Georgia Constitution Human Life Amendment

My family and I recently watched Amazing Grace, a film about the life and work of William Wilberforce. Wilberforce, an English politician of the late 18th to early 19th century, dedicated his life to the principal that all men of every race are created equal and are equally endowed with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Fighting tirelessly for decades against what at first seemed an impossible battle, the work of Wilberforce and his abolitionist comrades eventually led to the Slave Trade Act of 1807 and paved the way for the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which ended the practice of slavery throughout the British Empire.

In one of the film's many memorable scenes, Wilberforce is gambling against the Duke of Clarence. When he runs out of cash, the Duke calls for his carriage driver, a Black slave, who he offers as a part of his wager. Disgusted, Wilberforce throws down his hand and leaves the scene. How dare a man offer another man as chattel, worth nothing more than a few pounds at the market? When one people disregards the personhood of another people group, such loathsome scenes become a part of reality.

The personhood of human beings based on their race or social status is no longer seriously debated in the United States. Most Americans, myself included, can hardly comprehend how our country could have questioned anyone's humanity only a few generations ago. The debate of human personhood, however, is a debate that spans the entirety of history. We have seen it fought in modern Western society in the issues of slavery, during the Nazi Holocaust, and, most recently, in the abortion debate.

The pro-life side of the abortion debate says that all innocent human beings, from conception to natural death, are created equally and deserve the equal protection of law. The pro-abortion side of the debate says that women should have the right to end their pregnancy, even at the expense of the life of the unborn child. The pro-abortion community generally justifies this by discounting the personhood of the unborn. This is easy to do since most people do not feel an emotional connection with a fetus in the same way they feel a connection to a more mature child: the unborn cannot speak for themselves; they cannot smile, laugh, chatter or cry; there are few pictures of the unborn that anyone ever sees. It is easy, therefore, to marginalize them, to make claims subjective claims about them, and to use technical language to obfuscate their personhood until the practice of abortion sounds as simple and routine as an appendectomy.

But what differences are there between you, me and the unborn fetus? Size? I weigh 170 pounds whereas an unborn child may weigh a few grams or less. The unborn child is not as fully-developed as you or I. The fetus is inside a womb and is dependent on his mother's life for his own life. But since when do size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency make one human less of a person than another human?

The 2008 legislative session of the Georgia State Legislature will be given the opportunity to establish, in law, the personhood of the unborn. Georgia Right to Life and the pro-life movement in Georgia are working to pass a Human Life Amendment, which would give full legal protection to every human at every state of his development. It will be an uphill battle, but I pray that, like the slavery battles of the 19th century, our children's children will look back at this age of abortion and wonder how America ever became so confused to allow dehumanization, even for a while.


Paramount right to life. (a) The rights of every person shall be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life. The right to life is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person. (b) With respect to the fundamental and inalienable rights of all persons guaranteed in this Constitution, the word 'person' applies to all human beings, irrespective of age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency, including unborn children at every state of their biological development, including fertilization.

Please go to www.personhood.net and show your support by signing the petition and getting involved.




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