Skip to comments.Eagle Forum and NRTL actively oppose Personhood - the definitive response
Posted on 04/09/2010 5:11:47 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
Colorado Right to Life
Response to Eagle Forum and Concerns about Personhood
Dear [Colorado] Pro-Life Delegate,
Please support the Personhood Amendment #62! The most fundamental right recognized by our Constitution is the God-given right to life. It is government’s foremost duty to uphold the right to life of all innocent human beings, without exception. The Personhood Amendment – Amendment 62 on your November ballot –recognizes the right to life of unborn children from the beginning of their biological development as a human being.
Forty states currently are following Colorado's leadership and trying, through legislation or ballot initiatives, to get Personhood recognized for the unborn child. This has transformed the pro-life movement and given it new energy! For the first time in recent history, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we may see abortion prohibited in the relatively near future.
Unfortunately, many politicians, including Republicans, and even some pro-life groups fear losing control of the agenda. They are trying to smother the Personhood movement in its crib. You may see an Eagle Forum flyer here today, spreading misleading statements.
They mean to discourage pro-lifers by pointing out that our 2008 measure only received 27% support – the first time any state has ever voted on Personhood. They say we should not try again. What successful social movement has ever given up after its first try? What if the anti-slavery movement had quit at their first setback? What if Britain had surrendered to Hitler because victory seemed impossible? It's not leadership to say, “We tried once and failed, so we should stop.” In 2008 conventional wisdom held that only one out of eight people would vote for a total abortion ban. Yet in our first time on the ballot we received over 600,000 votes, more than doubling what was expected, in a state that had just elected a pro-abortion governor and president. With a well-run campaign, in this non-presidential election year, where just some Personhood voters bring another voter to the polls, we could win. Of slavery, the Holocaust, and abortion, we're now at two down and one to go!
The anti-personhood flyer claims pro-abortion groups are “enriched” by getting to fight the Personhood amendments in several states. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood don't see it that way. They're suing to keep Personhood amendments off the ballot in Missouri, Alaska, and Nevada, and they've announced that they might sue here in Colorado. (We're ready for them if they do.) And Mississippi has already certified their state's Personhood Amendment to be on the ballot, and signatures are being collected by the hundreds of thousands in Florida and California and elsewhere. Further, the pro-abortion group NARAL put Personhood USA, parent group of one of our sponsors, on their national Hall of Shame! What an honor! They fear what we can see: that Personhood has ignited a broad base of grassroots activity with more being done to stop abortion than any time in the last twenty years!
The “pro-life” opponents of Personhood claim “it’s not the right time,” but it’s never the wrong time to do the right thing. They say they want to back Personhood “eventually,” but the US Supreme Court is not yet “ready” to support a pro-life measure. This admission comes after decades of their efforts to change the court, which admission is proof from their own mouths that their strategy is utterly failing. Republicans have nominated the majority of the federal judiciary, and the federal courts are overwhelmingly pro-choice, so we need a new, direct strategy of teaching the public and our politicians the difference between right and wrong. After decades of electing pro-life presidents, there is not a single Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court who has ever once advocated the right to life of the unborn child. So National Right To Life has never been able to claim the $10,000 offered them for simply naming a single pro-life Supreme Court Justice. That check is already written and remains un-cashed in the office of the Colorado-based American Right To Life.
Eagle Forum points to a memo by National Right To Life attorney James Bopp, which claims they fear a challenge to Roe v. Wade now might “make things worse.” Fear never won a fight. Fifty million dead children and they are afraid to pursue victory because things might get worse? That's like giving in to terrorists because we don't want to make them mad. Tragically, National Right To Life's general counsel tried to compromise the Republican Party platform by modifying it to support embryonic stem cell research, which is lethal experiments, on the tiniest children, little boys and girls just like the snowflake children, the adopted frozen embryos who themselves are the proof that these are precious little children. Thank God that National Right To Life's attorney failed.
