Saturday, May 12, 2012

What works - Personhood

This is part 2 of a series on what works for pro lifers. The first was about fetal pain laws. So, personhood amendments. These are a great idea in theory, but I have yet to see one which passed. One problem I think is that the wording always leaves room for opponents to claim that it will lead to earthquakes and hurricanes. Colorado's says:
Section 32. Person defined. As used in sections 3*, 6**, and 25*** of Article II of the state constitution, the term "person" shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.
In Florida it says:
SECTION 28. Person Defined: (a)The rights of every person shall be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life. The right to life is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person. (b)With respect to the fundamental and inalienable rights of all persons guaranteed in this Constitution, the word 'person' applies to all human beings, irrespective of age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency, including unborn children at every stage of their biological development regardless of the method of creation. (c)This amendment shall take effect on the first day of the next regular legislative session occurring after voter approval of this amendment.
Oklahoma's says:
“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 resident or medical condition.”
Wisconsin's says:
Equality; inherent rights.  Section 1.  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.
What's wrong with saying:
The term "person" applies to any living member of the species homo sapiens.
Much harder to argue against that. It's harder to argue that this isn't true because it's science fact, not words of law to be interpreted.

I can't imagine someone wiggling their way past that definition, but on the other hand I would not have expected doctors to redefine what a contraceptive was (used to be defined as preventing conception, now redefined as preventing pregnancy) and the redefine what pregnancy means (used to begin at fertilization, now redefined as not to begin until implantation) all in order to reclassify abortifacients as "contraceptives". What a pack of lies.

But it may be that it's not the language at all, but the consequences. If I made a law that said gravity existed and it would affect people's ability to commit abortion, would they vote it down? Would they argue that gravity doesn't really exist?


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