Personhood Legislation

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Personhood Bills and Ballot Initiatives

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RESOLVE opposes all Personhood initiatives and urges all Americans to VOTE AGAINST any anti-family legislation as it undermines access to safe and reliable infertility medical treatments. Click here to read RESOLVE’s Policy Statement on Personhood legislation, which includes a full explanation of how Personhood legislation and/or Amendments will impact people with infertility.

What is the difference between a Bill and a Ballot Initiative? 

A ballot initiative is an attempt to get an issue in front of voters in a state. A Personhood Ballot Initiative would be an attempt to have voters in a state pass a Personhood Amendment or Initiative that would change a state constitution or amend state statutes defining when life begins. Each state has its own process for how any initiative gets on a ballot in November. At its core, a ballot initiative is taking a particular issue to the general public and letting them decide. 

A Personhood bill is a bill introduced in the state or federal legislature, either in the House or Senate or both, and must proceed along a specific process to get a final vote in the full House and Senate. The bill would then need to be signed into law by the Governor of the state or by the U.S. President if it's a federal bill. A bill would only be voted on by the elected officials and would not be open to public vote.

Personhood Bills or Ballots have been introduced in the following states or in the U.S. Congress. Here is the status of each of these legislative initiatives.

 State Bills:

Alabama Kansas South Carolina
Arkansas Missouri Tennessee
Indiana Montana Texas
Iowa North Carolina Washington

 State: Alabama Bill Number: AL [R] HB 98  Bill Name: Children, Alabama's commitment to the right to life of unborn children, affirm, constitutional amendment.
Added: March 21, 2017

  • Description of Bill: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended; to declare and otherwise affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful; and to provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The bill was read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Health and Human Services on 3/16/17.
  • Link to Bill: HB 98;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 

 

 State: Arkansas Resolution Number: SJR 9 Resolution Name: “An application to Congress to call a Convention for proposing an amendment under the United State Constitution, Article V, for the purpose of proposing an amendment providing that every human being from the moment of conception is a person and entitled to the right to life.” 
Added: February 13, 2017

  • Description of Resolution: This Senate Joint Resolution is so-called "personhood" legislation that “every human being from the moment of conception is a person and entitled to the right to life.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Resolution: RESOLVE opposes this Resolution.
  • Current status of the Resolution in the legislative process: SJR was introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs on 2/2/17.  It was amended, reintroduced and re-referred to Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs on 2/9/17. A hearing is scheduled for 2/14/17. 
  • Link to Resolution: SJR 9;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation and Letter of Opposition.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 State: Indiana Bill Number: HB 1134  Bill Name: "Protection of life" 
Added: January 13, 2017

  • Description of Bill: This is personhood legislation that "Redefines ‘human being’ for purposes of the criminal code to conform to the finding that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm.” 
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The bill was referred to the Committee on Public Policy on 1/9/17.
  • Link to Bill: HB 1134
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 State: Iowa Bill Number: SF 253 and HF 297  Bill Name: “An Act relating to the protection of life beginning at conception”
Added: February 15, 2017

  • Description of Bill: This bill is so-called "personhood" legislation and recognizes that “life is valued and protected from the moment of conception, and each life, from that moment, is accorded the same rights and protections guaranteed to all persons by the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Iowa, and the laws of this state.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The Senate bill was introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 02/14/17.  The House bill was introduced and referred to Human Resources Committee on 2/14/17.
  • Link to Bill: SF 253; HF 297
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 

 State: Kansas Resolution Number: HCR 5009  Resolution Name: State constitution, human life amendments.
Added: February 7, 2017

  • Description of Resolution: This is personhood legislation that "Redefines ‘human being’ for purposes of the criminal code to conform to the finding that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm.” 
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Resolution: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Resolution in the legislative process: The bill was referred to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs on 2/3/2017.
  • Link to Resolution: HCR 5009;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

State: Missouri Bill Number: HB 112 Bill Name: Changes the laws regarding custody of in vitro human embryos 
Updated: February 16, 2017

  • Description of Bill: This is a so-called "personhood" bill and establishes that the “in vitro human embryo is recognized as a human being in this state…and has all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this bill.
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: This bill was introduced in the House and read for the second time on 01/05/2017. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee on 02/16/2017.   
  • Link to Bill: HB 112;
  • Read RESOLVE's Letter of Opposition to a similar bill introduced last year.
  • Action Needed: A similar bill almost passed last year so we must be vigilant in stopping this legislation.  Please sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates and action alerts.

 

State: Missouri Resolution Number: HJR 18 Resolution Name: “Proposes a constitutional amendment regarding the right to life” 
Updated: February 16, 2017

  • Description of Resolution: This House Joint Resolution is so-called "personhood" legislation that “recognizes the right to life of every unborn human child at every stage of biological development.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Resolution: RESOLVE opposes this Resolution.
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: HJR was introduced and read for the first time on 01/05/17. It was read for the second time on 1/9/17 and referred to Children and Families on 1/31/17 with a hearing scheduled for 2/14/17. A committee vote is scheduled for 2/21/17.
  • Link to Bill: HJR 18
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Please sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates and action alerts.