That failed strategy, the old pro-life approach, of electing politicians who are pro-life, who will appoint judges who are pro-life has failed because we didn’t have “quality control” and all our candidates, without opposition from NRTL, openly admitted that they would ignore abortion when nominating judges. And the proof is in the pudding, along with the poison, of scores of pro-abortion judges that we have unwittingly put on the bench. We need to teach our politicians that there is an actual right to life (i.e. Personhood)! We need to insist that they appoint judges who acknowledge the God-given right to life of each child. Where we stand right now, we don’t need “one more pro-life justice” – we need five! That old strategy has proved an utter failure.
What’s more, we’ve been teaching the American public the wrong lessons. When we say “the unborn child has a right to life!” and then turn around and promote laws to protect some babies, but not others, the American people rightly detect hypocrisy! Footnote 54 of Roe v. Wade ruling (which tragically was written by a Republican Justice, Harry Blackman, and passed by a Republican majority) points out this very thing – that you cannot say the unborn child is a Person, and then say there are some circumstances when that innocent Person can be killed. That hypocrisy was cited as the reason why abortion was decriminalized– because existing "pro-life" laws actually didn’t recognize unborn children as Persons. But the Roe v. Wade decision itself also said that if a law were passed to recognize the Personhood of the unborn child, then the Supreme Court would have to protect unborn children under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment!
Personhood is a legal strategy, aimed at that "loophole" in Roe. But more than that, Personhood is a social movement, trying for the first time in 30 years to convince the American public that there exists an actual, God-given right to life for innocent children – no exceptions! Imagine the outcry if a massive body of citizens cried out to stop the slaughter, and the courts or politicians stood by and did nothing! They cannot. Personhood will force the politicians and the courts to change – if we insist our politicians support Personhood, then eventually the courts will follow.
Some defeated folks claim we have no power to change things, and we must accept the world as it is. They have no hope for victory, and they want you to abandon hope also. Their reasoning is all based on political calculation and conventional wisdom. But they forget that Christian social movements changed the world by relying on God’s wisdom! Remember the anti-slavery movement! Remember the civil rights movement! These were not secular in nature – these movements were Christian at their core! They dared to believe God would help them, and they changed the world!
That’s the promise of Personhood. In 2008 Colorado launched this strategy, and in 2010 there are 40 states following the example of our first “failure!” We’ve just now set out! So please support the pro-life Personhood Amendment 62 resolution! We must press forward and not look back!
Press forward with us! Personhood for the unborn child – NOW!!
Amendment 62 Co-Sponsors
Leslie Hanks Colorado Right To Life
Gualberto Garcia-Jones Personhood Colorado
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Timing makes a difference. the existence of roe, which slipped unto the law while bormal people were looking the other way, is proof. A year earlier or later and it would have been a different outcome. We need to learn that lesson. I trust Bopp, who has devoted his professional life to the issue.
It is impossible to argue with vermin. Liberals are not capable of simple human decency. They exist only to kill, consume, and destroy.
I don't trust him at all. He's a Romney hack, and has argued for a "strategy" that entails another 35 years of abortion in this country.
Bopp's strategies are utterly failed.
I don't believe God's wrath at the destruction of the innocent will wait for NRTL's unprincipled political gamesemanship to "work."
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." - Thomas Jefferson
I don’t understand why Phyllis Schlafley (Eagle Forum) is opposing this.
She went personally to MO and tried to talk the leaders of the Personhood movement out of it. Of course, she utterly failed. She also took active measures against the Nevada effort.
It makes even less sense in light of the fact that she has been one of the key people who advocated for the Personhood, Fourteenth Amendment Reagan plank in the Republican platform committee over the last 25 years.
Here is the statement posted at the Eagles Forum website:
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.
As to the statement "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 is patently false. Roe v. Wade was built on the refusal of the SCOTUS to define personhood. So if the US Congress or the several states would define personhood, Roe v. Wade would be nullified.
