Tag Archives: personhood
A response to the February 8 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Politifact article; by Dan Becker, President Georgia Right to Life
Your February 8th Politifact-Georgia article: “Abortion foe overreaches in describing context of court ruling” suggested I misread a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling.
The ruling upheld—and even expanded—a lower court decision that applied the state’s chemical endangerment statute to pre-born children.
The lower court only said the endangerment statue applies to viable pre-born children. The Supreme Court expanded the meaning to pre-born children at all stages of development.
The court’s decision did advance the cause of protecting innocent life by in effect applying personhood status to a new area of Alabama law.
Your article incorrectly pointed to a South Carolina ruling as proof that the decision was not unique. That’s not an apples-to-apples comparison since the South Carolina ruling only applied to a viable fetus, not pre-viable as the Alabama ruling does. This latest ruling extended personhood status for the first time to all pre-born children in a different area of Alabama law without juridical restrictions on viability.
In a concurring opinion, Justice Tom Parker said Roe v. Wade—aside from authorizing the right to abortion—was not relevant in deciding the case.
“Subsequently, Roe has sometimes been misread as holding that those unborn children are not persons and do not have the same fundamental rights as does every other person, which rights are protected by law. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
This encouraging decision reflects a broader nationwide trend aimed at establishing personhood status to all children from the moment of conception.
A few recent examples include:
- Last August, 66 percent of Georgia Republican voters approved a non-binding primary ballot question calling on the state to place human rights amendment before all voters.
- This month, the North Dakota House of Representatives and the Montana Senate approved bills that grant legal protection to children at all stages of development.
These, and developments in other states, prove that the tide is indeed turning as more and more people recognize that it’s time to end the culture of death that has plagued our nation for 40 years. That shadow has resulted in the death of more than 55 million innocent children.
That’s why our opponents are so worried; they know Georgia, and many other states, are rejecting the idea that some lives are more valuable than others.
I have been born. My mom and dad are ecstatic.
For those of you who have been following my development, thank you. I hope that you have also used these last nine months to pray for all the pre-born children whose lives are in danger from abortion.
I am so glad that my mommy and daddy chose Life for me. All babies deserve a birthday.
October 2: week 28
Whoa! I’ve had trouble with my balance but it is getting better. I’m going to be in my first Life Chain today. The cars might not notice me but my mom will. Not much room to wave in here, but my eyes are opening, so I guess I’ll just practice blinking at everyone. I weigh about 2 pounds. Mom’s talking about different names for me. Hey, mom, how about Chris?
October 9: week 29
I am about 14 inches tall now and growing really fast. I try to stretch out and mom can feel me move about. You could hear my heartbeat if you put your ear on my mommy’s tummy. If I were born now, I’d have an 85% chance of survival because my lungs have been getting stronger. Sometimes mom has a craving. I really like the ice cream; pickles, not so much.
October 16: week 30
I have doubled in size over the last 4 weeks and it is really getting cramped in here. I don’t have as much room to do my exercises. My muscle tone is better, though, and my body is filling out with baby fat. I have nice fine hair growing on my head. I can recognize my mom’s voice. I know that she is feeling a lot of aches and pains and discomfort, but she knows that she will be seeing me real soon.
October 23: week 31
I must be getting younger. The wrinkles that I had everywhere are slowly disappearing. I used to have a big head, but now that I’m gaining weight, my body is catching up. I can move my eyes, but it is still pretty dark in here. I can hear my mom. I can’t wait to see her.
October 30: week 32
I weigh three pounds now and will gain about a half pound each week until birth. It’s really cramped now, so I have assumed the “fetal” position. I can see, but I don’t have 20/20 vision. In fact, I won’t have 20/20 vision until I’m about 7 years old–hopefully. Mom is pretty uncomfortable right now. When she sleeps on her side, I really like snuggling into the mattress.
