Personhood USA

ADL Condemns Film Likening Holocaust To Abortion

Anti-choice activists have for years equated legal abortion in America to the Holocaust, along with slavery, Jim Crow laws and terrorism. The Holocaust comparison is front and center in the new movie 180, a “documentary” that attempts to change the minds of pro-choice viewers by showing graphic footage from the Holocaust and comparing it to abortion. 180 has been publicized by groups such as Concerned Women for America and Personhood USA, which claimed to have sent the film to 600,000 Mississippi residents just days before the unsuccessful “personhood” referendum.

The producers of 180 say that “between 180,000 and 200,000 copies of the 33-minute DVD were given out at 100 of America's top universities” and that they now want high schools to use the film while teaching students about the Holocaust.

Yesterday, the Anti-Defamation League called 180 “one of the most offensive and outrageous abuses of the memory of the Holocaust we have seen in years”:

"The film is a perverse attempt to make a case against abortion in America through the cynical abuse of the memory of those killed in the Holocaust," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. "Not only does the film try to assert a moral equivalency between the Holocaust and abortion, but it also brings Jews and Jewish history into the discussion and then calls on its viewers to repent and accept Jesus as their savior. It is, quite frankly, one of the most offensive and outrageous abuses of the memory of the Holocaust we have seen in years."



"The creators of the film clearly don't get it," said Mr. Foxman. "No Christian who understands Jewish suffering should resort to inappropriate comparisons to the Holocaust to send a message that abortion is wrong. This was one of the most painful chapters in human history. Must the memory of the 6 million and millions of other victims be continually misused and abused by those with another agenda?"

In the film, Comfort manipulates the young people interviewed to view the killing of innocent Jews during the Holocaust to be the same as the killing of fetuses. First, he asks the young people whether they would agree to bulldoze innocent Jews into a mass grave and bury them alive it would save their own lives. Then he asks questions about abortion. He tells the young people who answered 'no' to the first question that they have just said that they would not kill innocent Jews, but they think it is okay to kill innocent babies.

Ray Comfort, the creator of 180, hit back at the ADL in a statement today, arguing that the group should be “thanking” him, adding that doctors charging for abortions are just like Nazis profiting off the killing of Jews:

"ADL should be thanking me. Instead they have come out swinging" Comfort said. "My only explanation is that they haven't thought it out before they rushed to judgment. If anyone should stand up for those who have no voice for themselves, it should be the Jews."



The Los Angeles-based film maker added, "Germany lawfully slaughtered six million Jews. America has lawfully slaughtered nearly ten times that amount. Also, every time Hitler killed a Jewish family he lined his pockets by seizing their assents -- their paintings, jewelry, cars, homes, and bank account. He also seized the gold from their teeth and the hair from their heads, and it amounted to billions of dollars, financing a third of his war-machine with the blood of the Jews." Comfort maintained that the American abortion industry does the same. He said, "Every time a doctor rips the arms, the legs and the head off a baby, he makes quick and easy money. If you want your 16-week baby killed in the womb, it will cost you $765 (current pricing). But if your baby is 19 weeks, it jumps to $2,165, amounting to billions in the pockets of abortion providers. American abortion is not about 'choice,' it's about money... just like the Holocaust. The analogy is legitimate."

Personhood USA Seeks Referendums In More States After Losing In Mississippi

After a lopsided defeat in Mississippi, Personhood USA’s state affiliates said that they will continue to push for personhood laws throughout the country. The group is pushing to pass personhood laws or set up referendums in states including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon and maybe even a second vote in Mississippi.

Personhood Nevada blamed the “liberal national media” for the defeat in Mississippi:

"We are disappointed with what happened in Mississippi, but we are moving forward with Personhood in Nevada," said Candy Best, spokeswoman for the state branch of the nationwide, religious-based organization that wants to end legal abortions. "They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us in Mississippi. Fear causes people to hesitate in doing the right thing."

Best on Wednesday blamed misleading reports by the "liberal national media" for the defeat of the Mississippi ballot question.

The personhood campaign in Ohio is also moving forward on their plans for a referendum:

Patrick Johnston, an Ohio physician and organizer of the movement in this state, said his group is not daunted by the measure’s third defeat, saying efforts to get it on the ballot in Ohio are undeterred.

“We are never going to give up,” Johnston said, “This is the greatest human-rights crisis in our generation.”



“We have science and divine law on our side. With God’s help, we will win through.”

In Montana, personhood advocates maintained that they have more momentum than ever to put a personhood amendment on the ballot:

The initiative is known as CI-108 in Montana, and more than 48,000 Montana voters would need to sign the petition for it to make it onto the November 2012 ballot.

This is the third attempt in Montana to get the measure before voters. Montana Pro Life Coalition volunteer, Cal Pastrow, says the petition had enough signatures last year, but the state determined that too many were invalid.

"We are going to turn in all the signatures a lot earlier, and we're going to do quality control ourselves before we turn them in to make sure we have enough qualified signatures from all the districts necessary. Plus, more and more people are getting on board with 'Personhood USA'. Here in Montana our email list and mailing list have both increased," Pastrow said.

A Republican state legislator in Alabama also thinks that a personhood law is “something that Alabamians would want”:

The defeat of amendment in Mississippi hasn't deterred Alabama State Senator Phil Williams from pushing for a similar proposal.

Williams got an similar bill through the Senate this past year, but it didn't come up for a floor vote in the House.



But, he said he'll probably substitute it with a constitutional amendment version that would require the approval of voters. Williams said he's confident that will happen, and that it will be upheld by the courts.

He said, "Number one, I think that this is a matter of state's rights, that we can do this, and, I think that this is something that Alabamians would want."

