Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Personhood Amendment

Ballot Measure #48. would amend the Colorado Constitution to say that personhood begins at conception. It is sponsored by Colorado for Equal Rights. This is the first time this kind of ballot measure has made it on to the ballot in the United States. I am listed on their web page as a supporter of this measure. Please visit their web page, pray for their work, and contribute time and money to this just cause.

4 comments:

John Stockwell said...

This bill has the same ring as the
ill-fated "equal rights amendment" from
an earlier era. Essentially we are
talking about an inappropriate modification of the Colorado State
constitution.

First of all, the "time of conception"
is not a time that can be determined in
most cases.

Second, according to numerous medical
sources, a large (more than 30%) of
pregnancies never make it to term on
the average. For women who have
difficulty conceiving, this is an
even higher percentage, approaching
100% for some women. So, you are
proposing to pass a law that would
tell all of those women that they
have been killing "persons"?
Biologically speaking, these "persons"
apparently are rather expendable, so
much so that far more of these "persons"
are killed by women trying to get
pregnant, than by those who are getting
abortions.

Third, aside from that, it appears to be
something that will open a legal can of
worms. Because "personhood" is not
as contained a concept as the
anti-abortion/anti-birth control
crowd would like it to be, they may
not get what they want. Look up
"personhood" and you will find
for example, that
corporations are "persons" under
the law.

The broadness of language of
the "personhood ammendment" provides
potential for attacks on all forms
of parental rights with regards to
children, as well as individual
rights with regard to a woman's
control over her body.

However, it is likely that such a
law also could be ruled as "superfluous"
recognizing nothing that isn't already
recognized by the rest of our body
of law. Ultimately being the same sort
of unnecessary law, just like the
"Equal Rights Amendment".

The most reasonable position is to
vote "no" on this ill-conceived proposed
amendment.

Jeremy said...

Prayer is certainly needed! Remember Amendment 2 several years ago? It was approved by the voters, but the state supreme court struck it down.

Doug Groothuis said...

John:

1. This is irrelevant. The amendment applies to when conception is knowable--as when someone wants to have an abortion.

2. This is irrelevant. Natural miscarriages have nothing to do with the amendment, since the woman does nothing to induce them. Inducing a miscarriage is called an abortion. If someone dies of a stroke, no murder charges are filed.

3. It may be a legal can of worms. So be it. The statement, "Personhood begins at conception" is true and morally pertinent to the law.

John Stockwell said...

Dr. Groothuis wrote
1. This is irrelevant. The amendment applies to when conception is knowable--as when someone wants to have an abortion.


That's not what the bill says.
The problem with this
bill is that anything, absolutely
anything that might interfere with
that little "person" floating down
the woman's fallopian tube, suddenly
becomes an issue, whether we are
talking about what the woman is
consuming, what the doctor is
prescribing, or what might be in
the environment.



Dr. Groothuis:

2. This is irrelevant. Natural miscarriages have nothing to do with the amendment, since the woman does nothing to induce them. Inducing a miscarriage is called an abortion. If someone dies of a stroke, no murder charges are filed.


If the attempt to get pregnant is
deliberate, then any miscarriage that
are
caused by the attempt to get pregnant
are the result of a deliberate decision. Unless
there is an explicit dispensation for
such "natural" events, then we
are back to 1). Anything, absolutely
anything that could interfere with
that little "person" is an issue.

If you know in advance that a regular
person has a 30-80% chance of dying
under certain conditions
and you put them in a position that
does, indeed, cause their death, then
you may be legally liable, even if they
signed a release.


3. It may be a legal can of worms. So be it. The statement, "Personhood begins at conception" is true and morally pertinent to the law.


"Personhood" as defined by the law
may or may not begin at conception.
Indeed, it may be perfectly moral to
terminate these "persons" just as it
is perfectly moral for parents with
reservations about certain medical
procedures to deny those procedures
to their children for religious
reasons.

The fact that you are not shocked and
outraged by the high "natural" mortality
says that even your moral sense tells
you that it isn't that big a deal for
an early-term pregnancy to end.

This is a bad ammendment, and all
right-thinking people should vote against it.