More lawmakers propose personhood amendments

Despite Mississippi’s failed attempt to grant right to zygotes continues to fall on deaf ears in other states. Lawmakers in Colorado and Virginia have dropped bills that would follow Mississippi’s steps.

In Virginia, Delegate Bob Marshall (R) filed legislation that would amend the state constitution to declare that the “life of each human being begins at conception” and would grant all rights of Virginia citizenship to those “unborn children.”

Unlike Mississippi’s measure, this bill specifically excludes “lawful assisted conception”—apparently embyros created for assisted reproduction aren’t people. The proposal also states that there should be no action taken against a woman “for indirectly harming her unborn child by failing to properly care for herself or by failing to follow any particular program of prenatal care.” The legislative language doesn’t mention birth control, abortions to protect the life or health of the mother, or abortions in the case of rape or incest—all of which would likely be affected by this kind of law.

In Colorado, a right to life amendment would end all abortions in the state:

The 2012 Personhood Amendment would add a new section to the state constitution to “affirm basic human dignity” and guarantee that the right to life “applies equally to all innocent persons” and “the intentional killing of any innocent person is prohibited.”

“Our language is very clear this time,” said Kristi Burton Brown, amendment co-author and Personhood Colorado founder. “No one can doubt our intentions or the effects this time.”

The 2012 language states that only birth control, in-vitro fertilization and assisted reproduction “that kill a person” shall be affected by this amendment.

The term “person,” the proposed amendment states, applies to “every human being regardless of the method of creation” and a human being is “a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development.”

Spontaneous miscarriages and medical treatment for life-threatening physical conditions intended to preserve life would not be affected by the amendment, the much-longer 2012 measure reads.

Other legislators in states such as Georgia and Wisconsin have also proposed similar bills.

I can’t say I’m surprised to see pro-life zealots jump on the failed Mississippi bandwagon and try their luck with placing the question of who’s a person in voters’ hands. In fact, I expect to see lawmakers across more states to drop bills to be considered in their upcoming respective legislative sessions. I expect to see more pro-life politicians buy into the delusional belief pedaled by anti-choice extremists that zygotes are humans, which will come at the expense of protecting a woman’s constitutional right to reproductive health services, including abortions.

The war on women’s rights continues…