Senator Rusty Glover of Semmes said he's aware of the legislation, but wants to make sure it doesn't meet the same fate as the Mississippi version.

Personhood Initiative Defeated, "Satan Wins"

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, who was elected as governor yesterday, also co-chaired “Yes on 26,” the campaign to pass a “Personhood” amendment in the state, and said on Election Day that the fight over Initiative 26 was “a battle of good and evil of Biblical proportions” and warned that “Satan wins” if the initiative fails. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, which heavily funded the “Yes on 26” effort, warned that the country would face God’s judgment if Initiative 26 lost and urged voters to “choose life lest the flickering flame of our liberty be extinguished forever.”

But the initiative did indeed fail, with a whopping 58% of Mississippi voters rejecting the extreme personhood law.

Along with Personhood USA and the American Family Association, Religious Right groups including the Family Research Council, Faith 2 Action and Liberty Counsel all backed Initiative 26.

Hours after the initiative was trounced at the polls, anti-choice activists are already blaming Planned Parenthood, the media, and Satan for the defeat.

Personhood USA’s Keith Ashley pledged to bring the personhood initiative back to the Mississippi ballot:

Personhood USA firmly believes that our campaign fell victim to the outright lies of our opposition, and because of their lies, children will continue to be murdered in Mississippi.



We recognize that the right time to end abortion in Mississippi is now, and that is why the citizens of Mississippi will attempt a personhood ballot measure again—and again, if necessary—until every person’s life is protected.

Brad Prewitt, the executive director of “Yes on 26,” likened the personhood fight to the struggle against slavery, and Gualberto Garcia Jones of Personhood USA blamed the media and the “culture of death” for the defeat, in interviews with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow:

"It's easy to look at things in a linear fashion, but we know that God's provision is not easily discernible by us in terms of his will -- and we have to await his will," he tells OneNewsNow. "And in the meantime, we have to be committed to biblical truth."

Meanwhile, Prewitt stresses the pro-life movement is not on life support in Mississippi. "There has been and there will continue to be a pro-life movement in Mississippi," he assures. "William Wilberforce started the anti-slave movement in England [in the late 1700s] and it was a 20-something year process. So if you have to start somewhere, I think it was a productive dialogue to have."



A spokesman for Personhood USA say advocacy groups for personhood learned a lot from the campaign. "I think definitely the lies that were put out there by Planned Parenthood definitely took their toll on the people of Mississippi, and a lot of them believed them," says Gualberto Garcia Jones.

He laments that that misinformation converted to no votes on Election Day, even among pro-life residents.

"One of the things that was very telling to me was that the media, even in a conservative state such as Mississippi, was incredibly negative," Jones notes. "We had to battle uphill the whole time. They just carried the water for the opposition at every level.

"It's an indicator of how deep the culture of death has taken root of our nation.

Susan Tyrrell of Lou Engle’s Bound4Life wrote that it was a victory for “the kingdom of Satan”:

When push came to shove Tuesday night, Mississippians voted that the unborn could not be defined as people according to the proposed personhood amendment.



The kingdom of Satan is united, which is why, for this season, it’s successful. Eventually the church will be united. At the end of the age we will be a powerful, praying church that stands for the only definition of justice that exists: the Jesus one. But right now we’re not there. I don’t want to be cynical. I know many wonderful praying people of all denominations who stand for LIFE and the word of God. We are advancing, but tonight, once again, we have let the kingdom of darkness advance ahead of us.

Personhood USA Decries 'Paternalistic Government,' Calls For Conversions To Christianity

The director of Personhood USA writes in USA Today this morning that Mississippi voters should back his group’s far-reaching “personhood” law in order to put the brakes on big government and decries the fact that “the American people are being treated paternalistically by a government, media and public sector elite that stands in direct opposition to our traditional American values.” That’s right, the personhood law which would criminalize abortion, common forms of birth control, stem-cell research, in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies, says Gualberto Garcia Jones, is actually a way to curtail the size of government because it seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade:

Increasingly, the American people are being treated paternalistically by a government, media and public sector elite that stands in direct opposition to our traditional American values. Using the courts as its instrument, this American elite has emasculated a once independent America.

The Constitution, a document written to prevent tyranny, has, as Thomas Jefferson predicted, become "a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please."

No greater example exists of this abuse of raw judicial power than Roe v. Wade, a decision by seven unelected men to impose abortion on all 50 states.



This simple amendment has become ground zero in the fight over abortion because it challenges not only the legal foundation of Roe v. Wade— that the child in the womb is a non-person — but also the source of the power that has allowed the liberal elite to reshape America in its own image.

Les Riley, the extremist head of Personhood Mississippi, told OneNewsNow today that he hoped Mississippi’s personhood referendum, Initiative 26, would help lead people to convert to Christianity. Riley was previously a blogger for the Christian secessionist group Christian Exodus and is the Chairman of the far-right Mississippi Constitution Party, which seeks to “restore” government to its “Biblical presuppositions.” In the interview with OneNewsNow, the media arm of the American Family Association which backs Initiative 26, Riley said supporters should “pray not only for victory in the election, but that many people who are outside of Christ would be brought to him by our efforts -- even those opposing the amendment”:

Proposition 26, otherwise known as a personhood amendment, declares that a person is a human at the moment of fertilization. And as the vote approaches, Les Riley, the director of Personhood Mississippi who launched the Yes on 26 drive, is encouraging supporters to utilize a major weapon: prayer. He asks believers to request that God would glorify himself and work in a way that is far beyond "what we've even got the sense to ask for."

