Montana And Personhood

Due to the fact that the Montana Catholic Conference, in a statement signed by Bishop Leo Thomas, Diocese of Helena, and Bishop Michael W. Warfel, Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, publicly opposed CI-100, I felt obligated to issue the following statement in support of the personhood initiative. Please keep in mind as you read this that the Montana Catholic Conference supported the very same language last year when it was proposed as a legislative measure in the Montana state legislature.

American Life League is committed to the principle that every innocent human being, from the moment his life begins at fertilization, is equally valuable to society and should be protected under the law. This is the principle of personhood, which guarantees the fundamental right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to each citizen of the United States. This principle, as enunciated by our founding fathers, has been tragically eroded by the sweeping United States Supreme Court rulings in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. These 1973 USCC rulings have removed all legal protection from an entire class of human beings prior to their actual birth and have surrendered the personhood principle of our founding fathers to the architects of the culture of death.

Permission to kill by abortion has been granted to mothers and those medical practitioners who surgically perform the grisly act. Regardless of the terminology employed by those who foster the cult of abortion in America the fact is that a direct act of abortion results in the death of an innocent human being.

Montana state Representative Rick Jore has devised a strategy for not only bringing this tragedy to the attention of the people of Montana, but possibly taking the question of personhood all the way to the United States Supreme Court. This is a clever, well thought-out, extraordinarily vital part of an overall strategy to end abortion in America. By recalling the words of United States Supreme Court Justice Henry Blackmun, Jore has challenged the status quo.

Justice Blackmun said in the Roe vs. Wade decision:

[If the] suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.

Thus a proposal such as Jore’s CI-100 lays bare the horror of what that decision has meant to preborn children and invites the people of Montana to exercise their right to vote in favor of amending the Montana State Constitution so that preborn children from the first instant of their existence will be recognized as persons once the Supreme Court decisions are overturned.

American Life League firmly believes that the pro-life movement as a whole has wasted precious time by not pursuing strategies like Jore’s in an effort to get at the root cause of abortion in America, which is the denial of personhood. It was 35 years ago that Justice Blackmun took note of personhood and it is about time that pro-life leaders across the nation heeded his words and pursued personhood by every avenue available.

Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, has said that proposals like Jore’s are "the best legal means of overturning the central holding of Roe v. Wade.” He has further opined, “For too long the pro-life movement has been dominated by a strategy of 'wait,' too fearful of losing to risk winning."

American Life League wholeheartedly agrees. It is long past time to act as though we mean it when we say that abortion truly is a heinous crime and must be outlawed sooner than later. Courageous leaders like Montana state Representative Rick Jore are taking that message seriously and we applaud his efforts. American Life League calls upon the Montana Catholic Conference of Bishops to join with the pro-life people of Montana in support of this initiative.