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Deep Concern Over Trump Nominee William Pryor for US Supreme Court

300px Supreme Court US 2010by Gualberto Garcia-Jones

Public Policy Director, Personhood Alliance

In a recent column about federal appellate judge William Pryor, who is on President-Elect Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees, I expressed concern that Pryor seemed too willing to serve the powers that be in the judiciary. His prosecution of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in 2003 when Pryor was Alabama Attorney General seemed a red flag to me. I was particularly disturbed by his misplaced comparison of himself to St. Thomas More. “Pryor’s prosecution of Chief Justice Moore,” I concluded, “should cast serious doubts upon his ability to resist the temptation of an all-powerful judiciary, one that makes lawyers into tyrants to rule over the nation.” “The Time One of Trump’s ‘Best’ Supreme Court Picks Destroyed a Christian Judge’s Career,” Lifesitenews.net (Dec. 13, 2016).
    But one need not go back 500 years in history to the time of St. Thomas More or even back to the prosecution of Chief Justice Moore in 2003 to prove Judge Pryor’s unfitness to succeed Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. In two cases decided on the same day in 2011, Judge Pryor as an Eleventh Circuit judge voted (1) that the Equal Protection Clause required reinstatement of a male employee who had been fired for wanting to appear at work dressed as a woman and (2) that a state university did not violate the speech or religious rights of a Christian student who was expelled from a graduate counseling program for refusing to submit to homosexual indoctrination. These radical liberal opinions, neither of which was in any sense required by precedent, indicate that Pryor would be a very dangerous pick for the Supreme Court.
    In Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312 (11th Cir. 2011), Pryor joined two other liberal judges in a unanimous opinion that a male employee who was fired after announcing that he would henceforth be dressing as a woman at work was protected from “employment discrimination” by the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Engaging in a radical expansion of sex-discrimination law, Pryor voted that firing a man who wanted to dress like a woman at work was “sexual stereotyping” forbidden by a 1989 Supreme Court decision. But even minds far less sophisticated than Judge Pryor understand that requiring a man not to wear a dress at work is not “sexual stereotyping,” but simple recognition of the Biblical and anatomical fact that God has created us male and female. Genesis 5:2. In Keeton v. Anderson-Wiley, 664 F.3d 865 (11th Cir. 2011), a student, who wished to be able to counsel patients that homosexuality was not a healthy lifestyle, was expelled from a masters-degree program in counseling at Augusta State University in Georgia after refusing to attend a “reeducation” program to change her Christian beliefs. Judge Pryor joined an opinion that found the expulsion did not violate her free speech or religious rights.
    These atrocious decisions in my view completely disqualify Judge Pryor as a successor to Justice Scalia who, I imagine, would have written stinging dissents in both cases. Even more disturbing, however, is the prospect that President-Elect Trump’s first Supreme Court appointment, if confirmed by the end of March, will join the Court in time to rule on a pending case in which a girl, under the delusion that she is a boy, is seeking access to the boy’s rest room at a Virginia high school. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled last spring that the Obama administration directive to all public schools that they must allow such nonsense at the risk of losing federal funding was entitled to “deference” as a discretionary administrative act. Do we really want to have Judge Pryor sitting on the Supreme court to decide this case, when he ruled only five years ago that a man pretending to be a woman in the workplace was protected from being fired by the U.S. Constitution? This is originalism? Did the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 really contemplate that people who want to change into the opposite sex were covered by the Equal Protection Clause? Was the Civil War fought to enable men to invade women’s bathrooms and vice versa?
    Pryor is a strange bird. Although he had called Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law,” at his confirmation hearing to be a judge on the Eleventh Circuit he genuflected to Roe v. Wade. Asked how, if confirmed, he would handle an abortion case, he saluted the abortion flag. “Even though I strongly disagree with Roe v. Wade I have acted in accordance with it as Attorney General and would continue to do so as a Court of Appeals Judge.”  “Can we rely on that?” the committee chairman asked. Pryor’s answer? “You can take it to the bank, Mr. Chairman.” When asked if he would like to see Roe v. Wade reversed, he first refused to give a straight answer and then said that he had recently urged the Nebraska Attorney General, who then had an abortion case pending before the Supreme Court, not to request the Court to overrule Roe v. Wade. When a Senator said that his answer made no sense in light of his opinion of the illegitimacy of Roe v. Wade, Pryor said: “Well, Senator, all I can tell you is that the last time the Court had that opportunity, I urged my colleague not to present that question to the Court.”
    A recent CNN story described Pryor as a “top contender” to replace Scalia. If that is true, we all should be deeply concerned. If Roe has so corrupted the judiciary that no true pro-life judge can be found to succeed Scalia, then Mr. Trump should look beyond the judiciary for his nominee—perhaps to the Senator from Texas.


Alabama Supreme Court unanimously recognizes personhood of unborn children

pregnnt woman

Reprinted with permission from LifesiteNews

by Gualberto Garcia Jones, Public Policy Director, Personhood Alliance

January 4, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A unanimous opinion handed down the last day of 2016 by the Alabama Supreme Court is the latest in a growing body of state law extending personhood and the equal protection of the law to pre-born children in Alabama.

The personhood of the pre-born from the moment of conception has now been recognized by the Supreme Court of Alabama as it relates to the Homicide Act, the chemical endangerment statute and the Wrongful Death Act.