"We would just ask that God would work in a way that would astonish the whole world and that it would be clear that he was the one working and not us," Riley says. "And maybe, perhaps specifically pray not only for victory in the election, but that many people who are outside of Christ would be brought to him by our efforts -- even those opposing the amendment."

The pro-lifer goes on to note the significance of the amendment.

"You know this will be the first time in history that a state has recognized the humanity of the unborn and their God-given right to life," he points out. "It would make abortion illegal within our borders and would also challenge notions about abortion."

Since such a challenge would apply both nationally and internationally, he concludes that tomorrow vote is "hugely important."

Mississippi Personhood Campaign Draws More Scrutiny, Questions

With few Mississippi politicians speaking out against a proposed “personhood” amendment on the state’s ballot next week, Personhood USA is hoping that the Magnolia State will be the first to adopt its radical anti-choice legislation, which has been resoundingly defeated multiple times in Colorado. Personhood USA’s Keith Mason said on Friday that Mississippi’s Initiative 26, “looks like it’ll be the first one to pass in this country.”

Mississippi already has some of the most restrictive anti-choice laws in the United States. But opponents of the personhood initiative have started succeeding in educating voters over the far-reaching consequences of the proposed law, which would not only criminalize abortions without exceptions for rape, incest or health of the mother, but also potentially ban certain forms of birth control, the treatment of ectopic and problem pregnancies and in-vitro fertilization. One opponent of Initiative 26 said that polling shows that the more voters learn about the full impact of Initiative 26, the less likely they are to support it: “It’s the largest movement on numbers I’ve seen, in terms of the undecideds. It reverses the position…They’ve given us all the ammunition we need to defeat it.”

On Friday, Rachel Maddow discussed the grassroots campaign to defeat the personhood amendment and investigated the amendment’s radical roots – specifically, the role of Personhood Mississippi’s leader, Les Riley. As Maddow noted, Right Wing Watch first uncovered that Riley previously blogged for a secessionist group that wanted to create an independent theocratic state in South Carolina. In addition, Riley heads Mississippi’s far-right Constitution Party and is a past member of the neo-Confederate League of the South.

Maddow had as her guest Cristen Hemmins, who shared her story as a rape survivor who twenty years ago was kidnapped and raped by two men who shot her when she tried to flee. Hemmins told the Huffington Post that one of the bullets pierced her uterus, but if she had gotten pregnant and ifthe personhood law had been in effect at the time, she would have been prohibited by law from terminating the pregnancy.

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Personhood Ohio: Pass Personhood Amendment Or Face "God's Wrath"

Earlier we reported that Personhood USA is hoping to place its extrememe personhood amendnt on the 2012 ballot in Ohio, hoping voters there will back the amendment outlawing all abortions along with certain forms of birth control, in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies. The group’s state affiliate, Personhood Ohio, even opposes Janet Porter’s “Heartbeat bill” because it does not go far enough in criminalizing abortion. The group needs over 320,000 valid signatures to place the amendment on the ballot, and is telling Ohioans that the consequences of failure would be devastating, warning, “God’s wrath abides on Ohio for the innocent blood that has been shed in our state”:

The Bible is clear that God's curse resides upon the land where innocent people are killed without justice. (See Numbers 35:30-34, Jeremiah 18:7-10, Proverbs 6:16-17, Psalm 9:17, Jeremiah 7:5-7, Isaiah 1:15-17.) God is longsuffering, but sooner or later, judgment will fall on a land that sheds innocent blood.

Numbers 35:30-34 tells us that when innocent blood is shed in the land, the land is "defiled" and "polluted" and only justice can cleanse it. In Deuteronomy 21:1-9, we are taught that the curse of innocent blood falls upon the community nearest the crime. This curse can only be lifted through the dissemination of justice. It is the local community where the assault has been committed that is ultimately responsible for punishing assailants to protect the innocent.

Ultimately, Ohioans have no business pointing our fingers at the Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, or the abortion advocates entrenched in political parties for the shedding of innocent blood that Ohio allows. The federal government's jurisdiction is limited by the Constitution, which only grants the feds jurisdiction over three crimes: piracy, counterfeiting, and treason. Criminal justice is a local matter. God's wrath abides on Ohio for the innocent blood that has been shed in our state, and God obligates Ohio to do justice to protect the innocent from assault and murder, and thereby purge our land from the guilt of innocent blood. Until there is justice for the preborn, there will be no lasting mercy for us.

In 1857, the Supreme Court declared that an African American slave named Dred Scott was not a man, but the property of his owner. Over two million slaves perished on the ships headed for American ports. Millions were brutalized under the American slave trade. What followed soon after the 1857 Supreme Court decision was a Civil War that resulted in the deaths of 620,000 American lives.

The Nuremberg Laws were passed in Germany in 1935, declaring Jews to be non-persons. By the end of World War 2 in 1945, 6.5 to 8.8 million German civilians and soldiers had been killed in combat.

When Israel began to sacrifice innocent children to idols under King Manasseh, God promised judgment was coming. God was longsuffering, but within four generations of Manasseh, judgment finally came. Assyria conquered the Jews, slaughtered most of them, and carried off the survivors in chains to a life of slavery. Isaiah told them why: "Your hands are full of blood" and their cities were full of "murderers" (Isaiah 1:15, 21). Jeremiah told them why: they filled their land with "the blood of innocents" (Jeremiah 2:24 & 19:4). Hosea told them why: they were "polluted with blood" (Hosea 6:8). Joel told them why: "They have shed innocent blood in their land" (Joel 3:19). Ezekiel told them why: "Thou art become guilty in the blood that thou hast shed (Ezekiel 22:24). They continued to "slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live" (Ezekiel 13:19).

