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Pro-Life Groups Launch New Push for 'Personhood' Amendment

However, effort to give fetuses the same rights as people faces in an uphill battle in state Legislature.

On the heels of the passage of a new law requiring women to get ultrasounds before having abortions, Wisconsin's pro-life movement is making a renewed push for the passage of a "personhood" amendment to the state Constitution.

State Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere) is seeking legislative sponsors for a proposed amendment that would give fetuses the same constitutional rights as individuals. At the same time, the group Pro-Life Wisconsin has created a new website and launched a petition drive aimed at pressuring state lawmakers to support the amendment. The measure also has the support of Wisconsin Family Action and national anti-abortion groups.

And Pro-Life Wisconsin is making no secret what it's intention is for pushing for the amendment.

“The personhood amendment seeks to end abortion in Wisconsin, not to regulate or restrict it,” Matt Sande, Pro-Life Wisconsin's director of legislation, said in a statement. “It seeks to end all violence toward preborn children in Wisconsin – surgical, chemical, experimental, etc. – at all stages of development. If we are to be truly just as a people, our civil law must recognize and protect all human beings as ‘persons.’"

Jacque's proposal would add language to the Constitution that says: "As applied to the right to life, the terms 'people' and 'person' shall apply to every human being at any stage of development."It also would remove the word "born" from the phrase "all people are born free and independent" in the Constitution.

Part of a National Movement

The effort comes four months before citizens of North Dakota are set to vote on a personhood amendment in that state's Constitution. The North Dakota Legislature in March became the first in the nation to pass such a measure, according to the Huffington Post. In Iowa, an effort for a personhood amendment also is under way.

And the national group Personhood USA claims to have nearly 2 million people who have signed an online petition banning abortions in every case.

But organizers face an uphill battle in trying to change Wisconsin's Constitution. The measure would first have to be passed by both the House and Assembly in two consecutive legislative sessions before it would go to the voters. Jacque proposed the same amendment last session and failed to get much support.

And state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R- West Bend) told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "The bill didn't go anywhere last year and I wouldn't expect it to go anywhere this year."

State's Largest Pro-Life Group Opposes Measure

The prospects of passage also are slim because the state's largest anti-abortion group — Wisconsin Right to Life — strongly opposes the measure. The group says the personhood amendment is "wrong for Wisconsin" and would actually hurt pro-life efforts in the state.

Wisconsin is one of the few states to have a law on the books that bans abortions. Although that law has been rendered unenforceable by court rulings, Jacque and other abortion opponents hope to see it automatically revived if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, the Journal Sentinel reported.

However, Wisconsin Right to Life says a personhood amendment would make the law that prohibits abortion invalid. 

The group also says enacting the law could cost up to $4 million and it would be likely challenged in court. 

"Supporting a costly effort like a personhood amendment, which is risky and unnecessary, has the very real potential of causing more harm than good," the group says on its website.

However, Pro-Life Wisconsin and Jacque say the amendment would not invalidate the existing law, and cite an analysis by the Wisconsin Legislative Council, a nonpartisan state agency, which says the the current law "appears to complement rather than conflict with the proposed constitutional amendment."

The push for the personhood amendment comes just after Gov. Scott Walker signed into a law a measure that would require women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. That law was challenged in court and a federal judge has put it on hold until Thursday.