The facts of the case in Stinnett v. Kennedy revolve around the death of the pre-born child of Ms. Kimberly Stinnett due to the alleged malpractice of an obstetrician, Dr. Karla Kennedy.    

The main question faced by the Alabama Supreme Court was whether the Alabama Wrongful Death Act applied to pre-born children harmed by medical negligence before viability.  

Under review was the fact that during the trial, the lower trial court instructed the jury that Alabama law did not permit recovery for the loss of a "pregnancy" or the effects of the loss of the "pregnancy." In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Alabama reversed the decision of the trial court and remanded it for further proceedings that comport with its ruling that the preborn child is a person under the Wrongful Death Act.  

"This decision is the best way to begin the new year," stated Daniel Becker, president of the Personhood Alliance. "By insisting on the equal protection of the right to life of the preborn child from the moment of conception, Alabama is leading the nation in a return to a culture of life."

In its holding, the Supreme Court of Alabama conceded that while the term "minor child" was not defined within the Wrongful Death Act itself, its recent decisions have clearly defined the word "person" to include preborn children from the moment of conception without regard to viability.

Alabama becomes the seventh state (Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and West Virginia) to allow wrongful-death actions before the pre-born child becomes viable.

Steven Heninger, the attorney for Ms. Stinnett, told LifeSiteNews that his team was "confident that this decision would be the result because of precedent and common sense." Mr. Heninger also stated that while he does "not expect any attempt to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court," he does believe that the case will have some impact outside of Alabama.

The Stinnett case was very similar to the 2011 Mack case, however the defendant's main argument during the appeal was a novel one. Dr. Kennedy pointed out that according to Alabama's Homicide Act, which defines a person to include an "unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability," doctors are granted an exception from criminal prosecution when a "mistake, or unintentional error on the part of a licensed physician" causes the death of a "non-viable fetus." Dr. Kennedy argued that if doctors cannot be charged criminally for unintentionally harming a child, then they should not be civilly liable.

The court disagreed, explaining that while it would be unfair for a person to be subject to criminal punishment (which requires a higher burden of proof) but not civil liability, "it simply does not follow that a person not subject to criminal punishment under the Homicide Act should not face tort liability under the Wrongful Death Act."  

Dr. Kennedy also expressed concern that physicians treating women in early stages of pregnancy and women suffering active miscarriages need additional protection from civil liability. The court addressed this concern by pointing to the fact that the Alabama Medical Liability Act already requires plaintiffs to prove that the injury or death was "proximately caused by a deviation from the standard of care proven, generally, by expert testimony from a similarly situated healthcare provider."

Mr. Heninger told LifeSiteNews that "this case has clarified the law in Alabama by not extending criminal immunity to civil litigation where negligence has caused the death of a pre-viable fetus. The Court emphatically held that malpractice law gave sufficient protection to health care providers and that such immunity would be ill-advised."

While abortion itself was not an issue in the case, the viability standard, which currently determines which pre-born children receive protection under the law in relation to abortion, was once again forcefully rejected by the court as an "incoherent standard."

"Until the judiciary ceases to authorize and protect the dehumanization and destruction of children in the womb, we cannot expect to restore the rule of law in America," Steve Crampton, a Mississippi attorney who was a candidate for the state Supreme Court last year, told LifeSiteNews. "By recognizing the preborn child as a person and allowing a civil lawsuit seeking damages for the wrongful death of the child even before viability to proceed, the Alabama Supreme Court has once again taken the lead in attempting to restore some degree of respect for our courts and faith in our judicial system. "

In a specially poignant concurrence, Justice Thomas Parker summarized the court's jurisprudence with regard to the pre-born child in the following manner:

    We settled the incongruence between civil and criminal statutes in Mack, not by giving unborn children less protection under the law but by recognizing that unborn children, viable or not, were equally protected under the Wrongful Death Act. Likewise, in Ankrom and Hicks, although we applied the plain language of the chemical endangerment statute, we settled the controversy over whether the statute protected unborn and born children equally by holding in favor of the equal protection of life. Protecting the inalienable right to life is a proper subject of state action, and Alabama judges called upon to apply Alabama law should do so consistent with the robust, equal protection with which the Creator God endows and state-law guarantees to unborn children from the moment of conception.

Justice Parker, in his concurring opinion, instructed judges in Alabama on the proper application of the law with regard to pre-born children. "Members of the judicial branch of Alabama should do all within their power to dutifully ensure that the laws of Alabama are applied equally to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, both born and unborn."

In his remarkable concurrence, Justice Parker also cited the late Professor Charles Rice — one of the nation's first and most eloquent advocates of pre-born personhood — emphasizing that "even if one somehow does not concede that the child in the womb is a living human being, one ought at least to give him the benefit of the doubt. Our law does not permit the execution, or imprisonment under sentence, of a criminal unless his guilt of the crime charged is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The innocent child in the womb is entitled to have us resolve in his favor any doubts we may feel as to his living humanity and his personhood."

"This is one of the most pro-life opinions written by any American court since Roe v. Wade," Mr. Becker stated. "We are hopeful that other courts will follow Alabama's example and begin to recognize the equal protection of the right to life of the preborn child from conception."

ETHNE Talking Points and Press Release

Georgia Right to Life  Introduces Legislation to Protect the Mother and Child Impacted by In vitro Fertilization.

For Immediate Release: February 17, 2009

For Further Information: Dan Becker  678-524-9504
Lawrenceville, GA: 

Georgia Right to Life today announced the filing of The Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act in the Georgia Senate-SB 169.

It is apparent from the recent birth of octuplets to a southern California woman, that the fertility industry needs governmental oversight.  This industry is one of the most lucrative medical fields and among the least regulated.  In response to this need, Georgia State Sen. Ralph Hudgens along with other co-sponsors in the Senate leadership have introduced legislation that will place limits on the creation and transfer of embryos produced by In vitro fertilization (IVF). 



This bill is written to help reduce the attendant harm that could come to the mother and her children through the creation and implantation of more embryos than is medically recommended by industry watchdog groups like the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology” says Daniel Becker, President of Georgia Right to Life. 

“This bill would limit the number of embryos transferred in any given cycle to the same number that are fertilized, up to a maximum of three. This bill is similar to the same common-sense regulations passed in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy” said Becker. 

Georgia Right to Life supports Sen. Hudgens in this legislation and wants to see strong protections in place to stop the dangerous practice of implanting more embryos than is medically recommended, so as to prevent the high risk of multiple gestations, premature births and babies with low birth weight for their gestational age.  

Currently, the law requires that fertility clinics report their success rates to the Center for Disease Control (CDC.) By focusing on “success” the clinics are pitted against one another when marketing their services. “Due to a ‘for profit’ motive this can result in a serious compromise to the standard of care for the women and the children involved” says Daniel Becker, President of GRTL.
“Now is the time to develop regulatory oversight that would protect our women and children and provide legal protection to embryos as living human beings and not as property,” concludes Becker.

Georgia is the first state in the nation to file this legislation.  However, in Britain they have similar legislation, passed in 2004, that protects the embryo and the mother from these harmful practices.

Northern Ireland High Court Issues Death Penalty to Most Innocent and Discriminated Among Us

by Rebecca Kiessling, Personhood Alliance Board Member
Today I grieve for the innocent preborn children in Northern Ireland who will be put to death as a result of High Court Justice Mark Horner’s ghastly ruling -- just because they may be conceived in rape or because a doctor tags them with the diagnosis of “fatal foetal abnormality.”  Not only was I conceived in rape, nearly aborted, while legally protected by law at the time, but I also adopted a baby – Cassie – who was diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome and died in our arms at 33 days old.  Additionally, I’m also an attorney who has litigated numerous high-profile cases involving these issues, and I’m the founder and President of Save The 1 – a pro-life organization with hundreds of members of who were conceived in rape or incest, mothers who became pregnant by rape, and also hundreds who were given a challenging pre-natal diagnosis.   Given my background and expertise, I see it necessary to issue a thorough response to Justice Horner’s opinion and I’m hoping this will offer a new perspective for many.
 
In his ruling which was issued today, Justice Horner determined that Northern Ireland’s abortion ban (which permits abortion only to save the life of the mother) violates Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in the case of “fatal foetal abnormality” (FFA) throughout the full term of the pregnancy, and in the case of sexual crimes  -- rape and incest – only to the point of viability when the child can survive outside of the womb.
 
Here’s what Article 8 actually says:
 
Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
 
For those of us in the U.S. and/or who are very familiar with Griswold v Connecticut, which led to the subsequent ruling in Roe v Wade, the first item in Article 8 is the same kind of privacy right created by the U.S. Supreme Court in Griswold and then used by the Roe Court to legalize abortion for any reason in the United States.  But in the present case in Northern Ireland, the petitioner – The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission – was not seeking in this instance to establish a general right to an abortion.  The only reason that they didn’t is because of the 2010 European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) ruling of A, B and C v Ireland (Republic of Ireland) which specifically found that there is NOT a straightforward right to an abortion under the European Convention on Human Rights.
 
However, you can be assured that these cases are merely groundwork for abortion rights activists, and that they will be returning to establish a broader right, if they deem it to be necessary.  The abortion lobby may not end up feeling the need to do so if every woman seeking an abortion in Northern Ireland just has to say she was raped.  No guidelines were established by Justice Horner, so really, this ruling currently stands to allow abortion on demand for any reason, as long as a woman just says she was raped.  Norma McCorvey – Jane Roe from Roe v Wade – was told by her abortion rights attorneys to say she was gang raped, and this is absolutely a common tactic of the abortion industry.  Just imagine putting a rapist to death merely upon the assertion that a woman was raped!  Yet, that is what will happen here – only, it is the innocent child who would be put to death and not the alleged perpetrator.
 
Given section 2 of Article 8, Justice Horner was forced to consider the exceptions which allow the public authority to interfere with the exercise of such privacy rights.  He, of course, had to refer to the ECHR ruling in A, B and C v Ireland which found no right to an abortion, and in fact found that the interference was “in accordance with the law and necessary in a democratic society for one of the legitimate aims specified in Article 8 of the Convention,” that there was a wide measure of appreciation for the Republic of Ireland’s protection of the rights of the unborn due to the “profound moral views of the Irish people as to the nature of life,” and also because their Constitution guarantees the right to life from the date of conception.  Northern Ireland does not have such a guaranteed right -- merely an abortion ban statute, which demonstrates the need for nations to provide such a right within their constitutions.  This should be a pressing goal worldwide!
 
