is giving tacit if not official support at their website. This is a must read article because it shows that West Virginia FPC understands the big picture. Personhood is not about overturning Roe v. Wade or even abortion primarily – we are thinking about sanctity of life issues that are 50 years down the road – and that is how we can win.
Personhood proponents really don’t see much of a downside to the vote in November. They believe that, win or lose; they will be the winners in the long run as the personhood movement gains national attention and gains momentum needed to advance in other states.
So what are the chances in Mississippi? Here is what is most shocking to me. Personhood Mississippi has received endorsements from many leading Democratic legislators including House Speaker Billy McCoy. Senator Eric Powell, yet another Democrat, endorsed the Personhood Amendment and also stated that he believed the amendment would pass overwhelmingly. It’s crazy that state pro-life groups are being trumped by Democrats on this!
Further, even though the American Catholic Bishops have not endorsed Personhood, the Vatican supports Personhood by canon law and some prominent pro-lifee leaders, such as Frank Pavone, have given tacit support. This has generated some dissonance within the Catholic hierarchy.
Some of the groups that were most adamantly opposed to Personhood now want to run the show in Mississippi. Personhood is an infant movement that has yet to mature, but things are happening very fast right now. We are learning a lot as we grow. The main thing to remember is not to throw rocks at churches and Christian organizations who are hedging because many of them will be joining us in the near future.
If you have the opportunity in your sphere of influence, it would be a great idea to sit down with these pro-life leaders over a cup of coffee and map out the long term scenario asking, “What might happen if …?”
If you are wondering what is holding up the major pro-life organizations in Florida, Mississippi (or wherever you live), now you have some talking points when you encounter their opposition. If they tell you they fear Roe will be strengthened, please politely explain to them why Roe is irrelevant. Reversing Roe will not end abortion in any state. Further we don’t need to reverse Roe to end abortion in all 50 states.
The Dred Scott decision that ruled a slave was not a citizen with rights under the U.S. Constitution was never overturned. Slavery was later abolished by a constitutional amendment. That is also how we will end abortion in all 50 states. Florida is one of the 38 states that can pass Personhood — but perhaps the most difficult one in which to gain ballot access. All the more reason to get busy now with being the standard bearers for the nation.
Jay Rogers lives in Kissimmee, Florida. He is a Personhood Florida volunteer.
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