Cindy July 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM
who - who - would make such a stupid amendment..... a bunch of men
Roger Goppelt July 15, 2013 at 02:57 PM
The republicans have sure created a lot of jobs .The mining company jut brought in an out of state security firm. I think they created some jobs from people from Arizona. How many jobs will the personhood amendment create? If a women is a victim of rape, will this amendment prevent her from taking the morning after pill? Will anyone taking that pill be commiting a crime? Will a women who has a miscarriage be subject to investigation? Will a pregnant women immediately qualify for a tax deduction for the fetus?
WIRSOL July 15, 2013 at 03:02 PM
I can tell that there are many that do not remember the days before Roe V Wade and the number of women that died because of botched abortions in back alleys by butchers. They don't remember the infections that women would endure and die from, the infertility that would follow a botched abortion, that could have been done in a medical facility had it only been legal. This is more than just about my right as a woman to dictate what is done or not done to MY body, not YOUR body but MY body, something that I should have carte blanche control over without the interference of a male dominated government. For all of you that would like to see the back alley abortions come back so you can ban the ability of a woman to make a decision about her own body, I do hope that it is your daughters, sisters, nieces and grand daughters that suffer the consequences of the decision you made about their bodies. I hope that the grand children you desired will never come because the woman was forced to get an illegal abortion and thus it took her fertility too due to the inept job of the abortionist and lack of aftercare and preoperative care. I believe that is the only way to get the point across to those that do not seem to understand that my body belongs to me not the greater good of the United Socialist States. How about this, when men are discovered inept, unworthy, low sperm count, or any other dysfunction we just castrate them, I doubt that it would be good for the species if some of those males allowed to reproduce unfettered. This would also stop unwanted pregnancy to boot. For many times it is one male inpregnating many which to me would produce many more unwanted pregnancies. Males always seem to get off the hook in regard to birth control or abortion. If it weren't for them sticking it unprotected in places it shouldn't be, we wouldn't be having a conversation about banning abortions. MEN NEED to take as much responsibility for unwanted pregnancies as mothers are forced to do and then punished when they decide they do not wish carry the child to term. This law like many others was not written with the people in mind but the 2014 & 2016 elections in mind. This also holds true with Obamacare that has now been postponed in its implementation until AFTER the next presidential election. TIME TO TAKE BACK OUR GOVERNMENT FROM THE TYRANY THAT HAS DUG ITS CLAWS IN... VOTE OUT ANY AND ALL INCUMBENTS, NO ONE SHOULD MAKE A CAREER OUT OF BEING A POLITICIAN, IT DOES NOTHING BUT CORRUPT. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." - Lord Acton
Greg July 15, 2013 at 03:10 PM
What do jobs have to do with abortion? Argue abortion on its merits or lack thereof. While I agree that this is a waste of time, I really don't think that it has any legs and therefore isn't worth wasting perfectly useless lefty talking points.
Keith Schmitz July 15, 2013 at 03:11 PM
By the time the mine creates the first job -- if they ever do -- the train manufacturer and related industries would have created a thousand.
robert heule July 15, 2013 at 03:14 PM
I want retroactive Social Security to cover the nine months preceding my legal birth.
B. Guenther July 15, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Keith, Do you mean the highspeed rail system (Doyle's Folly)? That train was going to be bought in Spain and the tickets would have been subsidized with tax payer dollars. How about the trolley (Barrett's Folly). They would have ripped up gas and power lines, charged the tax payers for it and then used government money to subsidize the fare. Here is one sure way to see if a project/business will be profitable...If a private entity is willing to invest then it is profitable.
B. Guenther July 15, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Roger, Tell me, why was security needed in the first place? And no, I am not missing the point.
Desiree May July 15, 2013 at 04:41 PM
This has nothing to do with job creation. It is absolutely disgusting to think that a bunch of government men assume they have the right to dictate what life means and try to stop abortions. They want to reverse Roe V. Wade? What in the hell is wrong with these people?? Right to life? Every single egg in my body has a chance at life. Should I stop having my period, then? I mean.. my body releases and egg that's just wasted every month. And heaven forbid a man masturbate. All that wasted sperm! Millions of potential babies, gone. You could repopulate the earth. Sound stupid? Yeah, so does the argument that the fetus deserves the same rights and treatment as a living, breathing, functioning human being. Please.
michael hanson July 15, 2013 at 04:43 PM
