On Friday State Representative Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) reintroduced the Wisconsin Personhood Amendment, legislation that would amend the Wisconsin Constitution to apply personhood rights to preborn children at all stages of development. Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 49 extends the inalienable right to life already found in the Wisconsin Constitution to all preborn children from the beginning of their lives.
Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) is the lead author in the State Senate. The legislation has been referred to the Assembly Committee on State Affairs chaired by Rep. Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin). An amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution requires passage in two successive legislatures followed by a simple majority vote of the people.
The Wisconsin Personhood Amendment is the strongest, most comprehensive pro-life legislation ever introduced in the state of Wisconsin. It seeks to end abortion in Wisconsin, not to regulate or restrict it. It seeks to end all violence toward preborn children – surgical, chemical, experimental, etc. – at all stages of development.
We thank Representative Jacque and Senator Grothman for their steadfastness and faithfulness to the cause of personhood, and we certainly thank the amendment’s eleven co-sponsors for their heroic and principled stand in support of personhood: Representatives Dave Craig (R-Big Bend), Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay), Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam), Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield), Tom Larson (R-Colfax), Dan LeMahieu (R-Cascade), Don Pridemore (R-Hartford), Joe Sanfelippo (R-West Allis), Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc).
What is personhood and why is it so foundational to the pro-life movement? Put simply, a “person” is a human being who is fully protected under the law; and we use the legal term “personhood” to describe this condition. Once a human being is declared a person that individual is guaranteed certain legal rights, such as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, to be a person is to be fully protected by a series of God-given and constitutionally protected rights.
From a pro-life perspective, the Wisconsin Constitution contains a glaring error at its outset. In specifying the beneficiaries of its human rights, our state constitution leaves out the preborn. It applies rights to only those people who are “born.” Representative Jacque is proposing a minimal but absolutely essential correction, a personhood amendment, to make the Wisconsin Constitution cover all people, every person, at any stage of development.
Assembly Joint Resolution 49 tracks the original constitutional language as closely as grammatically possible, only substituting the inclusive personhood definition for the word “born.” That definition is as follows: As applied to the right to life, the terms “people” and “person” shall apply to every human being at any stage of development. Such a definition is indispensable to spreading the protective cover of Wisconsin’s constitution over all its citizens.
The amendment language reads as follows:
Article 1. Declaration of Rights. Equality; inherent rights. SECTION 1. All people are equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; to secure these rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. As applied to the right to life, the terms “people” and “person” shall apply to every human being at any stage of development.
Should Roe v. Wade be overturned someday and the abortion issue remanded to the states, an activist Wisconsin Supreme Court could (and very likely would) use the word “born” in our current state constitution to deny the right to life of the preborn by interpreting an independent right to abortion in that document. In so doing, the court could nullify any present or future pro-life laws in our state. Only by enshrining the right to life in our state constitution will preborn children be afforded full and lasting legal protection.
The Wisconsin Personhood Amendment has been endorsed by: Wisconsin Family Action; Charles E. Rice, Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Notre Dame; American Life League; Catholics United for the Faith, St. Gregory VII Chapter, Milwaukee; Walter Hoye, Issues4Life Foundation; Jason Jones, I Am Whole Life; Alan Keyes, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Personhood USA; Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator; Joe Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League; Matt Trewhella, Missionaries to the Preborn; and Kevin O’Brien, Men of Christ.
For more information on the Wisconsin Personhood Amendment, please go to www.personhoodwisconsin.com.
Please CALL or EMAIL your state representative and state senator now and urge him or her to support AJR 49, the “Wisconsin Personhood Amendment.”
Click here to find out who your state legislators are and how to contact them.
Tell your legislators to extend the inalienable right to life already found in the Wisconsin Constitution to all preborn children at all stages of development.
If your legislator is a co-sponsor of AJR 49, please thank him!