Justice Horner went on to analyze the arguments put forth by the Attorney General of Northern Ireland, which included the fact that Northern Irish pregnant women are not forbidden to travel to England to secure an abortion.  I agree with his conclusion here:  “If it is morally wrong to abort a foetus in Northern Ireland, it is just as wrong morally to abort the same foetus in England.  It does not protect morals to export the problem to another jurisdiction and then turn a blind eye.”  I can’t imagine an attorney general in Michigan arguing such a point – that a woman can just go to NY or wherever to obtain unrestricted access to an abortion.  You defend your own laws and don’t point to some other jurisdiction that doesn’t respect life.
 
In his ruling, Justice Horner also questions whether the abortion ban is intended to prevent abortions, or simply to forbid them from occurring in Northern Ireland, and he points out the fact that no evidence was put forth by either side to address this question.  I find this mind-boggling.  There must be some evidence to demonstrate how many women in Northern Ireland give birth after rape, or give birth after being given a diagnosis of a fatal fetal abnormality.  A commission was done in Northern Ireland this past year, and surely, surveys could have been implemented within hospitals upon women giving birth to try to ascertain how many are being born under these circumstances.  Even if you don’t have the percentages of how many are being saved by the law, you could still at least point to how many are being born.  Even if one life is saved, that child is worthy of protection.
 
Justice Horner complained that wealthy women could go to England for abortions, while it greatly affects the ability of impoverished women to terminate their pregnancies “if they cannot obtain charitable assistance”  -- yes, he calls it “charitable assistance.”  Real charity means having compassion on the child, as well as on the woman.  Real charity is meeting her actual needs, and not her desire to kill her own child.  How warped is a judge’s thinking when he believes abortion – killing innocent preborn children -- is “charity?!”  I can’t help but think of how his reasoning would apply to all abortions, on demand for any reason, which is what it seems he would be inclined to do if it weren’t for the ruling in A, B and C v Ireland.
 
Looking at section 2 of Article 8, Justice Horner found that the interference is “in accordance with the law,” since the abortion ban is actually inscribed in the law, and he found that there is a “legitimate aim” to protect pre-natal life, even in cases of “serious malformation of the foetus” when it’s not diagnosed as fatal.  However, he found that “it is illegitimate and disproportionate to place a prohibition on the abortion of both a foetus doomed to die because it is incapable of an existence independent of the mother’s womb and the viable foetus conceived as a result of sexual crime.”
 
He then considered whether the interference is “necessary in a democratic society” – whether there is a pressing social need.  Again, he addressed the question of whether the ban actually saves lives and concluded that there was “not one iota of evidence” that this criminal statute in these specific cases of FFA and sexual crimes has resulted in the saving of any pre-natal life.  This is a great shame that he is summarily dismissing the lives of innocent children – condemning them to death – based upon the fact that he does not have raw numbers before him on how many lives would be saved.
 
Then he goes on to say that the abortion ban places a disproportionate burden upon victims of sexual crimes: 
 
“She has to face all the dangers and problems, emotional or otherwise, of carrying a foetus for which she bears no moral responsibility and is merely a receptacle to carry the child of a rapist and/or a person who has committed incest, or both.”
 
Justice Horner summarily insults every mother who became pregnant by rape by calling her a “receptacle” and referring to HER child as “the child of a rapist!”  He’s also making numerous faulty assumptions here – that the rape survivor will suffer problems, emotional or otherwise, from carrying the child and giving birth, when studies actually demonstrate that women are far worse off after the abortion as compared to giving birth.  Dr. David Reardon’s book Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions and Children Resulting From Sexual Assault details this research.  Having this research on hand, along with the multitude of testimonies from rape victim mothers and their children, Justice Horner’s arguments are found hollow.
 
In the case of fatal fetal abnormality, Justice Horner’s arguments are again grossly distorted.  Finding that the abortion ban constitutes a “gross interference” with a mother’s “personal autonomy” in the face of a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis from a doctor, here’s what he concluded: 
 
“In the case of an FFA there is no life to protect.  When the foetus leaves the womb, it cannot survive independently.  It is doomed.  There is nothing to weigh in the balance.  There is no human life to protect.  Furthermore, no evidence has been put before the Court that a substantial section of Northern Ireland’s community, never mind a majority, requires a mother to carry such a foetus to full term.”
 
Save The 1 has a plethora of stories of parents given an FFA diagnosis, and their children are still living.  If they are alive in the womb at the time of diagnosis, then there is human life there to protect!  Even if they die upon or after birth, their lives are still valuable, just as the lives of any person given a lethal diagnosis.  We don’t kill someone early, just because they will die.  In fact, we ALL will die – it doesn’t matter though, because human life is precious and it’s discriminatory to say which lives are valuable based upon some doctor's estimation of their life expectancy. 
 