One of the core fallacies of their old stale failed thinking is that they are judicial supremacists, like the rest of our political and legal class passing the responsibility to protect unalienable rights solely upon the courts.
when only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that
In fact, ALL officers of government, in every branch and at every level, have sworn to uphold the Constitution, which protects the God-given right to life of every innocent person.
Without co-equal branches led by constitutionally-minded representatives of the people who are willing to provide checks and balances, we no longer live in a constitutional republic, governed by laws and not by men; we now live in a judicial oligarchy. And it's killing thousands of little children every day.
You are correct. Even the infamous Blackmun, the author of the majority Roe decision, admitted in the text that if the fetus is a person, they OF COURSE are protected by the clear provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment.
There was a National Review article in late 1980 or early 1981 where the author, a lawyer, listed (I think) 20 or so ways that Roe v. Wade could be nullified without going to the SCOTUS.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men..."
Until Roe v Wade is overturned, this is a waste of time and money.
This time and money is better spent electing Strict Constitutionalists to the US Senate. Then, these battles in the states will bear fruit.
Was Dred Scott ever “overturned”?
“Strict constitutionalists” like Mark Kirk, Charlie Crist, John McCain and Meg Whitman? These are the kind of folks the Republican Party is pushing.
Do you believe that the Supreme Court is supreme over the Congress, the Executive Branch, the people, God’s law, the natural law and the clear words of the Constitution? You don’t believe in co-equal branches of government and checks and balances on power?
If so, the sworn oaths of all those other folks who aren’t sitting on a bench don’t mean much of anything at all, do they? At best, if we’re now a judicial oligarchy instead of a constitutional republic they’re a mere formality.
If you think this is entirely up to the courts you’re a judicial supremacist, and your way of thinking has already utterly failed. For decades we’ve worked to put so-called “pro-life” “Republican” Presidents in the White House and “constitutionalist” judges on the bench. Six of the nine judges currently on the Supreme Court were nominated by Republican Presidents. And not one of them will simply recognize the personhood of the child in the womb and invoke the unmistakable requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment. Not one.
And the US Senate is a moral wasteland.
I'll address the above as it's the only relevant part of your commentary.
The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the meaning of the Constitution in our political system, until...or unless the Court overturns itself (this has occurred) or a Constitutional Amendment is Ratified.
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
Until Roe is overturned, ALL OTHER POLITICAL ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH PERSONHOOD IS A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY.
If you want to overturn Roe, there are only two viable paths:
1. Constitutional Amendment, duly ratified by the Congress and the States.
2. Strict Constitutionalists in the US Senate who will only consent to Strict Constitutionalists on the USSC...and, in a 1-3 decade period that cadre of Senators, continually replenished, will find themselves with an opportunity to put the 5th vote on the USSC to overturn Roe.
The only viable 3rd path is armed revolution.
If you cannot see and understand these facts there's little anyone can do to help.
Then the oaths of office of the Executive and the members of the Legislative branches are now meaningless formalities. There are no more checks and balances. We no longer live in a representative republic, but a judicial oligarchy.
You can't keep an oath to uphold the provisions of a document if you can't interpret what it says and means. And you have an obligation to uphold it even if every other officer of government in every other branch at every other level abrogates their oaths. You've sworn that oath before God and your countrymen. You can't slide responsibility for keeping it off on someone else. Not rightfully anyhow.
Your obviously don’t realize it, but your judicial supremacist mindset is one of the primary things that is destroying our republic.
Colorado RTL is informing pro-lifers, politicians and candidates of a crisis among the federal judiciary. For 35 years, pro-lifers have hoped that by electing pro-life presidents such as Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and George W. Bush, America would get judges who support the God-given right to life of the unborn. Justices, who we all hoped were pro-life, have made it increasingly clear that they are not.
