On Tuesday, the Virginia House passed a bill declaring fetuses people. The bill would ban abortion and some forms of contraception and fertility treatment. This positions Virginia — which now has a Republican super-majority — to become the first state to enact a fetal personhood measure, which supporters hope will lead the Supreme Court to revisit the constitutionality of abortion rights.
The American Independent News Network’s Sofia Resnick and John Tomasic have been reporting on efforts to get personhood laws on the books in Colorado, where anti-abortion activists have been trying to pass a personhood constitutional amendment for the past four years. Ballot initiatives have been voted down by wide margins in each of the last two elections in Colorado, in 2008 and 2010, but the state’s loose initiative system and what Tomasic calls the “constellation of high-profile big-money Christian-right players” headquartered in the state make it Ground Zero for the personhood movement.
Mississippi voters famously voted down a personhood amendment at the ballot box last November and several states have failed to get similar measures on their ballots in 2012. But voters in states such as Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio and Oklahoma and Oregon will all have the opportunity this year to try to criminalize abortion in their states. It will take just one state to fundamentally change the reproductive-rights debate.
Watch Resnick and Tomasic discuss the personhood trend. Stay tuned for their upcoming personhood series.
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