By Hannah Carter, Director of Education
The year is 1906 and a young man by the name of Ota Benga, a Congolese pygmy, is put on display in a monkey house with an orangutan to show the effects of human evolution. He has no rights as a person because society views him as an animal, an extension of evolution. Subsequently, Ota Benga is sold to the highest bidder and Ota’s owner decides what he should do with “his property.” After public outcry from some clergy, Ota is removed from the zoo. He goes to live in an orphanage, but still faces taunts from others. In 1916, he becomes depressed and commits suicide. His personhood is robbed from him and so is his dignity.
One hundred years later, the situation is very similar. In 2006, Dr. Matthew Kuchinas of Sarasota, FL mistakenly aborts the wrong twin in a selective reduction procedure. Dr. Kuchinas believed that one of
the twins had Down syndrome and a possible heart defect. One week after aborting “the wrong child,” he informed the parents and they requested that the other child be aborted. The doctor later had his license revoked for killing the “wrong” unborn baby. Why was the child with Down syndrome deemed as the child undeserving of life? Was he any less human than his twin? Because of a series of genetic tests, he was deemed a non-person because he had the chance of being born with a disability.
We face a real moral tragedy in America today. Ota Benga was denied personhood because he was different; those twins were denied their personhood because they were unwanted or deemed disabled. Defending the personhood of children in the womb, persons with disabilities, and the elderly is at the heart of the 21st century battle for the preservation of the sanctity of life of all persons.
Can something be done?
On July 20, 2010, voters from across this state will be given the opportunity to do something by voting for the Personhood Amendment Ballot Initiative. Each voter in the counties that have been certified to have it on the ballot will have the chance to tell their representative where they stand on the life issue by answering this question: “Do you support an amendment to the Georgia state constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the earliest biological beginning until natural death?”
The outcome of this ballot serves as a barometer to let your elected officials know what your county believes about protecting human life. In 2008, the citizens of Forsyth County voted on a similar question that asked voters if they would support an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that would establish the right to life for all humans from the moment of fertilization until natural death. 64% of the voters said YES!
This number matches the last major poll that was done in this state that showed that 57% of Georgians favor overthrowing Roe v. Wade.
Through the work of the Georgia Right to Life Chapters and a former state party chairman, forty-seven Republican Chairmen and one Democratic Chairman (Butts County) have requested their local Election Board to certify the question for the July Primary.
On July 20, 2010, I will be joining the pastors that stood up for Ota Benga in saying that no one’s personhood should be denied by voting for the Personhood Amendment Ballot Initiative. Every person deserves protection of their human dignity under the law. Remember your vote is your voice, so vote your principles in this election cycle.
The following counties will have the Personhood question on your ballot on the Republican ballot on July 20, 2010:
Appling, Bacon, Banks, Bartow, Brantley, Bulloch, Burke, Butts (Republican and Democrat ballots), Carroll, Chatham, Cherokee, Clayton, Coffee, Colquitt, DeKalb, Dooly, Fannin, Fulton, Glynn, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jones, Lamar, Liberty, Lowndes, Murray, Muscogee, Paulding, Pickens, Pierce, Spalding, Thomas, Tift, Towns, Troup, Twigs, Union, Walker, Walton, Ware, Wilcox, and Worth.
For More Questions about the Personhood Ballot Initiative, please call 770-339-6880 or visit PersonhoodAmendmentGA.com.