 

State: Missouri Bill Number: HB 709  Bill Name: “Missouri Right to Life Act”
Added: February 20, 2017

  • Description of Bill:  This bill “establishes the ""Missouri Right to Life Act.", which changes the laws regarding the finding that life begins at conception.
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The bill was referred to the Children and Families Committee on 2/16/2017.
  • Link to Bill: SB 754;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 State: Montana Bill Number: MT [R] HB 595  Bill Name: Constitutional amendment to define person
Added: March 21, 2017

  • Description of Bill:  A bill for an act entitled "An Act submitting to the qualified electors of Montana an Amendment to Article II, Section 17, of the Montana Constitution defining "Person" to include all members of the species Homo Sapiens at any stage of development; and providing an effective date."
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The bill was introduced and referred to a committee on 3/15/17. Committee to be held on 3/28/17. 
  • Link to Bill: HB 595;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 State: North Carolina Bill Number: H 163 Bill Name: Enact Right to Life at Conception Act
Added: March 9, 2017

  • Description of Bill:  This bill is so-called "personhood" legislation that recognizes “the right to life … is vested in each human being... at all stages of life including, but not limited to, the moment of fertilization, cloning, and other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The bill was introduced and referred to Health Committee in 1/25/17. This bill is being heard on 3/9 in the Health Committee.
  • Link to Bill: H 163;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 

 State: South Carolina Bill Number: S 217 and H 3530 Bill Name: “The Personhood Act of South Carolina”
Updated: January 20, 2017

  • Description of Bill: This bill establishes “that the right to life for each born and preborn human being vests at fertilization and that the rights of due process and equal protection, guaranteed by … the constitution of this state, vest at fertilization for each born and preborn human being.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 1/10/2017 and to the House Judiciary Committee on 1/19/17.
  • Link to Bill: S 217; H 3530
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

 State: Tennessee Bill Numbers: SB 1153 and HB 1406  
Added: February 14, 2017

  • Description of Bill: This bill “repeals statute that deems a child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.” 
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The bills were introduced on 2/9/17 and passed on first consideration in the Senate on 2/9/17 and in the Assembly on 2/13/17. 
  • Link to Bill: SB 1153 ; HB 1406
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 

 State: Texas Bill Number: HB 948  
Added: February 15, 2017

  • Description of Bill:  This bill is so-called "personhood" legislation “recognizing the rights, powers, and privileges of all unborn children at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth; affecting criminal offenses and penalties.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The bill was introduced on 1/11/17. 
  • Link to Bill: HB 948;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 

State: Texas Resolution Number: HJR 121 Resolution Name: Life at Conception provision of the Texas Constitution's Bill of Rights
Added: March 15, 2017

  • Description of Resolution:  This resolution proposes a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to life of unborn children and prohibiting abortion to the fullest extent possible. 
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Resolution: RESOLVE opposes this resolution
  • Current status of the Resolution in the legislative process: The resolution was introduced on 3/10/17.
  • Link to Resolution: HJR 121;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 

State: Texas Resolution Number: HJR 123
Added: March 15 , 2017

  • Description of Resolution:  This resolution proposes a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to life of unborn children and prohibiting abortion to the fullest extent possible.
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Resolution: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Resolution in the legislative process: The resolution was introduced on 3/10/17.
  • Link to Bill: HJR 123;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 State: Washington Bill Number: HB 1649 Bill Name: “Washington state life at conception act” 
Added: February 14, 2017

  • Description of Bill:  This bill is so-called "personhood" legislation that recognizes “the right to life … is vested in each human being... at all stages of life including, but not limited to, the moment of fertilization, cloning, and other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: The bill was introduced and referred to Health Care & Wellness Committee in 1/25/17. 
  • Link to Bill: SB 754;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.

 Federal Bills:

Bill Numnber: HR 586 Bill Name: “Sanctity of Human Life Act” 
Added: February 15, 2017

  • Description of Bill: This House bill is so-called "personhood" legislation that declares “each human life begins with fertilization, cloning, or its equivalent, at which time every human has all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and Congress, each state, the District of Columbia, and each U.S. territory have the authority to protect all human lives.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: HR 586 was introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary on 1/17/17 and referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on 2/6/17.
  • Link to Bill: HR 586;
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Send a message of opposition to your U.S. Representative right now.

Bill Number: HR 681 and S 231 Bill Name: “Life at Conception Act” 
Added: February 15, 2017

  • Description of Bill: This bill is so-called "personhood" legislation to “implement equal protection for the right to life of each born and preborn human person…(including) “each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: HR 681 was introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on 1/24/17. S 231 was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary on 1/24/17.
  • Link to Bill: HR 681
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Action Needed: Sign up for RESOLVE Advocacy Alerts to receive the latest updates on this bill.