Posts Tagged ‘personhood’

Pro life legislation not a step in the right direction?



As Tennessee Right to Life and pro-lifers in Tennessee (including myself) were celebrating the victories won in the most recent Legislature, some in our movement were saying, “Wait a minute; not so fast!”

Many people, notably those involved in a number of Personhood campaigns all over the country, believe that laws restricting abortion actually help to enshrine abortion in the law.  Or that it has the effect of legitimizing abortion by implying it is acceptable as long as it is properly regulated.

J.D. Ellis, Tennessee Vice-Chairman of the America’s Independent Party (AIP) articulated the views of many:

… according to Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, the purpose behind SJR 127 is to, “restore common sense restrictions” on abortion, such as a 48-hour waiting period, parental consent, and a requirement that abortions be performed in a hospital after the second trimester. In other words, our “pro-life” leaders want to use this amendment to enact laws defining the conditions under which the murder of unborn children will be accepted. Is this a truly pro-life position? Does this really acknowledge the personhood, and equality under the law, of the unborn? What other group of living human beings would we treat this way?

After World War II, should America have demanded that Germany “restore common sense restrictions” on the murder of Jews? Would we permit the killing of, say, high school teachers, as long as the murderer first waited 48 hours? Or how about the murder of blondes, provided the murder was committed at a hospital? Or the slaughter of 5-year-olds, so long as we first notified the victims’ grandparents? “Common sense restrictions”? On murder? No, when we really view the unborn as persons, and abortion as murder, then such regulations are not “common sense”, but complete nonsense!

Aside from all this, the supporters of SJR 127 also seem to lack the foresight to perceive what would happen next time the Democrats regain control under a Constitution that gives them the power to “enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion”. This amendment would give a Democrat-controlled General Assembly the power to make abortion on demand completely legal in Tennessee, with absolutely no restrictions. Some “pro-life” amendment this is!

What do you think?  Is Mr. Ellis right or wrong to oppose these measures?

For more information on Personhood, click here and/or here.  One of our favorite people in the whole pro-life movement is Dan Becker, President of Georgia Right to Life and a leader in the Personhood movement.  Order his new book Personhood here or here.

Here’s the FAB view.  We will never change public policy unless and until we change public opinion.  And we will never change public opinion until we show people pictures of abortion, because only pictures will make people see that (1) the preborn child is really a baby, even in the first trimester of pregnancy, and (2) abortion is a horrifying act of violence.

Unless and until we show large numbers of voters the truth, then we will never win the legislative battle to change the laws, neither by the Legislature nor by passing Personhood amendments at the state level.

Having said that, we believe there is value in both protective legislation and in Personhood, and we pledge to do whatever we can to support both.

Legislation now saves babies now.  We rejoice over each life saved.  If a building is burning and 100 people are trapped inside, shouldn’t we save 10, 20, or 50, even if that’s all we can do?  And didn’t the abolition of slavery begin with restrictions on the practice?  To win those legislative battles, we must display abortion pictures so that voters can know what abortion is and does.  Even small changes in voting behavior will have a huge impact on the makeup of our legislative bodies.

Speaking of education, many in the Personhood movement believe that ballot initiatives are an excellent teaching tool for educating people about the evil of abortion.  Absolutely!  And to accomplish the education that is necessary to win this nationally, we must include abortion pictures in our voter education efforts.  Otherwise, the public will not apply the kind of pressure necessary to first overturn Roe v Wade and then outlaw abortion nationally.

At FAB, we are much like Billy Martin in some of those Miller Lite commercials from the 1980s.  We feel strongly both ways.  What do you think?  Please comment!