God promises judgment upon every nation that sins against him (Jeremiah 18:7-10; Psalm 9:17). For every two children conceived in Ohio, one is aborted. Almost half a million Ohioans have been slaughtered in Ohio's abortion clinics the first decade of this century.

Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.

Personhood Movement Leaders Say Porter's Heartbeat Bill Is Not Extreme Enough

Janet Porter’s proposed “heartbeat bill” in Ohio, which would criminalize abortion in the vast majority of cases, is so extreme that the Ohio Right to Life Society refuses to back it, but for some anti-choice radicals, it does not go far enough. As we’ve previously reported, Personhood USA wants to put a personhood amendment on the Ohio ballot in 2012, and Personhood Ohio is no fan of Porter’s “heartbeat bill.”

While the personhood movement may appear to be a fringe group, since proponents oppose even draconian legislation like the “heartbeat bill,” the personhood movement is backed by Mike Huckabee, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council. In fact, earlier this year personhood amendment advocates berated Porter on a conference call sponsored by The Oak Initiative’s Transformation Michigan, telling Porter that her bill was not anti-choice enough.

Writing today in WorldNetDaily, Personhood Ohio director Patrick Johnson condemns Porter’s bill for banning abortion in most instead of all cases, the goal of personhood amendments. Johnson is outraged that the bill has exceptions for cases where the life of the mother is at stake, which he says is “never justified,” and is angered that it doesn’t require the state to charge women with murder for having an abortion: “This bill specifically exempts the mother from prosecution. Why does the bill exempt accomplices?” Johnson writes:

The advocates of the Heartbeat Bill have proven their willingness to push one person out of the boat to try to save another. How? By way of the bill's exceptions, its inappropriate penalties, and its counterfeit moral standard.



What is the moral standard that is invoked in the Heartbeat Bill? Is it the Constitution, which says that the government shall not deprive another of life or liberty without a trial by jury? No. Is it the law of God, which says "Do no murder" in Exodus 20 and mandates a public execution for convicted murderers? No, of course not.

In subsections H, I, and J, this bill specifically cites the federal judiciary as the standard of morality and justice. This bill prescribes into law the supremacy of the Supreme Court over both the law of God and the state and federal constitutions. This bill bows the knee to a counterfeit standard of morality at the altar of judicial tyranny. Thus, this bill is rotten to its very foundation. Its design is not to protect the preborn, not to give them justice and certainly not to please "the Father of the fatherless." God's Word is the standard for morality and justice, and His Word is supreme over the opinions of men, but the Heartbeat Bill gets on the wrong side of God's line in the sand.

Even if the Heartbeat Bill did overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue back to the states, it would not protect preborn children in Ohio. It is our hope that the Ohio Personhood Amendment to the Ohio Constitution would protect the God-given rights of every Ohioan.

Personhood USA Sets Sights On Ohio

Mississippi is set to vote this November on a patently unconstitutional personhood amendment that would criminalize abortion in their state, and ‘personhood’ advocates now strive to put a similar amendment on the ballot in Ohio in 2012. Personhood laws would not only prohibit abortion in all cases but also ban certain forms of birth control and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies by giving legal rights to zygotes. The anti-choice activists hope that Ohio will vote on it at the same time as the swing state’s closely contested presidential election. Right now Ohio is on the brink of passing Janet Porter’s ‘Heartbeat bill’ that would ban abortion in the vast majority of cases, but Porter has taken heat that her prized legislation doesn’t go as far as personhood laws.

The American Family Association, which is financing the personhood campaign in Mississippi, reports that Personhood Ohio, the state affiliate of Personhood USA, wants the amendment, if passed, enforced even if it is struck down by the courts. “There's a firm legal precedent that when the judiciary rules unconstitutionally and immorally, that we have no obligation to respect that law any more than if they would have ordered us to kill our wives,” said Patrick Johnston of Personhood Ohio, “We don't have to obey them:

A campaign is under way in Ohio to place a Personhood Amendment on the 2012 ballot.

Article 1, Section 1 of the Ohio Constitution currently reads: "All persons are, by nature, free and independent and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life..." The Personhood Amendment would add that "the word 'person' or 'persons' applies to every human being at every stage of biological development of that human being or human organism, including fertilization."

The idea is to amend the state constitution to define that a person is a person when human life begins at conception or fertilization. Dr. Patrick Johnston of Zanesville, a family physician who heads the campaign, says the constitutional addition would protect all unborn babies in Ohio, without exception. Personhood Ohio volunteers must now obtain 380,000 signatures to call for the election.

"It's a good state to go directly to the voters to gather enough signatures, and then go to the voters and the ballot box and bypass the committees that end up corrupting good pro-life legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate," Johnston explains.

That corruption, he sayts [sic], reaches the point where exceptions are made that result in abortions. But he believes Ohio's pro-life leaning is strong, so even if a court rules against it, it does not necessarily mean anything.

"There [are] several constitutional measures we can take," the physician asserts. "One is we can ignore it. There's a firm legal precedent that when the judiciary rules unconstitutionally and immorally, that we have no obligation to respect that law any more than if they would have ordered us to kill our wives. We don't have to obey them."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Personhood USA loves Rick Santorum.

Personhood Bill Flounders In Louisiana

In another stinging defeat for the burgeoning “personhood” movement, a Louisiana personhood bill which would ban all abortions was defeated in the state legislature. The legislation, sponsored by Republican State Rep. John LaBruzzo, was hailed by Personhood USA as one of their best chances to pass a personhood law this year.