Earlier in his opinion, rejecting the argument for an exception in cases of serious foetal malformation, Justice Horner had this to say:
 
“There is also surely an illogicality in calling for no discrimination against those children who are born suffering from disabilities such as Down’s Syndrome or spina bifida on the basis that they should be entitled to enjoy a full life but then permitting selective abortion so as to prevent those children with such disabilities being born in the first place.  This smacks of eugenics.  It is always difficult to draw the line and it comes as no surprise that the phrase “serious malformation of the foetus” remains undefined.  It can mean different things to different people.”
 
He is right in this point, but he’s missing out on the fact that “fatal foetal abnormality” likewise means different things to different people, and all he has to do is look at all of the people born and living with these diagnoses to see that FFA also smacks of eugenics. And so does the systematic targeting and devaluing of the innocent child conceived in rape.  The message is that whether born or unborn, these children are not as worthy of life, and the myth gets perpetuated that we are all a great burden, “the child of a rapist” – as Justice Horner said – instead of being seen as our mother’s child, and that we are somehow stained with the rapist’s iniquity and a “horrible reminder of the rape,” when this is not at all how our mothers see us. 
 
The discrimination is lifelong, for children conceived in rape and their rape survivor mothers who are not believed, because judges like Horner think a true rape victim would have aborted and needed an abortion, but also for those given a fatal foetal abnormality.  Doctors often refuse to treat upon birth and for months and years after, because their diagnoses become self-perpetuating.  They don’t want these children to live because many medical professionals see them as a drain on the system.
 
Lastly, Justice Horner’s repeated statements alluding to public opinion is the most disturbing.  The European Convention on Human Rights, and the U.S. Bill of Rights, were put into place to protect the weakest among us – no matter what the majority of public opinion is.  Human Rights are all about protecting the most vulnerable, the most despised, devalued and discriminated within society.  In modern society, and especially today in Northern Ireland, this would be the child conceived in rape, and the child marked with a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis.  One is given the death penalty for the crimes of another, and the other child is issued a death warrant by a doctor.  Both should be protected.

 

BIO:  Rebecca Kiessling is a wife, mother of 5, attorney and international pro-life speaker, conceived in rape.  She’s the founder and President of Save The 1, co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception, Executive Committee - Board Member of Personhood Alliance, and co-founder of Embryo Defense.

 

 

 

Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos

The Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act - GA SB 169

HISTORY: The bill is based upon a bill passed in Louisiana in 1986. The Louisiana bill establishes all in vitro embryos as "juridical persons". There has been NO legal challenge to it in 23 years. The language has been updated to reflect changes in biomedical technology and medical standards since 1986.


NEED: It is apparent from the recent birth of octuplets to a southern California woman, that the fertility industry needs governmental oversight. This industry is one of the MOST lucrative medical fields and among the LEAST regulated! This results in a serious compromise to the Standard of Care for the women and children invloved. With Bio-tech industries coming to Georgia, NOW is the time to develop regulatory oversight that would protect our women and children.


OBJECTIVES:
1.To recognize all human embryos as having the legal right to life and legal protection under the laws of the State of Ga. 

2.To provide that it shall be unlawful for any person or entity to intentionally or knowingly create or attempt to create an in vitro human embryo by any means other than 
fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm. 

3.To provide for standards for physicians and facilities performing in vitro fertilizations.

INTENDED CONSEQUENCE: In the interest of reducing the risk of complications for both the mother and the transferred embryos, including the risk of preterm birth associated with higher-order multiple gestations, a person or entity performing in vitro fertilization shall limit the number of embryos created in a single cycle to the number to be transferred in that cycle, thereby preventing what has recently occured in California with the woman who bore octuplets.

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS:
1. Nothing in this article shall be construed to affect conduct relating to abortion; provided, however, that nothing in this article shall be construed or implied to recognize any independent right to abortion under the laws of this state.

2. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to create or recognize any independent right to engage in the practice of in vitro fertilization or to create in vitro human embryos by any means. 

Contacts:
Daniel Becker    President                          Georgia Right to Life            678-524-9504
Mike Griffin         Legislative Director         Georgia Right to Life            706-436-2646 

 

Langauge of GA SB 169

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT To amend Chapter 7 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the parent and child relationship generally, so as to provide for a short title; to provide for definitions; to provide that it shall be unlawful for any person or entity to intentionally or knowingly create or attempt to create an in vitro human embryo by any means other than fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm; to provide that it shall be unlawful or any person or entity to intentionally or knowingly create or attempt to create a human-animal hybrid, to transfer a human embryo into a nonhuman womb, and to transfer a nonhuman embryo into a human womb; to provide for standards for physicians and facilities performing in vitro fertilizations; to provide for judicial standards; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1.

This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act."

SECTION 2.

Chapter 7 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, related to the parent and child relationship generally, is amended by adding a new article to read as follows:

ARTICLE 4

19-7-60.

For purposes of this article, the term:

(1) 'Donor' means an individual from whose body gametes were obtained, or an individual from whose body cells or tissues were obtained for the purpose of creating gametes or human embryos, whether for valuable consideration or not.

(2) 'Gamete' means an egg (oocyte) or sperm.

(3) 'Human embryo' means an organism with a human or predominantly human genetic

constitution from the single-celled stage to approximately eight weeks development that is derived by fertilization (in vitro or in utero), parthenogenesis, cloning (somatic cell nuclear transfer), or any other means from one or more human gametes or human diploid cells.

(4) 'In vitro' means outside the human body.