Antonin Scalia has publicly stated that he would strike down any law that prohibited abortion in all fifty states, and Clarence Thomas has ruled that the public has the right to decide to legalize the killing of unborn children. Sadly, not even one of the seven current U.S. Supreme Court Justices nominated by Republican presidents support the right to life of the unborn.
Further, our pro-life presidents have nominated sixty percent of the U.S. federal judiciary, and yet the judiciary utterly rejects the right to life of the unborn. Also we should remember that the pro-abortion Roe v. Wade decision was written by a Republican Justice and passed by the Republican majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, and abortion was legalized in Colorado by Republican governor John Love in 1967.
Colorado RTL is educating pro-life politicians and candidates to the sobering judicial crisis because it tells us that the status quo strategy of regulating abortion over the last decades is leading to a judicial culture exactly the opposite of what the pro-life movement had expected. When we ask judges to uphold abortion regulations, that very request moves “our own” judges to accept that the government has the right to regulate the killing of children, which they do by upholding the pro-life movement’s own initiatives.
Thus Colorado RTL advocates enforcement of the God-given right to life and promotes the Personhood strategy to end legalized abortion in America!
What everybody needs to understand, is that if your not willing to die for liberty, you will not hold on to it...
What are Rats saying about this in the meantime. Are they secretly cheering, expecting that this will encourage more Rat voters to appear at the polls than they can get with ACORN and its successors?
In other words, Scalia and Thomas support status quo ante Roe.
The forces of death and societal destruction hate pro-life, pro-family ballot initiatives. Such efforts force them to expend their resources to fight, and generally they don’t fare so well. In thirty-one states where traditional marriage has been on the ballot, for example, the Left has lost every single time.
Pro-life and pro-family ballot initiatives turn out pro-life, pro-family voters.
However, in those circumstances where the “leaders” of the “conservatives” have been spineless and compromising in these fights, and where the battle ground is a narrow one where the Left can focus their money they have been able to beat us back.
That’s why we must open up many fronts and dilute Planned Parenthood’s resources.
The other key is to first soundly defeat the weak and pusillanimous arguments of the old failed organizations such as those described in the article at the top of this thread. They weaken and demoralize our movement and give the Left the edge they need to win.
Ping to my post #27 and Lesforlife’s post #23.
I agree with the gist of this article that we need a new legal strategy. The old shock and indignation and wishful thinking that people will be “nice” IS NOT WORKING. We need to find a powerful new legal strategy and ram it through.
The Personhood strategy is the perfect strategy, legally, constitutionally, politically, and morally, because it is immovably grounded in principle.
Even Blackmun admitted IN THE ROE DECISION that if the fetus is a child they are OF COURSE protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.
You do realize the doctrine of judicial review was created extra-constitutionally, right? Marbury v Madison was SCOTUS telling the other two branches, by fiat, that only SCOTUS could render a final, authoritative interpretation of the Constitution. Rather like asking the foxes who should have charge of the hen house, don’t you think?
Jefferson clearly understood Marbury to be a self-serving and unwarranted arrogation of power that was destructive to the principles of the Republic:
“It is a very dangerous doctrine to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions. It is one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”
As to the remedy? Men and women of principle in the other two branches who have the courage of their convictions, who are willing to defy an unconstitutional judicial fiat of self-imposed constitutional ignorance, who will fulfill the duty of their oath to act within constitutional boundaries even if others by droves are abandoning their post.
From the closing paragraphs of the majority opinion:
Why does a judge swear to discharge his duties agreeably to the constitution of the United States, if that constitution forms no rule for his government? if it is closed upon him and cannot be inspected by him.
If such be the real state of things, this is worse than solemn mockery. To prescribe, or to take this oath, becomes equally a crime.
It is also not entirely unworthy of observation, that in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land, the constitution itself is first mentioned; and not the laws of the United States generally, but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the constitution, have that rank.
Thus, the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written constitutions, that a law repugnant to the constitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument.
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