By Eric Young
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jul. 17 2008 07:42 PM EDT
Georgia pro-lifers were encouraged Tuesday after residents of the state’s fastest growing county voted overwhelmingly in support of an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that would grant the paramount right to life to “each human being from the moment of fertilization until a natural death.”
The vote, which was held in Georgia’s rapidly growing and booming suburban Forsyth County, drew levels of support that exceeded 64 percent.
Daniel Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life, said in a statement that the results of the non-bind referendum were revealing in measuring the pro-life views of Georgia citizens as a whole.
“This vote confirms our polling that [a majority of] Georgians believe that Roe vs. Wade should be overturned,” he said, “and sends a strong message to our legislature that the voters expect to see pre-born persons protected by law under our state Constitution.”
“If our lawmakers needed a wake-up call, this is it!”
Becker said the recent development in Forsyth County gave pro-life advocates new hope after a proposed amendment was blocked earlier this year and failed to pass out of the House Judicial Committee.
H.R. 536, dubbed the “Personhood Amendment” or “Human Life Amendment,” was introduced last year by House Rep. Martin Scott (R-Rossville) and defines all human beings from fertilization until natural death as persons and therefore protected under law.
Had H.R. 536 passed, Georgia would have become the first state in the nation to establish the “personhood” of each of its citizens from fertilization until natural death.
Furthermore, the proposed amendment would have provided Georgia with the best legal means of overturning the central holding of Roe v Wade, according to Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.
“The adoption of this amendment will place Georgia at the forefront of the battle to restore the sanctity of innocent human life,” he stated on a Web site promoting the resolution.
Unfortunately, H.R. 536’s stall in the legislature earlier this year effectively thwarted the opportunity for Georgians to vote on it this fall.
“Sixty-four percent of the vote in a large urban, metro country like Forsyth should be viewed as a mandate from the people,” argued Becker.
Aside from Georgia, pro-life activists in several other states are promoting constitutional amendments that would define life as beginning at conception, which could effectively outlaw all abortions and some birth control methods.
Starting in the late 1980s, 10 states amended their constitutions to provide general protections for unborn life. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, implied in one case that the amendments did not trump its core holding that women have a legal right to end pregnancies.
Still, aside from the possible challenge such amendments could pose to Roe v Wade, proponents of the initiatives say their campaign has a political value as well. Georgia Right to Life’s Becker told the Los Angeles Times last November that it could energize dispirited conservatives during the 2008 presidential election.
“It’ll draw a lot of conservatives to the polls,” he said, “in an otherwise lackluster presidential year.”
States that have recently witnessed efforts by pro-life activists similar to Georgia include Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, and Montana, among others.
Christian Post reporter Joshua Goldberg in San Francisco contributed to this article.
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