(5) 'In vitro fertilization' means the formation of a human embryo outside the human body by union of human egg(s) with human sperm.

(6) 'In vitro human embryo' means a human embryo created outside the human body.

(7) 'Transfer' means the placement of a human embryo into the body of a woman.

(8) 'Valuable consideration' means financial gain or advantage, including cash, in-kind

payments, reimbursement for any costs incurred in connection with the removal, processing, disposal, preservation, quality control, storage, transfer, or donation of human gametes, including lost wages of the donor, as well as any other consideration.
(9) ‘Human animal hybrid’ means any of the following:
            (a) A human embryo into which a nonhuman cell or a component of a nonhuman cell is introduced so that it is uncertain whether the human embryo is a member of the species homo sapiens;
            (b) A hybrid human-animal embryo produced by fertilizing a human egg with a nonhuman sperm;
            (c) A hybrid human-animal embryo produced by fertilizing a nonhuman egg with a human sperm;
            (d) An embryo produced by introducing a nonhuman nucleus into a human egg; 
            (e) An embryo produced by introducing a human nucleus into a nonhuman egg;
            (f) An embryo containing at least haploid sets of chromosomes from both a human and a nonhuman life form;
            (g) A nonhuman life form engineered with the intention of generating functional human gametes within the body of a nonhuman life form;
            (h) A nonhuman life form engineered such  that it contains a human brain or a brain derived wholly from human neural tissues.

 19-7-61.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to intentionally or knowingly create or attempt to create an in vitro human embryo by any means other than fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm.

(b) The creation of an in vitro human embryo shall be solely for the purpose of initiating a human pregnancy by means of transfer to the uterus of a human female for the treatment of human infertility.  A pregnancy shall not be initiated with the intention of deliberately destroying the embryo for scientific research.  Neither shall the embryo be gestated to the fetal stage for purposes of destroying the fetus in order to harvest tissue stem cells for research. No person or entity shall intentionally or knowingly transfer or attempt to transfer an embryo into a human uterus that is not the product of fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to intentionally or knowingly:
         (1) Create or attempt to create a human-animal hybrid;
         (2) Transfer or attempt to transfer a human embryo into a nonhuman womb;
            (3) Transfer or attempt to transfer a nonhuman embryo into a human womb;
            (4) Transport or receive for any purpose a human-animal hybrid or any product derived from such hybrid.
(d) Nothing in this section prohibits any of the following:
         (1) Research involving the use of transgenic animal models containing human genes;
         (2) Xenotransplantation of human organs, tissues, or cells into recipient animals, including animals at any stage of development prior to birth, so long as the xenotransplantation does not violate a prohibition in division (c) of this section;
         (3) An individual from receiving organs, tissues, or cells delivered from outside of this state.

19-7-62.

No person or entity shall give or receive valuable consideration, offer to give or receive valuable consideration, or advertise for the giving or receiving of valuable consideration for the provision of gametes or in vitro human embryos. This Code section shall not apply to regulate or prohibit the procurement of gametes for the treatment of infertility being experienced by the patient from whom the gametes are being derived.

19-7-63.

The in vitro human embryo shall be given an identification by the facility for use within the medical facility. Records shall be maintained that identify the donors associated with the in vitro human embryo, and the confidentiality of such records shall be maintained as required by law.

19-7-64.

(a) A living in vitro human embryo is a biological human being who is not the property of any person or entity. The fertility physician and the medical facility that employs the physician owe a high duty of care to the living in vitro human embryo. Any contractual provision identifying the living in vitro embryo as the property of any party shall be null and void. The in vitro human embryo shall not be intentionally destroyed for any purpose by any person or entity or through the actions of such person or entity.

(b) An in vitro human embryo that fails to show any sign of life over a 36 hour period outside a state of cryopreservation shall be considered no longer living.

19-7-65

A.        Any person, employer or entity, whether public or private, has the right not to participate in, and no person, employer or entity, whether public or private, shall be required to participate in any health care service that violates its conscience. No person, employer or entity, whether public or private, shall be held civilly or criminally liable, discriminated against, dismissed, demoted, or in any way prejudiced or damaged because of a refusal for any reason to participate in any health care service that violates its conscience.

 B.        For purposes of this code section:

(a)       "Conscience" means religious, moral or ethical principles.

 (b)       "Health care service" means any phase of patient medical care, treatment or procedure, including, but not limited to, the following: patient referral, counseling, therapy, testing, diagnosis or prognosis, research, instruction, prescribing, dispensing or administering any device, drug, or medication, surgery, or any other care, treatment or procedure.

(c)        "Participate" means to counsel, advise, provide, perform, assist in, refer for, admit for purposes of providing, participate in providing, pay, contract for, or otherwise arrange for the payment of, in whole or in part any health care service or any form of such service.

 19-7-66.

In the interest of reducing the risk of complications for both the mother and the transferred in vitro human embryos, including the risk of preterm birth associated with higher-order multiple gestations, a person or entity performing in vitro fertilization shall limit the number of in vitro human embryos created in a single cycle to the number to be transferred in that cycle in accord with Code Section 19-7-67.

 19-7-67.

