by Peter Grady –
With the defeat of a state senator who personally killed personhood measures in South Dakota, supporters now say lawmakers will aggressively pursue the measure during the next legislative session.
Incumbent state Senator Curtis Olafson (R), who personally killed personhood proposals in 2009 and 2011, lost his bid for re-election this week. Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA says the election means the way is now cleared to get the measure before the voters.
The legislature will do the amending. Now the citizens can refer it to the ballot, so we would expect Planned Parenthood and company to actually refer it to the ballot similar to what they did in South Dakota,” he comments. “We’re just beginning the battle. It could go one of many ways, but we won’t stop fighting until every child’s protected by love and by law.”
Mason said if the measure ever comes before the voters he is confident it will pass.
The 2011 Defense of Human Life Act passed the North Dakota House with a large margin on a 68-25 vote and by receiving a “do pass” recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 5-1 margin. The bill defined a human being as “an individual member of the species homo sapiens at every stage of development” and “person,” as used in state law, to “include all human beings.”
The Personhood movement is based on a statement by Supreme Court Justice Blackmun who wrote the majority opinion for Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that paved the way for abortion on demand. In his opinion, Blackmun said if the personhood of a fetus is ever established, it would pave the way for reversal of the court’s decision.
Personhood initiatives have been before the voters in several states, however Planned Parenthood, founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger and the nation’s largest abortion provider often spends millions of dollars to defeat these measures.
For instance, in Mississippi, Planned Parenthood Action Fund in New York contributed $209,000, while Planned Parenthood Federation of America in New York donated $524,000 to defeat the personhood amendment.
Planned Parenthood affiliates in Georgia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, California, Illinois, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, Florida, Utah, Pennsylvania and Texas all contributed to defeating the initiative.
Planned Parenthood receives over $1 billion a year from abortion and abortion-related services. The organization also receives over $350 million annually from taxpayers.
While Planned Parenthood’s spending money to defeat personhood amendments is understandable, given that the legislation will result in lost revenue for the organization as fewer abortions will be performed, “gay” organizations also worked aggressively against the measure.
The day after the vote in Mississippi, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund issued an announcement admitting it sent activists to Jackson, Mississippi to help “stand in solidarity” with Planned Parenthood and other abortion opponents by manning a phone bank.
Currently personhood supporters are in the process of gathering enough signatures to once again place the measure on the ballot.
Critics say enough is enough and that the people have spoken by defeating the issue twice.
However, Dennis Hoshiko a local onion farmer who is active in the pro-life movement likens the issue to the fight to eliminate slavery. “Critics told Wilberforce he should simply abandon the issue, but he kept pressing on. Every time this comes before the voters it garners more votes, it is simply a matter of time before the bill will pass.”
He noted that Colorado was the first state to legalize abortion and that it would be symbolic if we were to become the first state to also establish Personhood.