September 4th: Week 24
I have fine hair all over my body that is there to protect my skin. I will lose this before being born. I’m a little thin at this point but am putting on more baby fat. My eyes are formed, but my iris has no color. I think I want brown eyes. I weigh over a pound and am about a foot long. If I was born today, I’d have a fighting chance to survive. (about 50%)
September 11: Week 25
I’m really beginning to bulk up. I gained 6 ounces this week! I think most of it was muscle but also some bone mass and some organ development. My taste buds allow me to distinguish between bitter, sweet and sour. My lungs have developed so well, I’m now officially considered viable. I could live outside my mom. My parents have each contributed 15,000 genes that determined not only what I look like, but how I taste stuff, how athletic I will be, any allergies I might have and so much more. Ain’t genes great!! Especially if my dad is an athlete. Tee-hee-hee.
September 18: Week 26
Thousands and thousands of brain cells are growing in my head every day. That’s very cool. I’ll soon have billions of them. I can make a fist and grasp things. My spine is beginning to form to protect my spinal cord. I’m covered by a white cheesy substance that protects my skin. But, don’t worry, Mom, it comes off right after birth. Mom can also tell when I have the hiccups.
September 25: Week 27
My taste buds continue to form. I can taste sweet things now. My mom likes chocolate and so do I! A bright light can be seen by me through my mommy’s tummy. I have eyelashes and eyebrows, now. My fingerprints are fully formed and they are growing. I might need them clipped when I’m born. Mom’s womb is about the size of a soccer ball. Can I call her my “Soccer Mom?”
Georgia Right to Life is surprisingly like the farmer in Jesus’ parable. Like him, we sow seeds of truth—God’s truth about His gift of life. In our case, it is His truth about the preciousness of physical life, while the parable is about eternal life.
Like the biblical farmer, we sow broadly, and our planting has similar results: Some seeds land on inhospitable ground and fail to grow to maturity. But other seeds fall on good soil. They grow well. They multiply into an abundant harvest.
We at Georgia Right to Life sow the message of the sanctity of life. We sow it in the fields of public opinion and in the fields of broken lives. We scatter our seed far and wide and then we cultivate it…and we pray.
In the short-term, we enjoy a bountiful harvest. A harvest of changed hearts and minds. A harvest of saved unborn lives, saved one at a time. A harvest of mothers spared damage and regret. It is demanding work that must be done day after day, every day. As we work, we put our trust in the Lord of the harvest.
Imagine holding in your hand, a single stalk of wheat. In your hand is the fruit of the harvest.
“To be honest, when I found out I was pregnant, I Googled ‘abortion’ and your site popped up. When I called the help-line, I was encouraged and realized that I was not alone. This help-line played a big role in me deciding to keep my baby. Thanks so much!”
Georgia Right to Life keeps planting the truth and cultivating it for the coming harvests. The ultimate harvest we all want is justice—justice restored to all persons, born and unborn, in our state and in our country.
And you and I can already see many signs of that future harvest sprouting. You can see more and more states, like Georgia, adopting Personhood as their pro-life message for the 21st Century. You can see more and more young people getting involved as pro-life apologists through our Campus Outreach. We trust you will see more and more abortion clinics closing and Planned Parenthoods going out of business as they lose state and federal tax dollars. We trust you will see more and more politicians closing the loophole of rape and incest in abortion laws.
For the coming harvests, the seeds of God’s truth are available, but the truth is not enough. The seeds of truth must be planted broadly, and the workers are few. We must continue to get the seeds into the needy fields of individual lives and of culture. So this is where you come in.
We need “seed” money to equip young people to winsomely advocate for Personhood on college campuses all over Georgia through our displays and our training.
We need “seed” money to develop and refine our websites so that we are the premier source of 21st Century pro-life educational and reference materials in Georgia.
We need “seed” money so that we can buy more billboard space to connect young women in unplanned pregnancies to the help they need.
We need “seed” money so that we will continue to be leaders in the Personhood movement that is starting to sweep the country.