(a) Where a woman under age 40 is to receive treatment using her own eggs or embryos created using her own eggs, whether fresh or previously cryopreserved, at the time of transfer no person or entity shall transfer more than two embryos in any treatment cycle, regardless of the procedure used.

(b) Where a woman age 40 or over is to receive treatment using her own eggs or embryos created using her own eggs, whether fresh or previously cryopreserved, at the time of transfer no person or entity shall transfer more than three embryos in any treatment cycle, regardless of the procedure used.

(c) Where a woman is to receive treatment using donated eggs or adopted embryos, no person or entity shall transfer more than two donated eggs or two adopted embryos in any treatment cycle, regardless of the woman's age at the time of transfer and regardless of the procedure used.

 19-7-68.

In disputes arising between any parties regarding the in vitro human embryo, the judicial

standard for resolving such disputes shall be the best interest of the in vitro human embryo.

 19-7-69.

All facilities providing assisted reproductive technologies shall, at least 24 hours prior to

obtaining a signed contract for services, provide patients with informed consent as required by law and obtain a signed disclosure form before services commence. In addition to medical risks and information on outcome and success rates, the informed consent materials shall state in plain language the parental rights and duties of the donors, as well as their legal rights and duties regarding the disposition of in vitro human embryos that were not transferred due to either of the fertility patient's death, divorce, abandonment, or dispute over the custody of the in vitro human embryo.

19-7-70.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to affect conduct relating to abortion as provided in Chapter 12 of Title 16; provided, however, that nothing in this article shall be construed or implied to recognize any independent right to abortion under the laws of this state.

 19-7-71.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, nothing in this article shall be construed to create or recognize any independent right to engage in the practice of in vitro fertilization or to create in vitro human embryos by any means.

19-7-72.

(a) Any person or entity that violates any provision of this article and derives a pecuniary gain from such violation shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00.

(b) Any violation of this article shall constitute unprofessional conduct pursuant to Code Section 43-34-37 and shall result in sanctions increasing in severity from censure to temporary suspension of license to permanent revocation of license.

(c) Any violation of this article may be the basis for denying an application for, denying an application for the renewal of, or revoking any license, permit, certificate, or any other form of permission required to practice or engage in a trade, occupation, or profession.

(d) Any violation of this article by an individual in the employ and under the auspices of a licensed health care facility to which the management of said facility consents, knows, or should know may be the basis for denying an application for, denying an application for the renewal of, temporarily suspending, or permanently revoking any operational license, permit, certificate, or any other form of permission required to operate a medical or health care facility."

SECTION 3.

This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 4.

All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

 

The Peace Corpse

by Rebecca Kiessling

The liberal press and abortion advocates are presently celebrating a victory – the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by the Senate on Sat., December 13, 2014, which includes unprecedented abortion coverage for Peace Corps volunteers in cases of rape, incest and “life endangerment.”   Think Progress reports:  Government Spending Bill Quietly Resolves Peace Corps Abortion Coverage Debate .  “Quietly” – because not one GOP member of the House Appropriations Committee spoke out against it back in June, 2014, although the Republican committee members had blocked the measure in 2013.  In 2014, there was no debate to be had – the GOP committee members summarily wrote us off, allowing the discriminatory practice of targeting and killing innocent children for the crimes of our rapist fathers.

For the record, those silent Republican House Appropriations Committee members are as follows, with each one inexplicably enjoying a 100% approval rating with National Right to Life Committee on their scorecard, except for Frelinghuysen from New Jersey and Charles W. Dent from Pennsylvania who both have a 75% approval rating:

  • Harold Rogers, Kentucky, Chairman
  • Frank R. Wolf, Virginia
  • Jack Kingston, Georgia
  • Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey 75%
  • Tom Latham, Iowa
  • Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama
  • Kay Granger, Texas
  • Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
  • John Abney Culberson, Texas
  • Ander Crenshaw, Florida
  • John R. Carter, Texas
  • Ken Calvert, California
  • Tom Cole, Oklahoma
  • Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida
  • Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania 75%
  • Tom Graves, Georgia
  • Kevin Yoder, Kansas
  • Steve Womack, Arkansas
  • Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi
  • Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska
  • Tom Rooney, Florida
  • Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee
  • Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington
  • David Joyce, Ohio
  • David Valadao, California
  • Andy Harris, MD, Maryland
  • Martha Roby, Alabama
  • Mark Amodei, Nevada
  • Chris Stewart, Utah

Please do contact them, as well as NRLC to find out why they don’t keep score of votes in support of killing children conceived in rape.  Are we really that negligible?  Who is more important to protect – children conceived in rape, or congressional Republicans?

In a Lifesitenews article covering the committee vote last June, pro-life nurse and blogger Jill Stanek strongly condemned the GOP action:  "This is outrageous. . . . The GOP, whose platform formally opposes abortion, just passed a pro-abortion bill through one of Capitol Hill's most influential committees. . . .  This might be good politics in the Beltway, but all the GOP really did was cave to feminist rhetoric and decide that throwing more taxpayer money to the abortion industry is acceptable public policy.”

In the same article, Human Life International Communications Director Adam Cassandra vehemently defended children conceived in rape and their pregnant mothers:  “further assaulting a woman who is a victim of rape with the violent act of abortion is in no way a humane or compassionate response to her situation, and taking the life of that child can never be justified."
 
