Washington, D.C. (13 March 2009) – American Life League is pleased and privileged to endorse the Maryland Personhood Amendment (HB 925). The following is a statement from Judie Brown, president of American Life League.
"This is an enormous step toward reclaiming the civil rights, equal rights and the human rights for every innocent person including those not yet born. American Life League commends the Maryland legislature for assuming the critical task of addressing the grave injustice that has been created by the negation of these rights for an entire class of human beings. Until we establish civil rights and personhood for all human beings, we cannot have justice in this country.
"Personhood was called for during the hearings held prior to the United States Supreme Court’s egregious Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions. Roe’s attorneys admitted that if personhood were to be established for the preborn, they would not have a case. In writing the Roe v. Wade decision Justice Blackmun made the same point, commenting, 'If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case [the case for abortion], of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.'
"It is pivotal not only for the state of Maryland, but for the entire nation, that clear language be adopted which undoes the injustices created by the Blackmun court. Providing clarity in our laws is of paramount importance. Roe v. Wade ignored the primary question of who is entitled to equal protection and instead deferred to addressing the case as a matter of due process.
"Over the intervening 36 years, it has been argued that personhood is a religious question. This claim could not be farther from the truth. While it is clear that the Blackmun court divorced personhood from the medical and scientific evidence available by simply setting it aside and failing to address it, the facts have not changed.
"The chasm between medical and scientific knowledge and the law when considering the development of human beings is inexcusable. The objective empirical medical and scientific facts known for over a hundred years are clear and cannot be refuted by anyone possessing logic. Any organism, including the single-cell human embryo, irrespective of the method of reproduction, which possesses a genome specific for and consistent with an individual member of the human species, is a human being.
"Americans are not in the business of denying fundamental rights to human beings. In fact, we are the champions of human rights around the world. The most notable instance of this is our involvement in ending the Nazi Holocaust. America spoke in no uncertain terms when condemning the Nazi’s denial of the personhood of Jews. The Nazi propaganda machine went so far as to say that Jews were not human beings – this rightly horrified Americans! We gave weight to our words and courageously fought to end the injustice. America demanded that respect and protection be afforded to all human beings. We must continue this legacy by ensuring that all human beings are recognized as possessing human dignity and therefore deserve respect under the law and in society. We must ensure that all human beings are recognized as human persons, irrespective of age, health, function, physical or mental dependency or method of reproduction, from their biological beginning.
"Whether a human being is a person is not a religious question; it is a scientific matter. The concept of delayed personhood, which is the basis of current Maryland law, is not rooted in scientific fact. The Maryland legislature is now working to correct this egregious denial of human rights by considering the language contained in the Maryland Personhood Amendment. Lawmakers are acknowledging the objective empirical fact that a human being's life begins, when reproduced sexually, when the spermatozoon penetrates the oocyte. Further, these lawmakers are acknowledging that it is a physical, observable reality that a human being's life begins, when reproduced asexually, with a process of events using various methods, involving or not involving the use of sperm and/or oocytes or their components, the result of which is a single-cell human being. Such scientific facts are not 'beliefs.'
"Rather these are internationally recognized objective empirical facts.
"The Carnegie Stages of human development, among other reference points, attest to this fact beyond the shadow of a doubt.
"American Life League implores the Maryland legislature to recognize that all human beings are persons from their biological beginning by voting 'yes' on HB 925.
"American Life League beseeches the Maryland legislature to end the discrimination against an entire class of human beings by restoring individual equal rights and human rights through the passage of HB 925.
"Nothing less is acceptable in a democracy based on the virtue of equal justice for one and all."
American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.
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