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.

Indiana    
Missouri    
South Carolina    

 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: Missouri Bill Number: HB 112 Bill Name: Changes the laws regarding custody of in vitro human embryos 
Added: January 6, 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.    
  • 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” 
Added: January 6, 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. 
  • 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: 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.