Personhood legislation gives legal rights to zygotes, banning all abortion without exception along with procedures to treat problem pregnancies, certain forms of contraception, and even in-vitro fertilization. Incidentally, the federal Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funds for abortion procedures, was the rationale used by the bill’s opponents to table the measure to send it back to committee. Personhood USA lamented that “The Hyde Amendment had a chilling effect on prolife legislators.”

Personhood USA is still counting on Mississippi voters to pass a personhood amendment this November, a referendum backed by other Religious Right groups like the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel along with top Republican politicians. The Mississippi effort is led by a proponent of Christians creating their own separate, theocratic country in America. In 2006 and 2008, personhood amendments were overwhelmingly defeated in Colorado.

The Associated Press reports:

A Metairie lawmaker's attempt to force a direct challenge to the Roe v. Wade decision by banning abortion outright in Louisiana was derailed Wednesday to the House budget committee.

The 65-30 vote of the House to send Rep. John LaBruzzo's bill to the House Appropriations Committee could shelve the measure for the legislative session.

"This would basically defeat the bill by running out the clock," LaBruzzo said. Only two weeks remain in the legislative session. LaBruzzo is proposing to define a fetus as a person from the moment of conception, which would ban abortion entirely, in violation of current federal law. Anti-abortion groups are split on the worth of the idea.

Lawmakers who supported sending the bill to the Appropriations Committee cited the possibility it could jeopardize $4.5 billion in federal health care funding Louisiana receives for its Medicaid program. A financial analysis said the proposal would put Louisiana at odds with a 1976 federal law requiring Medicaid to cover abortion services to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. Rep. Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, pushed for the diversion of the bill.

"I am truly and completely opposed to abortion, but that's off the table," he said.

LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, disagreed with the financial analysis done by the Legislative Fiscal Office.

Alabama Weighs Extreme "Personhood" Laws

As neighboring Mississippi is set to vote on a “personhood” amendment in November, Alabama may have its own personhood debate as a “personhood” amendment and statute have been introduced in the state legislature. Republican legislators in the Alabama legislature have introduced “personhood” laws as both statutes and amendments to the state constitution. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans, and the Senate statutory bill already has the support of a majority of state senators.

Personhood laws grant constitutional rights to zygotes and fetuses, and ban abortion without exception, certain forms of birth control, in vitro fertilization, and the treatment of pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies. The radical anti-choice group Personhood USA along with the Foundation for Moral Law, led by former Alabama state Supreme Court justice and likely presidential candidate Roy Moore, are the main forces behind the state’s personhood legislation. Ben DuPré, the point person for the state’s personhood campaign, is a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University and Regent University School of Law and a former clerk for Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice and Moore, and is now an attorney for the Foundation for Moral Law and the head of Personhood Alabama. DuPré likened legal abortion to the dehumanization of black people in America:

The Foundation for Moral Law and Personhood Alabama have announced personhood bills and amendments in the House and the Senate, backed by a large number of supporters.

SB301 is a clear recognition of the personhood rights of all human beings, regardless of their age, size, or location. SB 301 states “The term ‘persons’ as used in the Code of Alabama 1975, shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization or the functional equivalent thereof.”

SB 301 is a statutory change to the Alabama Code, and is sponsored by a staggering 19 of 35 Alabama Senators.



Yesterday HB 405 and HB 409 were filed in the House by Representative John Merrill,a Personhood Statute and Personhood Amendment, respectively. The Personhood Statute and Amendment were backed by 31 co-sponsors.

“It is my belief that this bill will clearly affirm that, under law, an individual becomes a person upon fertilization,” stated Representative Merrill.



DuPré added, “America used to define the meaning of ‘person’ along racial lines; now we draw the line at the womb. Personhood legislation finally gives equal protection of the laws to the unborn as well as the born, and from the first moment of human life.”

Personhood Law Would Ban Treatment of Life-Threatening Pregnancies

As personhood legislation sprouts up in states like Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Iowa, the radical anti-choice group Personhood USA also hopes to introduce their extreme (and unconstitutional) legislation in North Dakota. Personhood bills criminalize abortion and certain forms of birth control by granting legal rights to zygotes, declaring it a separate ‘person’ from the mother. Many doctors believe that such legislation would ban in vitro fertilization and prohibit doctors from giving medical assistance to women with serious pregnancy complications like ectopic pregnancies. The AP reports on North Dakota doctors speaking out against the radical legislation in their state:

Doctors told the North Dakota Senate's Judiciary Committee that it could affect couples using in vitro fertilization to try to have a baby as well as women who have complications in early pregnancy that will prevent an embryo from developing into a viable baby. Such complications include an ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg begins growing outside the uterus. The doctors who testified said they did not perform abortions.



Although the measure exempts in vitro fertilization from criminal penalties, it includes language saying that "causing injury to a human being" is not justified.

Dr. Stephanie Dahl, a Fargo infertility specialist who works at North Dakota's only in vitro fertilization center, said the bill would make it illegal to do the procedure.

"The process of IVF may result in injury to an embryo," Dahl said. "It is unavoidable."

Dr. Shari Orser, a Bismarck obstetrician and gynecologist, told the committee that most eggs that are fertilized for in vitro fertilization never become viable embryos "and only a small percentage of embryos thought to be viable produce a child."

"To suggest that every embryo is a person is absurd," Orser said.

Orser said the law also would complicate the treatment of ectopic pregnancies. Without treatment, a tubal pregnancy can result in serious internal bleeding and death, she said.

Other conditions can result in a fetus developing without kidneys, lungs or a brain, Orser said.

"These diagnoses are often made in the first half of these pregnancies," Orser said. "Should a woman be forced to continue the pregnancy when she knows that her baby will die, or can she be spared the emotional distress and the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term?"

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

The anti-choice campaign to pass “Personhood Amendments,” the radical plan once shunned by major Religious Right organizations, continues to gain prominent supporters within the conservative movement. Following in the footsteps of other right-wing leaders like Bryan Fischer, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has come out in favor of the Personhood Amendment, which would give legal rights to zygotes and criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

As voters consistently voted down Personhood Amendments by lopsided margins in Colorado, leading groups like National Right to Life and Americans United for Life refused to back the Amendment and the Colorado Eagle Forum warned allies in 2009 that the Personhood movement intends to “spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana.”

And now the Personhood movement is doing exactly that, but this time with the support of major Religious Right figures, and even Republican politicians.

Fischer, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel have come out strongly in favor of the Personhood Amendment that will be on Mississippi’s November ballot, as have top Republicans like Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

In Georgia, Perkins praised the Personhood Amendment introduced by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, saying, “The Georgia Personhood Amendment is a reflection of a growing pro-life sentiment across the country.”

But in 2007, James Bopp, the General Counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, criticized the Personhood measure in Georgia, known as the Human Life Amendment (HLA), in a legal memo. Warning of “the inevitable striking down” of the amendment and that “significant damage would be done,” Bopp said that “the proposed HLA has serious flaws and is not a wise use of pro-life resources at this time.”

Georgia and Mississippi aren’t the only states where the Personhood movement is moving into high gear.

The State House in North Dakota just passed a personhood bill that one supporter said “should shut down” the state’s last clinic that provides abortion services, and a subcommittee in the Iowa State House also approved a personhood bill. Personhood USA, the leading advocacy organization, has pledged to mount fights in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana as well.

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

The anti-choice campaign to pass “Personhood Amendments,” the radical plan once shunned by major Religious Right organizations, continues to gain prominent supporters within the conservative movement. Following in the footsteps of other right-wing leaders like Bryan Fischer, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has come out in favor of the Personhood Amendment, which would give legal rights to zygotes and criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

As voters consistently voted down Personhood Amendments by lopsided margins in Colorado, leading groups like National Right to Life and Americans United for Life refused to back the Amendment and the Colorado Eagle Forum warned allies in 2009 that the Personhood movement intends to “spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana.”

And now the Personhood movement is doing exactly that, but this time with the support of major Religious Right figures, and even Republican politicians.

Fischer, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel have come out strongly in favor of the Personhood Amendment that will be on Mississippi’s November ballot, as have top Republicans like Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

In Georgia, Perkins praised the Personhood Amendment introduced by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, saying, “The Georgia Personhood Amendment is a reflection of a growing pro-life sentiment across the country.”

But in 2007, James Bopp, the General Counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, criticized the Personhood measure in Georgia, known as the Human Life Amendment (HLA), in a legal memo. Warning of “the inevitable striking down” of the amendment and that “significant damage would be done,” Bopp said that “the proposed HLA has serious flaws and is not a wise use of pro-life resources at this time.”

Georgia and Mississippi aren’t the only states where the Personhood movement is moving into high gear.

The State House in North Dakota just passed a personhood bill that one supporter said “should shut down” the state’s last clinic that provides abortion services, and a subcommittee in the Iowa State House also approved a personhood bill. Personhood USA, the leading advocacy organization, has pledged to mount fights in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana as well.

Personhood Movement Announces 50-State Strategy

The anti-choice movement to use state ballot initiatives to give fetuses and embryos legal rights has announced a nationwide petition drive to bring their radical measure to all fifty states. Opponents of reproductive rights hope to use “personhood amendments” to criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, and common forms of birth control by giving zygotes constitutional protections. While the amendment failed miserably at the polls in Colorado, Personhood USA hopes to bring personhood amendments to states such as Florida, Mississippi, Montana, and Wisconsin, among others.

Personhood activists have their hopes set on Mississippi, where the amendment will be voted on in November. Personhood Mississippi is led by Les Riley, a member of an extreme separatist organization called Christian Exodus, and Riley’s campaign has received the support of notable Republicans like Congressman Alan Nunnelee and Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant, and groups such as the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel.

Now, Personhood USA has launched petition drives in every single state. According to the group, they already have gathered over 900,000 signatures:

"Now in every state in America, prolife volunteers are engaging their communities with the truth of personhood, and are working to change the laws as citizens or lobbying the lawmakers in their state to do their job and protect every person by love and by law, " stated Keith Mason, cofounder of Personhood USA. "We are thrilled to have met our goal to be in all 50 states in just two years, and we are so thankful to be closing in on 1 million signatures defending the personhood of the preborn child."



"Personhood USA functions as a support system, giving as little or as much help as needed, and we have truly been blessed by Jesus Christ as He is accomplishing so much through us in just the past two years. We can't wait to see what He does, in all 50 states, in 2011," added Cal Zastrow, cofounder of Personhood USA. "We will keep working hard for the rights of preborn children, knowing that this is the best chance we've ever had to end abortion in America."

Watch Les Riley explain to the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis Bryan Fischer back in October about the Personhood movement’s plan to overturn abortion rights:

Leading Republicans Embrace Personhood Amendment and “Christian Exodus,” Separatist Advocate

Last week Right Wing Watch reported on the success of anti-choice activists to place a “Personhood Amendment” on Mississippi’s 2011 ballot to coincide with the gubernatorial election. The radical group Personhood USA hopes to use the so-called “Personhood Amendments” to criminalize abortion, common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and even in-vitro fertilization, by giving legal rights to fetuses and embryos.

Major anti-choice organizations including the National Right to Life Committee have generally shied away from “Personhood Amendments” due to the extreme nature of the measure and the fringe Personhood USA. Colorado voters rejected three different Amendments from Personhood Colorado by wide margins, with the 2010 measure failing with less than 30% of the vote.