"...give fetuses the same constitutional rights as individuals." Do they get to vote?
Keith Schmitz July 15, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Not if they're African-American.
Greg July 15, 2013 at 04:55 PM
"Do they get to vote?" Yep, just as soon as they turn 18.
Keith Schmitz July 15, 2013 at 04:59 PM
The smartest boy in class. Get your gold star and pint of milk.
Greg July 15, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Keith, Maybe you can explain to Daisy May the difference between having her period and making a baby.
Dave Koven July 15, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Letting fetuses vote would give new meaning to "stuffing the ballot box". LOL
Steve ® July 15, 2013 at 06:19 PM
*Golf clap*
The Anti-Alinsky July 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM
FTT wrote: “You, know Anti. For once you are actually right. The TeaPublicans have no interest in creating policies to lower taxes…return local control … or creating an environment to grow business and create…They are only interested in taking away our voting rights…and the rights of women's healthcare…They ahve no interest in governing. For once, Anti. You are totally right.” FTT, you should know I am almost always right. I find it interesting that you quoted very Liberal sources to back up your assertions: I know what I pay in taxes. Wisconsin is still one of the highest tax burdens in the Midwest, but at least we are headed in the right direction. At least I will be getting an extra $200 back on my taxes this year. I know local control has been returned, I talk to my alderman and other local officials. We would have had massive layoffs and cuts in services without those changes. I know what affect Governor Walker and the Republican policies have on the business environment. We are now 14th in the nation for overall PRIVATE investment, 5th for manufacturing. Your sources conveniently ignored all that, didn’t they? We are starting to go in the right direction but Wisconsin Budget Project, Madison Newspapers and the hack that wrote the Reuters article (using Anti-Abortion gave it away) are just political tools for the left to continue their march towards higher taxes and bigger government!
The Anti-Alinsky July 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Desiree May wrote: "This has nothing to do with job creation..." Desiree, tax policies are not the only thing Legislators do. Building an economic environment for job growth is just one of many jobs Scott Walker and the Republicans have in order to get us out of the mess that Diamond Jim Doyle and the rest of the Democrats put us in.
Keith Schmitz July 16, 2013 at 01:06 PM
1) Walker didn't run on busting unions, thrusting probes and suppressing votes. He ran on jobs... 2) ...which, he has done badly at. Once something gets lodged in your skull, nothing blasts it out. Wisconsin was 11th in job creation up until Walker's budget. The Democrats gave Walker a job creating economy. Walker turned it into a job losing economy. Repeating a lie over and over again does not transform it into the truth.
Greg July 16, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Keith, You lying old fool. I have proven it to you time and again that WI was not 11th in job creation under Doyle. That was a Mike Tate Lie and your wet brain prevents you from processing that. You have no grounds to speak to the truth.
Keith Schmitz July 16, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Beyond your childish rants, you have proven nothing except you can't work Google.
Greg July 16, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Put up or shut up Keif. Come up with something, that is not based on the Mike Tate lie, that proves me wrong.
Greg July 16, 2013 at 01:53 PM
The month Doyle was elected Wisconsin had 2,816,500 jobs. The month that Walker was elected Wisconsin had 2,772,800. This was in the month of Doyle's best job creation rating of 13th, but as you can see Doyle had a net 44,000 job loss. YEA Doyle...
Keith Schmitz July 16, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Link? Or did you make that up?
Greg July 16, 2013 at 02:02 PM
http://wpcarey.asu.edu/bluechip/jobgrowth/secure_historical.cfm You have to enter "Wisconsin" "Statewide" "Total non farm" in the drop downs. There are 3 charts that give numbers, %, and ranking.
Keith Schmitz July 16, 2013 at 02:12 PM
We've been through this before. When the economy started picking up nationally in January 2010 until Walker's budget kicks in in June 2011, jobs grew by 41,000 over a year and a half -- under Doyle. From then on until now two years, jobs grows by roughly 21,000 under Walker. Thanks for your help.
Greg July 16, 2013 at 02:20 PM
Well where is Doyle's rating of 11th? Lie #1 - "Wisconsin was 11th in job creation up until Walker's budget." Lie #2 - "The Democrats gave Walker a job creating economy. Walker turned it into a job losing economy."
Greg July 16, 2013 at 02:26 PM
"jobs grew by 41,000 over a year and a half -- under Doyle" And Doyle ended his terms with a net loss of 44,000 jobs, which just shows how really bad he was. Yea Doyle...
Greg July 16, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Was Doyle's plan for job creation be to announce that he was not running for a third term? Yea Doyle...
Steve ® July 16, 2013 at 03:00 PM
But but the train was going to create millions of jobs. Yea Doyle...

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