The Peace Corps’ federal funding provision has had a no-exceptions rider in place since 1979 barring any of their funding from being used to pay for abortions – until now.  A 35-year precedent, and the Republicans stood silent.
 
Reporter Dustin Siggins, in Lifesitenews’ most recent article on the passage of the “Cromnibus bill”, calls the Peace Corps abortion funding “the greatest loss for pro-lifers” within the huge spending package.

So is this now to be the standard protocol within Congress whenever a rape exception is introduced?  No objection?  None?  Congressman Chris Smith introduced the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act, with the rape exception already in it.  Is this now the norm?  I pray that it’s not. 

My hope that pro-life activists will become more aware of the blatant discrimination within these congressional bills, and will rise up to object to the seemingly now-standard “exceptions.”  It shouldn’t just be the voices of those of us who actually fit into the “conceived in rape” category, because our class of persons is small.  But Jesus made it clear that it is every person’s duty to protect “the least of these,” and to leave the 99 to save the 1.

BIO:  Rebecca Kiessling is a wife, mother of 5, attorney, international pro-life speaker, and founder and President of Save The 1, as well as co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception.

 

State Personhood Efforts

The original goal of the pro-life movement during the 20th Century was the enactment of a Paramount Human Life Amendment (HLA) to the U.S. Constitution. Former President of National Right to Life, Dr. Jack Wilke, in his 1979 book Handbook on Abortion,established that the secondary goal of the movement should be to enact a Paramount Human Life Amendment at a state level.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that states may find more expansive rights for the benefit of their citizens than are found under our U.S. Constitution. Constitutional Personhood attorney, Mr. Robert Muise says,"Additionally, the proposed constitutional amendment (Georgia) explicitly affirms, as a matter of state law, that “personhood” attaches at the moment of fertilization. It is a well-established principle of law that States possess the right to adopt their own constitutions with rights more expansive than those conferred by the federal constitution.


See Prunyard Shopping Ctr. V Robins, 447 U.S. 74, 81 (1980) ( “affirming “the authority of the State to exercise its police power [and] its sovereign right to adopt in its own Constitution individual liberties more expansive that those conferred by the Federal Constitution”). And the right to life is the most basic and fundamental right, since death forecloses “the right to have rights.” See Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, 290 (1972) (Brennan, J., concurring)."

 

NATIONAL GROUPS

National Personhood Alliance

Personhood Education

Personhood USA

 

A list of state efforts to promote Personhood:

 

Personhood Protects the Disabled

"What more dramatic confirmation could we have of the real issue than the Baby Doe case in Bloomington, Indiana? The death of that tiny infant tore at the hearts of all Americans because the child was undeniably a live human being — one lying helpless before the eyes of the doctors and the eyes of the nation. The real issue for the courts was not whether Baby Doe was a human being. The real issue was whether to protect the life of a human being who had Down's Syndrome,


who would probably be mentally handicapped, but who needed a routine surgical procedure to unblock his esophagus and allow him to eat. A doctor testified to the presiding judge that, even with his physical problem corrected, Baby Doe would have a "non-existent" possibility for "a minimally adequate quality of life" — in other words, that retardation was the equivalent of a crime deserving the death penalty. The judge let Baby Doe starve and die, and the Indiana Supreme Court sanctioned his decision.

Federal law does not allow federally-assisted hospitals to decide that Down's Syndrome infants are not worth treating, much less to decide to starve them to death. Accordingly, I have directed the Departments of Justice and HHS to apply civil rights regulations to protect handicapped newborns. All hospitals receiving federal funds must post notices which will clearly state that failure to feed handicapped babies is prohibited by federal law. The basic issue is whether to value and protect the lives of the handicapped, whether to recognize the sanctity of human life. This is the same basic issue that underlies the question of abortion. . .

The real question today is not when human life begins, but, What is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother's body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law — the same right we have."

President Ronald Reagan, 1983

"Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person." Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer, May 20, 2009

A Personhood Amendment would be the first step in establishing ethical paramenters that protect human dignity in the 21st century.

(July 31, 2010, in a non-binding statewide vote, the majority party of Georgia voted with a super-majority (66%) in favor of ratifying a personhood amendment to the Georgia constitution. This is the first statewide personhood referendum ever to pass. The educational and political value of having done so is paying dividends to this day.)

Personhood Law Would Protect the Infirm

 

"Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s started the T4 Aktion (Action) program, named after the main office's address at Tiergartenstrasse 4 in Berlin, to exterminate "useless eaters," babies born with disabilities. When any baby was born in Germany, the attending nurse had to note any indication of disability and immediately notify T4 officials - a team of physicians, politicians and military leaders. In October 1939 Hitler issued


a directive allowing physicians to grant a "mercy death" to "patients considered incurable according to the best available human judgment of their state of health.

Thereafter, the program expanded to include older children and adults with disabilities, and anyone anywhere in the Third Reich was subject to execution who was blind, deaf, senile, retarded, or had any significant neurological condition, encephalitis, epilepsy, muscular spasticity or paralysis. Six killing centers were eventually established, and an estimated quarter-million people with disabilities were executed . . .Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer says, 'Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person.'
"

The Washington Times, November 23,2008

A Personhood Amendment would be the first step in establishing ethical paramenters that protect human dignity in the 21st century.

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