Activists in Mississippi, however, have made great headway in receiving support from the Religious Right and the GOP. Leading Religious Right groups and Republican politicians, including the American Family Association (AFA), Liberty Counsel, and Congressman-Elect Alan Nunnelee, have backed Personhood Mississippi’s efforts. Mississippi’s Republican Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant has embraced the Personhood Initiative as well. Bryant, when announcing his bid for governor on the AFA’s radio program, claimed that “one of my goals in public life is to end abortion in Mississippi, so we’re going to work really hard on that.” A vocal and ardent supporter of the “Personhood Amendment,” Bryant called the initiative “another way of trying to stop abortion in Mississippi and simply allow once and for all the opportunity for the people to say we want to do that and we feel so strongly about it that we want to add it to our Constitution.”

Today, Personhood Mississippi (the state affiliate of Personhood USA) will be hosting a rally in Jackson to celebrate the measure’s inclusion on the 2011 ballot, and Bryant is scheduled to speak at the event.

But who is behind Personhood Mississippi and the Personhood Amendment’s sponsor?

The head of Personhood Mississippi is right wing activist Les Riley, a featured blogger of the group Christian Exodus, which has “goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire.”

Christian Exodus had attempted to move thousands of supporters to South Carolina in order to “form a biblically inspired government and secede from the United States,” and also has close ties to the separatist and Neo-Confederate League of the South. Christian Exodus also is encouraging adherents to move to Panama and Idaho in order to build theocratic settlements.

Lt. Governor Bryant said he wanted to “personally thank Les Riley” for his work, and Les Riley told AFA Radio that Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment is “the biggest news in the pro-life movement in twenty years” because it will not only eradicate reproductive rights in Mississippi but also set up a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

As the “Personhood Amendment” movement finds more allies and greater support in the Religious Right and Republican Party, its extremist leaders and radical beliefs have not changed.

American Family Association Promotes Extreme “Personhood Amendment” in Mississippi

After efforts to amend the Colorado constitution to give constitutional rights to embryos and fetuses badly failed in November, advocates of so-called “Personhood Amendments” are now hoping that Mississippi voters will back a similar amendment in 2011. The Colorado proposal, called Amendment 62, “would have banned abortion, many forms of birth control and embryonic stem cell research in the state.” Mississippi activists were able to put a similar measure on the ballot in 2011 to coincide with the gubernatorial election.

Back in 2008, the American Life League began pushing “Personhood Amendments” to become an integral part of the anti-choice movement; however, many Religious Right groups traditionally resisted “Personhood Amendments” because of their radical nature and tremendous unpopularity. Anti-choice groups in Colorado such as National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Colorado Citizens for Life, and the Colorado Eagle Forum refused to support the “Personhood Amendment.”

Personhood USA, the leading organization behind such measures, likened President Obama to the “Angel of Death,” and activists in Colorado compared pro-choice laws with Nazism.

Now, “Personhood Amendment” proponents will try their luck in Mississippi, which already has strict anti-choice laws, and they are receiving significant publicity and support from a leading Religious Right group: the American Family Association, which is based in Mississippi.

Matt Friedeman of the AFA’s American Family Radio said that if the proposal succeeds in 2011, he hopes it would lead the way to the criminalization of abortion across the country:

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So what we’re hoping for here is that one of these initiatives will be taken all the way to the Supreme Court and they’ll have to decide at that point what to do with it. And hopefully at that juncture we have a pro-life majority, and you never know from year to year to year what’s gonna happen there, but we hope we have a pro-life majority and we hope the day comes when Roe v. Wade is wiped off the books and we can go back to the states. Maybe even, if God would allow, to get a pro-life amendment for the whole country.

Not to be outdone, AFA Director of Issue Analysis Bryan Fischer said that Mississippi’s “Personhood Amendment” will advance his objective of “aligning” the country’s laws with “the word of God:”

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One of the things we look for from our political leaders is we want to see them work to align the public policy of our country with the standards of the word of God, that’s what we want, we want an alignment. We’re not talking about a theocracy where the clergy rules this country; we’re talking about statesmen, both men and women, who are committed as a matter of moral conviction to align the public policy of the United States with the word of God.

As “Personhood Amendment” advocates hope to find a more favorable electorate in Mississippi in 2011, will more Religious Right groups join the AFA in embracing their radical proposals?

Personhood Colorado: From Slavery, to Demons, to Nazis

First, the activists behind Colorado's Amendment 62 tried to generate support for their effort by running a radio ad featuring a "former slave" speaking out against abortion.

Then they upped the ante with a web video calling President Obama the "Angel of Death."

So, of course, the next logical step is to invoke the Nazis:

A volunteer for the “Yes on 62” campaign is using graphic pictures of dying Jews in concentrations camps to get you to vote yes on the anti-abortion measure.

The Facebook page was created earlier in October; at first Parenthood Colorado told TARGET 13 that they were aware of the site and no one on staff took part in its creation.

“I’ve seen the comparison before,” said Roberto Garcia-Jones, Director of Personhood Colorado. When asked if he agreed with the concept, Garcia-Jones said, “I support the notion that what Nazis did to Jews is like what were doing to pre-borns today.”

At first Garcia-Jones was unaware of the person behind the postings, but when asked about key staffers and supporters who “liked” the site, he told us he would get one of the supporters we asked about to call us back.

A few minutes later, TARGET 13 received a call from Keith Mason, co-founder of Personhood USA. He admitted to TARGET 13 that it was one of campaign’s volunteers who created the site. Mason said, “This is not what we are about.”

