"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."-Thomas Jefferson
Personhood is the recognition of our culture and government that each individual human life has an unalienable right to life from their earliest biological beginning. This right to life extends to natural death, regardless of one's disability, gender, race, dependency or manner of conception. The right to life comes from God by virtue of the fact, that we have been created in His image and are thus imbued with unique worth and dignity (PERSONHOOD).
Personhood is defined as the status of being a person. Personhood in philosophy and law is closely tied with the legal and political concepts of the right to life and liberty as well as citizenship and equality. According to law, a natural person has rights, protections, privileges, responsibilities, and legal liability.
Personhood Florida is dedicated to the proposition that the right to life is unalienable and cannot legally be taken away by any governmental power without due process. Pro-life conservatives recognize that the Roe v. Wade decision was not only wrongly decided, but also unconstitutional. Federal courts cannot make law. Instead of recognizing Roe as valid, we encourage our lawmakers to pass bills that would effectively end all abortion in the state of Florida. The legislature and governor should refuse to recognize Roe on the grounds of the 9th and 10th Amendments of the United States Constitution. The 9 th Amendment affirms that states may recognize rights not described in the United States Constitution.
The 10th Amendment says that powers not resting with the federal government are delegated to the states or to the people. Powers that are delegated solely to the states include measures for public health and safety and any power the Constitution does not delegate to the federal government nor prohibit to the states. Furthermore, no court or legislature has the constitutional power to deny a human being their natural rights. In the history of the United States, there are ample instances of states defying or ignoring unconstitutional federal court decisions. States have defied court rulings on the basis of Personhood on many rulings.
These U.S. Supreme Court rulings have included the supposed "constitutionality" of slavery, the sterilization of the mentally handicapped, and war-time internment camps for Japanese American citizens. These examples were all US Supreme Court rulings that were never overturned but have been since ignored by states without question as invalid decisions. Therefore, we ask our legislators to pass laws protecting all human life with the intention of ignoring Roe and not waiting for a court decision to overturn this unconstitutional decision.
Legislation Must Recognize that Human Life Should be Protected because All Humans are Created in God's Image.
In Genesis 1:26-27, we read, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (NKJV) The value of a person comes not from what he or she can or cannot do but from whose image he or she bears. The value of a person's life is irrespective of age, race, sex, health, function, condition of dependency, social status, fame, and wealth. Every innocent human life should be protected by love and by law: including unborn children, the elderly, and the disabled at every stage of their biological development regardless of the method of creation. In addition to preborn babies in the womb, our laws should also prohibit experimenting with human life, even at the embryonic and pre-embryonic stages, in laboratories. Leviticus 17:14a shows that human life continues as long as the heart is pumping blood through a person's veins: "… for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life…" In other words, human life should continue until natural death! "Prolife" legislation that bases protection of human life on whether a preborn child is viable, has a heartbeat, or feels pain or whether an adult has a certain level of brain activity violate this principle.
Legislation Must Not Devise Evil By Law.
Psalms 94:20-21 gives a strong warning to legislators who devise evil by law: "Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, Have fellowship with You? They gather together against the life of the righteous, And condemn innocent blood." Isaiah 10:1 echoes this warning, "Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, Who write misfortune, Which they have prescribed…" While many "prolife" laws today may intend to limit abortion, actually, they devise evil by law. For example, a law that reads, no abortion shall be performed unless an ultrasound is first performed, actually allows an abortion to be performed if an ultrasound is first performed. In this example, we could replace ultrasound with parental consent, requiring doctors to have hospital privileges, etc. without changing the reality: in the absence of Roe vs. Wade, most "prolife" laws on the books today would actually legalize the shedding of innocent blood if the specified requirement is first met. Such laws are immoral, do devise evil by law, and deserve a no vote! In most cases, the desired effect can be obtained without devising evil by law by carefully wording legislation. Personhood Florida does have access to prolife attorneys that can help draft legislation in a way that is effective without compromising principle.
Legislation Must Not Punish Children for the Sins of Their Fathers
In Deuteronomy 24:16, God reveals a principle that is ignored by many "prolife" legislators today: "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin." Not too long ago in all 50 states in this nation, the penalty for rape was either life in prison or death. We no longer execute rapists: today, we execute their children! Yet these children are created in God's image, and their lives are just as valuable as anyone else's. We support punishing rapists to the fullest extent of the law. We oppose adding rape and incest exceptions to prolife bills because doing so does punish children for the sins of their fathers. Prolife legislators should insist that prolife legislation not include rape and incest exceptions.
Legislation Must Protect the Life of the Mother and the Life of Her Preborn Baby
Many abortion laws include life of the mother or life and health of the mother exceptions. Many times the health of the mother can be broadly defined to include physical, emotional, psychological, and familial health as well as the woman's age, and a "doctor" that financially benefits from abortion determines whether a mother's life or health necessitate an abortion. As a result, depression or anxiety can be used to qualify for a life and health of the mother exception to a law that would otherwise forbid an abortion. In Exodus 21:22-23, God shows that both the life of the mother and her child are valuable and should be protected by law: "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life..." Over 1000 medical providers have signed the Dublin Declaration, which affirms that abortion is not "medically necessary to save the life of a woman". The American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) with over 2500 members, believes in "'treatment to save the mother's life,' including premature delivery if that is indicated. This is NOT 'abortion to save the mother's life.' Doctors are treating two patients, the mother and the baby, and every reasonable attempt to save the baby's life would also be a part of our medical intervention." In the rare case that the mother's life is indeed endangered by a continuation of the pregnancy, sound medical practice would dictate making every effort to save both lives. ProLife legislation should not permit the purposeful killing of a preborn child by dismemberment. Prolife legislation should require that every effort be made to save the lives of both the mother and her preborn baby.
Legislators Must Stop Making Excuses for Failing to Protect Innocent Human Life
For years we have heard legislators tell us that they would like to end abortion but can't for various reasons. These reasons include: the courts will strike the law down; the bill will never pass the FL Senate; or the bill will never get out of committee. While these reasons may be true, God still requires each legislator to do what is right. Legislators aren't responsible for how other legislators vote or don't vote, nor are they responsible for the decision of the courts or executive branch. Legislators are responsible however to do what they know is right to do. In James 4:17 we read, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." It is time for legislators to stop making excuses for failing to do what is right. It is time for legislators to protect all innocent human life, without exception!