Pro-life and anti-personhood?
We at Parents Against Personhood take no position on elective abortion, because we believe there are valid reasons for both pro-choice and pro-life people to oppose personhood. Many organizations and individuals who consider themselves pro-life agree that personhood is the wrong strategy.
Not all do so for the same reasons, and not all share our concerns about protecting infertility treatment, lifesaving pregnancy care, and birth control. However, while personhood groups such as Personhood USA insist that the only way to be pro-life is to support fetal personhood, all of the pro-life groups below disagree with the personhood strategy while continuing to work to end elective abortion.
The National Right to Life Committee, one of the oldest and largest pro-life organizations in America, opposes personhood because they believe it ultimately will harm the pro-life cause. Its general counsel, James Bopp, has argued that state personhood efforts are “doomed to expensive failure”, and that they may backfire by ultimately strengthening Roe v. Wade.
In Nevada, a joint statement opposing personhood was issued by Nevada Right to Life, Nevada Life, Nevada Eagle Forum, Nevada Families Association, and the Independent American Party. The statement explains that those groups believe that the proposed 2012 amendment will not overturn Roe v Wade, and that it will strengthen the powers of the courts and provide “political and financial windfalls” to pro-choice groups and candidates.
In Montana, which faced a personhood attempt in 2010 and may do so again in 2012, Right to Life of Montana opposes personhood. Wisconsin Right to Life directly opposes the 2012 personhood effort in their state, and encourages individuals and churches to actively oppose it as well.
The Catholic Church declined to support Mississippi’s Initiative 26 on the grounds that “the push for a state amendment could ultimately harm our efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
During Mississippi’s Initiative 26 campaign, the presiding bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi and the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church also opposed personhood.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ official position on abortion specifies that abortion is permissible when the “good health” of the mother is at stake, and in cases of rape; both positions are in direct conflict with personhood, which does not permit exceptions for rape or maternal health.
Catholic bishops in Georgia and Colorado have opposed those states’ personhood efforts for strategic purposes. In the words of Bishop James Conley of Denver, “While we share the ultimate objective of this effort i.e., to legally recognize the rights of the unborn, we do not, however, think that this strategy will provide a realistic opportunity for reversing Roe v. Wade.”