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Personhood Amendment

Eagle Forum Opposes
Personhood Amendment
November 30, 2009

The "personhood" initiative lost by a landslide of 73% to 27% in Colorado in 2008, and its unpopular coattails hurt good pro-life candidates there. This poorly designed initiative would not prevent a single abortion even it if became law, and its vague language would enable more mischief by judges.

Now its organizers, who provide little information about themselves or their funding, spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana. This hurtful effort misleads pro-lifers with the false hope that a referendum can overturn Roe v. Wade, when only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that. This enriches pro-abortion groups with a fundraising issue as they claim to preserve abortion by suing to stop this initiative, and they have already filed several lawsuits.

Florida's Catholic Bishops recently banned the collection of any signatures for this ill-advised initiative at churches there, and most pro-life groups also oppose this initiative. We encourage support of pro-life candidates, and oppose hurtful gimmicks like the personhood initiative.

Legal Memorandum Against Personhood Amendments
In this 11-page legal memorandum dated August 7, 2007, noted pro-life attorney James Bopp explains why a state personhood amendment cannot overturn Roe v. Wade and other U.S. Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion.

Mr. Bopp also explains that if a state personhood amendment goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, "there is the potential danger that the Court might actually make things worse than they presently are." That would be the result if the Supreme Court — augmented by new Justices appointed by Barack Obama — adopts the position long advocated by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and begins deciding abortion cases under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment instead of the due process clause.

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