Santorum signs symbolic personhood petition

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has furthered his commitment to the pro-life cause, signing a draft version of the Oklahoma Personhood Amendment petition. The ‘fetal personhood’ movement has swept the country in recent months and aims to outlaw abortion by defining life as beginning at the moment of conception.

Fetal personhood measures have been denounced by critics for being “too extreme,” as they could bring about a host of unintended consequences if passed. Some have argued that the measures could even outlaw in vitro fertilization and certain types of medical research.

Santorum, a vocal anti-abortion advocate, has participated in Personhood USA Presidential Forums and signed the Personhood USA Presidential pledge. His opponent, Mitt Romney, has come under fire for his failure to sign the pledge or attend any of the personhood forums.

In addition to supporting personhood movements on a state level, Santorum has voiced his support for anti-abortion legislation at the federal level.

Via PR Web:

When asked what similar personhood legislation at the federal level would look like, Santorum said, “The act would be a very simple one that would recognize life from conception to natural death as what it is, a human life. We do not differentiate stages of development, or mental capacity, or capacity at the end of life, as being any less of a person. Personhood is defined as an entity that is genetically human and alive–it is a person as contemplated under our Constitution. The legislation would be one that is simple, and brief, and to the point.” When asked what his response would be if the Supreme Court were to strike down the law he commented, “You do what you always do in every case when the Court strikes it down, you fight.”

According to a press release, Personhood Oklahoma currently has more than 13,000 volunteers collecting signatures across the state, and must submit just over 155,000 signatures by the end of May to reach the November ballot. Santorum’s signature is merely symbolic, as Oklahoma requires all those who sign petitions to be residents of the state.

Last month, Oklahoma lawmakers edged closer to outlawing abortion when the state senate overwhelmingly passed a Personhood bill that would grant individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception.

A personhood amendment may be on the ballot this year in Colorado as well.

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Virginia Chamlee

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