Embarrassing CapitolMarch 22 was historic for the pro-life movement. Quoting Huffington Post:

North Dakota became the first state on Friday to pass a fetal personhood amendment, which grants legal personhood rights to embryos from the moment of fertilization. The state House of Representatives voted 57 to 35 to pass the amendment, after the Senate passed the same measure last month.

The measure will now appear on the November 2014 ballot [JLS note: governor did not need to sign], and voters will be able to accept or reject it. If it passes, it will amend North Dakota’s constitution to state that “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.” The amendment would ban abortion in the state, without exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother….

There was another first, most encouraging. According to LifeSiteNews.com:

Every major pro-life organization in North Dakota has joined forces to defend and endorse SCR 4009, including North Dakota Family Alliance, North Dakota Right to Life, Concerned Women for America North Dakota, North Dakota Life League, North Dakota Catholic Conference, and Personhood North Dakota.

In the past certain pro-life groups, such as in Colorado, have been unhelpful to personhood initiatives, for instance, as reported by LifeNews.com:

During the 2008 and 2010 amendments, major pro-life groups including Focus on the Family, the state’s Catholic bishops, [NRLC affiliate] Colorado Citizens for Life, National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Eagle Forum, and others either took a neutral position on the amendment or supported it but did not expend significant time or resources fighting for it because of the potential negative legal ramifications.

tobiasInteresting that North Dakota Right to Life is not only an NRLC affiliate but also the home group of NRLC president Carol Tobias, pictured right.

One goal of personhood proponents is to “bait” the U.S. Supreme Court. From USA Today:

“We are intending that it be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, since (Justice Antonin) Scalia said that the Supreme Court is waiting for states to raise a case,” said the sponsor, Republican state Sen. Margaret Sitte.

This is because, according to WND.com:

Personhood plans declare that an unborn baby is a person from the moment of conception, relying on a statement by Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade.

“If this suggestion of personhood is established,” Blackmun wrote, “[The abortion] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the amendment.”

Since 1973 significant medical and scientific advances, such as ultrasound and visualization of human fertilization under a microscope, have been made.

Pro-lifers opposing personhood initiatives say they have counted noses, and the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is not currently on the side of life.

So, what are your thoughts on all of this? Do you think the time for such an amendment is wrong or right? Do you think this is good or bad strategy?

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