Mason also said he was unaware that key staffers were made administrators of the Facebook page. After the calls, any tie to Parenthood Colorado was taken down from the Facebook page and Mason said key staffers no longer had administrative privileges.

Not surprisingly, these over-the-top tactics don't seem to be working, as even anti-choice news outlets like LifeNews.com are reporting that the effort appears poised to suffer another crushing defeat:

A second poll shows Amendment 62, the personhood amendment that would ban all abortions in the state if upheld in court, will likely lose when voters head to the polls next week.

SurveyUSA conducted a poll or 540 voters from October 19-21 for the Denver Post and 9-NEWS and the survey has about a 4/2 percent margin of error.

The poll shows just 20 percent of Colorado residents support Amendment 62 while 56 percent say they are opposed to it. Another 25 percent of Colorado voters were still undecided, even as early voting began in the state. 

In 2008, a similar effort received only 27% support, and it looks like it might actually do even worse this time around.

Personhood USA Calls President Obama the "Angel of Death"

A few months ago, we noted how the anti-choice zealots behind Colorado's "personhood" Amendment 62 had started running radio ads likening abortion to slavery ... but that was nothing compared to this new video supporting the effort from Personhood USA in which President Obama is explicitly likened to the Angel of Death:

Here is the video which, even by crazy right-wing standards, is absolutely astounding:

Personhood USA Calls President Obama the "Angel of Death"

A few months ago, we noted how the anti-choice zealots behind Colorado's "personhood" Amendment 62 had started running radio ads likening abortion to slavery ... but that was nothing compared to this new video supporting the effort from Personhood USA in which President Obama is explicitly likened to the Angel of Death:

Here is the video which, even by crazy right-wing standards, is absolutely astounding:

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Personhood USA Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 01/25/2013, 6:50pm
We are heartbroken over the news that Sarah Palin is not renewing her contract with Fox News.  But Palin acolyte and failed 2010 Senate candidate Joe Miller may return to politics.  The American Decency Association claims that criticism of “ex-terrorist” hoaxer Kamal Saleem is proof that he is telling the truth!  Kenneth Miller has been jailed due to his refusal to testify before a grand jury about his role in the Lisa Miller (no relation) kidnapping case.  Both David Barton and Liberty Counsel are comparing President Obama to Adolf... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 11/27/2012, 6:30pm
Despite two years of constant pressure, it looks like Janet Porter's effort to get the Ohio legislature has failed. Mona Charen is mad that Democrats have refused "to be magnanimous in victory" following the election. But wait, maybe the election isn't over and Romney can still win!  Conservative Christian talk radio host Frank Pastore is in a coma following a motorcycle accident. Personhood USA calls on the GOP to purge John McCain and "all of the Republican candidates who want to maintain the status quo on abortion." Finally,... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Thursday 06/28/2012, 12:24pm
The Associated Press is reporting that Personhood Ohio, a state affiliate of Denver-based Personhood USA, will likely fall short in its effort to put a so-called “personhood” amendment on the ballot this fall: With less than two weeks before a crucial July deadline, the group's director says it has close to 20,000, or 5 percent, of the roughly 385,000 signatures required for the proposed personhood constitutional amendment to appear on November ballots. The amendment defines life as beginning at conception and would ban all forms of abortion, including in cases of rape and... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/30/2012, 11:15am
Personhood USA president Keith Mason spoke to Janet Mefferd on Monday to cast doubt on Romney’s record on reproductive rights and stem-cell research, addressing Romney’s consistency, or lack thereof, on abortion rights and stem-cell research, role in health care reform in Massachusetts, and views on mandating hospitals to distribute emergency contraceptive pills. “At the end of the day, I don’t believe he is pro-life,” Mason said, arguing that Romney’s move on contraception coverage was no different from the Obama administration’s stance: Mefferd:... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/25/2012, 3:30pm
To the surprise of nobody, Mitt Romney is ignoring an invitation to participate in the presidential candidate forum at Liberty Counsel’s Florida Awake! conference on Saturday. So far, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have accepted the invitation, while Ron Paul respectfully declined because he will be outside of Florida at the time. Romney has already skipped the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa and two Personhood USA forums, and his decision to skip the Liberty Counsel debate earned him a rebuke from Personhood USA, even though Romney at one point endorsed the group’s extreme... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 12/28/2011, 1:55pm
A member of Nebraska’s unicameral legislature is introducing two of the most radical anti-choice bills in the country, a personhood measure to give legal status to zygotes and a ‘heartbeat law’ that would also effectively ban abortion. Like in Ohio, more established anti-choice groups are wary of passing such clearly unconstitutional laws and are instead encouraging the legislature to defund Planned Parenthood. The Omaha World Herald reports that State Sen. Mark Christensen is proposing both measures, and that the “heartbeat bill is expected to be introduced in the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/28/2011, 12:54pm
It is remarkable to realize how, in just a few years and despite repeated losses, the "personhood" movement has gone from a fringe effort that had no support to a central part of the Republican presidential primary. When the first personhood effort in Colorado got trounced at the polls in 2008, anti-choice groups ranging from National Right to Life and Americans United for Life to the Eagle Forum all refused to support these sorts of amendments. But this year nearly the entire Religious Right movement got behind the personhood effort in Mississippi ... which likewise failed... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 12/21/2011, 6:35pm
Republican presidential candidiates Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have signed on for a “Presidential Pro-Life Forum” hosted by Personhood USA and moderated by Iowa conservative radio personality Steve Deace. The three candidates along with Rick Perry have already announced their support for personhood laws. Personhood USA wants abortion and even common forms of birth control banned without exception, and personhood laws may even outlaw in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies. The group launched unsuccessful referendums in Colorado and... MORE >