Clearly, some of us are still going through tough times. But it is precisely at times like these that we need to till and to plant.
I am praying earnestly that this letter will generate much needed seed money. Can I count on your generous gift? Can you send a check for $15? Or, perhaps you could send $25, $50, or even $100. I’m also praying that some of you may consider a tax-deductible gift of $500 or $1,000.
We are preparing the soil, and we are ready to plant. Come, sow seeds with us.
Together for Life,
Daniel C. Becker
|Please mark October 27th, 2011 on your calendar. It is our annual REACH dinner at the Cobb Galleria. Jennifer Lahl will be our speaker. More information will be available soon.|
Visit our Virtual Holocaust Memorial Wall at www.personhood.net. The Personhood website is filled with valuable information on 21st Century life issues.
Also, we have a secure server for your donations at Donations for GRTL.
Remember: If you would like to receive a tax deduction for your donation, please make your check out to GRTL Educational Trust Fund.
A crowning worth writing about…
by Ashley Wiktorek on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 11:09pm
To look back two years ago, I could have never imagined that moment when God blessed me and I was crowned Miss Right to Life of Georgia 2010 last July. I have never participated in a pageant before and I never considered myself the stereotypical ‘pageant type’. However, if ever there was a pageant for me to be a part of then Miss Right to Life was exactly the pageant. It is a scholarship and benefit pageant that stands up for its beliefs and we practice what we teach. With all the profits of the pageant going to Georgia Right to Life and the mission statement, “Mentoring and fostering a respect for human life while touching hearts, changing minds, and saving lives.” It is a pageant that was created and established by a small board of young women with the purpose of being proactive and allowing their voices to be heard for the Pro-life community. I wanted to be a part of this purpose. Forget what the media’s stereotype is of pageants. I may walk on a stage with a pretty dress and smile, but as Miss Right to Life of Georgia that is only two minutes of my year reign.
A year of reigning to make others smile through community service from baking cookies and singing to the patients at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home to walking in the together for life march in Atlanta, Ga. To top it all off, the highlight of my year when we signed pictures while dancing with the Olympians of the Cobb County’s special Olympics. No matter where I go, I attempt to always wear my title of Miss Right to Life of Georgia 2010 held high. I brought that title with me to Liberty University where I was able to share about the purpose of our pageant to many on my hall and my professors. I even got to meet Ms. Lila Rose, the president of liveaction.org. Overall this year, I reigned to the best of my ability and I would have not had a year reign without God guiding me every step.
I look back on my year as Miss Right to Life and I see a pageant that is creating young girls to be proud women of God. As I told the judges around this time a year ago…It is not about me having confidence in myself but in my Savior. My goal as Miss Right to Life of Georgia was not to be a role model but to be the best woman of God that I could be. In the process of this transformation, I have noticed that maybe I do want to be a woman a girl can look up too. In society today, the word ‘normal’ for us has become young women assuming something is wrong with them if they do not look like a girl in a magazine to MTV marketing teen moms and making their show one of the most popular among the nation. If you ask a middle school girl in today’s society, she will most likely say the norm is sex and drinking. Well if my beliefs seem to be radical because I refuse to let this be my ‘norm’, then call me radical. Miss Right to life is not about molding girls into something they are not and piling extreme amount of makeup on their faces. Our pageant is about showing the world every individual’s natural God given beauty.
God has transformed me into who I am. Why be what society calls normal when we were created to be set apart from the ‘world’. I am nowhere near perfect, but as it is written in Songs of Solomon, “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (4:7). So no matter what anyone thinks about me or the words they try to use to bring me down, I as Miss Right to Life and as Ashley Elizabeth Wiktorek stand strong to my beliefs. With my feet planted firmly, I praise the love God has for me because in the end, the only crowning worth writing about is Him, Jesus Christ.
