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.  In 2014, North Dakota will have a Personhood ballot initiative that North Dakota residents will vote for or against on November 4, 2014.

A Personhood bill is a bill introduced in the state 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. A bill would only be voted on by the elected officials in a state and would not be open to public vote.

Personhood Bills and Ballots have been introduced in the following states. Here is the status of each of these legislative initiatives in each state.

Alabama Iowa South Carolina
Colorado Maryland Virginia
Georgia Missouri  

 State: Alabama Bill Number: [R] HB 300  Bill Name: Personhood Constitutional Amendment
Updated: April 20, 2016

  • Description of Bill: HB 300 is a "personhood" bill that would define the term “persons”  to include all humans from the moment of fertilization.”  
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this Bill.
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: On 2/24/16, the bill was read for the first time and referred to the House Health Committee, which favorably reported it to the House on 4/13/16.  
  • Link to Bill: HB 300
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

 State: Colorado Bill Number: HB 1007  Bill Name: "An Act Concerning Offenses Against Unborn Children.”
Added: February 16, 2016

  • Description of Bill: HB 1007 is a so-called "personhood" bill and provides that homicide charges can be brought for the death of an "unborn member of the species homo sapiens.”
  • 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 assigned to Business Affairs and Labor on 01/13/2016, where it was postponed indefinitely on 02/11/2016.
  • Link to Bill: HB 1007
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

State: Colorado Bill Number: HB 1113 Bill Name: "A bill for an act relating to the protection of life beginning at conception”  
Added: February 14, 2016

  • Description of Bill: HB 1113 is a so-called "personhood" bill and establishes that an embryo is “an individual living member of the species homo sapiens, throughout the entire embryonic and fetal ages of the unborn child from fertilization to full gestation and childbirth.”
  • 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 assigned to Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee on 1/20/2016. The Committee voted to postpone the bill indefinitely on 02/11/2016. 
  • Link to Bill: HB 1113
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

 State: Georgia Bill Number: HB 287 Bill Name: "Ethical Treatment of Embryo Act”  Added: January 26, 2016

  • Description of Bill: HB 287 is a so-called "personhood" bill that would confer judicial rights to in vitro human embryos.
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this bill.
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: On 1/22/16, the bill was removed from its scheduled hearing.
  • Link to Bill: HB 287
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

State: Georgia House Resolution Number: HR 1091 Added: January 26, 2016

  • Description of Resolution: This is not a bill per se, but a House Resolution, which is typically used to recognize important people or convey the sense of the Georgia Assembly. This resolution proposes an amendment to the State Constitution to “recognize the paramount right to life of all human beings as persons at any stage of development.” If passed, this would send a message that the Georgia Assembly has stated their opinion that microscopic embryos are people with rights.
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Resolution: RESOLVE opposes this bill.
  • Current status of the Resolution in the legislative process: The Resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee on 1//21/16.
  • Link to Resolution: HR 1091
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

 State: Iowa Bill Number: HF 2142 Bill Name: "A bill for an act relating to the protection of life beginning at conception”
Added: February 10, 2016

  • Description of Bill: HF 2142 is a so-called "personhood" bill and establishes that “life is … protected from the moment of conception and each life is accorded the same rights and protections guaranteed to all 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 and referred to Judiciary on 2/2/2016 and assigned to Subcommittee on 2/8/2016.
  • Link to Bill: HF 2142
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

 State: Maryland Resolution Number: [R] HJ 7  Resolution Name: "Commencement of Life of the Human Person at Conception "
Added: February 17, 2016

  • Description of Resolution: Recognizes and finds “that the life of the human person commences at conception and that specified decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court are based on false science.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Resolution: RESOLVE opposes this Resolution
  • Current status of the Resolution in the legislative process: The Resolution will have a hearing in the House on 02/29/2016 at 1:00pm. 
  • Link to Resolution: [R] HJ 7
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

 State: Missouri Bill Number: HB 1794 Bill Name: The “All Lives Matter Act” Added: January 26, 2016

  • Description of Bill: HB 1794 is a so-called "personhood" bill and establishes that “the life of each human being begins at conception and is hereby deemed a person.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Bill: RESOLVE opposes this bill.
  • Current status of the Bill in the legislative process: This bill was read a second time on 1/07/2016.
  • Link to Bill: HB 1794
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

State: Missouri Resolution Number: HJR 98 Resolution Name: “Proposes a constitutional amendment regarding the right to life” 
Updated: May 16, 2016

  • 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 98 passed out of Select Committee on Social Services on 4/18/16 and could be voted on by the full House at any time. 
  • Link to Bill: HJR 98
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.
  • Volunteer request: Thank you to everyone who called and sent letters to lawmakers – your advocacy made a difference in stopping this resolution.

 State: South Carolina Resolution Number: S 719 
Added: April 1, 2016

  • Description of Resolution: This is not a bill per se, but a Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to “extend the privileges and immunities of citizens of this state to born and preborn persons beginning at conception.”
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Resolution: RESOLVE opposes this Resolution
  • Current status of the Resolution in the legislative process: The resolution received a favorable report 3/17/16 in the Senate Judiciary subcommittee and is now on the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda; the Chairman has said that the issue will remain at the bottom of the committee's agenda and should not move farther this session.
  • Link to Bill: S 719
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.

 State: Virginia Resolution Number: VA [R] HR 19  Bill Name: "Beginning of life; life of human person commences at conception" 
Added: February 10, 2016

  • Description of Resolution: "Beginning of life. Recognizes and finds that the life of the human person commences at conception, also known as fertilization, and that the United States Supreme Court 1973 Roe and Doe decisions striking down state laws criminalizing abortion, which protected preborn children, are based on false science."
  • Does RESOLVE support or oppose this Resolution: RESOLVE opposes this Resolution
  • Current status of the Resolution in the legislative process: The resolution was referred to the Constitutional Law Sub-committee on 2/4/16.
  • Link to Resolution: HR 19
  • Read RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation.