LONGMONT — A Longmont woman whose unborn son was killed by a drunk driver said she intends to advocate for the personhood movement after learning his killer will face no consequences for his death.
Earlier this year Heather Surovik suffered the loss of Brady, her unborn baby who was killed when Gary Sheats, a drunk driver with multiple DUI offenses allegedly slammed into Surovik’s car killing Brady.
Surovik had just been to the doctor that day and was told that Brady was full term and could be delivered as early as that evening.
However, Sheats will face no consequences for Brady’s death as Colorado law says children in the womb are not considered persons and as such do not have any legal protections under the law.
Surovik has said she fully intends to be a spokesman for her son to ensure that other children such as Brady will be able to receive justice.
“I realize my son will never see justice for his murder, but I intend to see that other children will be protected under the law,” Surovik said. “I want to look lawmakers who oppose personhood in the eye and ask them why they think my son, who was perfectly viable, did not deserve to be protected and why they believe his killer should go free.”
She said she believes her child was placed on this earth to help save others. “If it were not for Brady, the doctors said I would have probably died in the crash. He prevented me from suffering more severe injuries that would have killed me,” Surovik said. “He gave his life to save me and I hope his death can be used to help save other children as well.”
Personhood USA is currently in the process of making a commercial featuring Surovik that is intended to be shown on television as well as a longer segment that can be shown in churches drawing attention to the importance of personhood amendments.
Last month, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced a Personhood Amendment that would provide legal protections to unborn children would not be on the November ballot due to a lack of signatures.
Gessler said the supporters were 3,859 signatures short of the required 86,000 needed to ensure a place on the ballot.
The announcement means that as of this moment there are no other pro-life amendments on ballots this year.
Following the news of Gessler’s decision, media outlets and pro-abortion groups quickly seized on the news declaring the Personhood movement was dead.
The Denver Post declared “Anti-abortion personhood amendment won’t make Colorado ballot,” While CBS News said, “Abortion ban backers fail to make Colorado ballot.”
The Post story attempted to convey that the personhood movement is on its last legs, saying “the measure has steadily launched momentum since first launched in 2008.”
However, the reality is that the issue garners more support each time it has come before Colorado voters. In 2008, the first time the issue was on the ballot it received less than 27 percent of the vote, but in 2010 the support increased to nearly 30 percent.
Part of the reason for the measure’s defeat was misinformation by abortion giant Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups which spent millions of dollars to defeat the measure, claiming if passed women suffering from miscarriages would be prosecuted and that it would outlaw all forms of birth control.
This year’s proposed initiative was worded in common everyday language saying it provided protection “innocent persons” and specifically protected women suffering miscarriages.
Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA said the organization will be challenging Gessler’s ruling in court.
“After we reviewed the discarded signatures we discovered that in many cases entire petitions were discarded despite having valid signatures and affidavits,” Mason said. “We have not yet gone through all of the rejections, but right now we estimate we can get over 10,000 of them reinstated which is more than enough to get the issue on the ballot.”
Mason said he does not consider Gessler’s decision to be a setback for the movement. “Despite this ruling, we have not lost the war. This is just one battle in a war against spiritual darkness and we will ultimately prevail.”
The ballot issue in Colorado is not the only assault on the abortion lobby by the organization. The movement is making inroads in several states.
In North Dakota, personhood supporters were able to defeat incumbent state Senator Curtis Olafson (R) who personally killed personhood proposals in 2009 and 2011. Mason said Olafson’s defeat clears the way to get personhood before the voters.
Politicians in Georgia have not been put on notice that by a 2-to-1 margin the state’s GOP primary voters in a non-binding vote have said they want a Personhood amendment to the state constitution placed on the ballot to amend the state Constitution in 2014.
The non-binding vote supporting the measure passed in 158 out of 159 counties in the state. The single county voting against it had a large number of Democratic voters voting against Doug McKillip lost by 62 votes out of 13,000 cast.
“McKillip was a former staunch pro-abortion Democrat, who trusted Christ as his Savior and became just as zealous for the pro-life side. The Democrats never forgave him for this,” Dan Becker with Georgia Right to Life said. “On election day many democrats voted Republican just so they could defeat him for his commitment to the unborn.”
Last month, Liberty Counsel, representing Personhood Oklahoma filed a writ of certiorari asking the United States Supreme Court to consider hearing a case on Personhood after the Oklahoma high court denied petition gatherers the right to place the issue before the people for consideration.
Steve Crampton, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel for Liberty Counsel, said the Oklahoma court’s ruling provides a “perfect opportunity” for the court to reconsider Roe v. Wade and Casey.
“By claiming Casey as the justification for its decision, they have unwittingly given us the perfect opportunity to formally petition the court for a re-consideration of Casey and Roe,” he said.
The filing is a significant achievement for the personhood movement which began in 2008 and in just four years has been able to advance the issue to the Supreme Court level.
The court has previously ruled that a state court could not rule against language similar to personhood because the statute did “not by its terms regulate abortion…” Furthermore the court noted that it would not do so until after the statute took effect and state or federal laws where changed to bring them into compliance with the law.
Additionally, Personhood played a key role in the Republican presidential primary season. The organization held a series of pro-life forums which asked the candidates tough questions about their positions on abortion. Every candidate with the exception of Mitt Romney signed a pledge they would commit to passage of a Human Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which would provide rights to the unborn.
The Republican Party platform acknowledged the Personhood movement by calling for a “human life amendment to the Constitution” and affirms the “unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”