July 3rd – Week 15
Chris’ taste buds are working! Chris drinks more amniotic fluid and it tastes sweet. Chris’ pain sensory system is developing, but who would want to hurt Chris? Chris may be small, but he is growing fast. Mother enjoys the fireworks and celebrates the birth of our nation, but Chris doesn’t hear anything yet.
July 10th – Week 16
“Soon I will be able to grasp with my hands. What will I grasp? My other hand. Did you know that I have my own unique fingerprints, now? My fingernails and toenails are growing. I also have an adult’s taste buds. My eyebrows and hair on my head are sprouting. But it will probably change color and texture after birth. I’m kicking, twisting, and flailing really hard. But, mom can’t feel me moving, yet.”
July 17th – Week 17
“I’m getting a little baby fat under my skin. My heart is pumping as much as 6 gallons a day at a rate about double my mom’s. I can swim and kick and do somersaults! I’m the same size as my placenta now. I’m not a lightweight anymore – I weigh almost six ounces and I am about three inches long. I will keep growing until I’m 23 years old. I wonder how big I’m going to be?”
Mom might be able to hear tiny thumps of Chris’ heartbeat with an external monitor now.
July 24th – Week 18
“When I am sleeping, I have REM which means I am dreaming, but I can’t remember my dreams. My vocal cords have formed but I don’t make a sound–must be because there is no air in here. Isn’t it amazing that I’m able to breathe ‘underwater,’ inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid? I’m working on developing great lungs.”
Mother may begin to feel Chris flutter in her lower abdomen.
July 31st – Week 19
Chris can hear his mother’s heartbeat and some other funny noises that she makes. He is beginning to know her voice. His umbilical cord is an engineering marvel. It transports 300 quarts of fluid per day and completes a round trip of fluids every 30 seconds.
“Wow. I really like sucking my thumb! I wonder if mom is starting to ‘show’ me now.”
It seems that Personhood is repeatedly in the news – and rightfully so. Support is swelling right here in Georgia and across the nation for the personhood initiatives that seek to protect all human life from conception forward as a matter of constitutional law. It would restore respect and effective legal protection for all human beings, including the unborn. The idea is simple and bold and ultimately, may provide a direct challenge to the central holding of Roe v Wade, the landmark decision that made abortion legal in the United States.
In our time of science and technology, we know that life begins at conception. It would seem that confusion still exists. Modern medicine is not confused, however. The unborn child is their patient in genetic problems, vitamin deficiencies, spina bifida and more. Consider the case of Samuel, a Georgia boy, operated on at 7 months of pregnancy. The surgery helped repair a major spinal defect and a healthy, active baby boy was the result. I have seen him captivate a room full of people with his bright, smiling face and of course, his favorite truck! Who is the patient, but a tiny unborn human being? These days we protect turtles, wolves, eagles, and whales, and yet we “do away” with babies at the rate of over 400,000 per year.
Legalized abortion has been a part of the American cultural scene since 1973. In the Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Harry Blackmun said that, “(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the 14th Amendment.” If an unborn child is a person, then their right to life trumps their mother’s right to choose their death. With the states passing of the Personhood Amendment the litigation would eventually be taken up by the Supreme Court. Whether the Supreme Court acts – or how – is an open debate. Previous challenges and pro-life strategies have been viewed in the courts as an attempt to take away from the rights of the mother. The recognition of unborn children as persons does not take away from the mother but recognizes unborn children with all legal rights and protection due them under the 14th amendment.
We cannot continue to diminish the value of any one category of human life – the unborn – without diminishing the value of all human life. The personhood of the unborn child is the single point on which the entire debate turns. This is not the first time America has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of human lives. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was not overturned in a year, or even a decade. The good news was that the minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed. It will take time to educate, clearly frame and present the issue at hand. Change is possible, however… and it begins with you and with me.
Let Georgia Right to Life help you educate your local chapter, your church or the citizens of your community on the value of Personhood. Contact Suzanne Ward, Director of Public Relations & Education, at email@example.com.