Ramblings from Georgia

Personhood and Human Life Amendments: Is there a difference?

Posted by apacheangel on April 23, 2011

In the pro-life community, much ado has been made about personhood amendments and human life amendments. This is the perceived “back door” to outlawing abortion. The “all-or-nothing” crowd of the pro-life community generally opposes these measures as being either ineffective or just plain wrong. However, there should be a distinction made between the two.

A human life amendment, as a general rule, states simply that life begins at the moment of conception (some versions specify fertilization), and that the right to life is paramount. A Georgia Senator proposed such a bill this past session. It may be read here.

A personhood amendment provides for equality of rights for all human beings from the moment of conception to natural death.

The problem with personhood amendments is that it assumes that government grants rights. To state that the government is now providing for equality of rights implies that they have the power to grant rights which are given us by God.

The problem with human rights amendments is that the only abortions they would stop would be those performed in government clinics, or those funded by government insurance programs. Very few realize that laws restrict people. Constitutions restrict government. A constitutional amendment would restrict government actions, so, while a human life amendment MIGHT pave the way for outlawing abortion, it wouldn’t outlaw it altogether.


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