Georgia Prepares to Battle Roe v. Wade

House bill challenges Roe by establishing personhood of unborn
By Peter J. Smith

Atlanta, Georgia, January 15, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Georgia House of Representatives has taken up the gauntlet to challenge the 34-year-old Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion with a new bill that establishes an unborn child as a human person at conception deserving full protection under the law with no exceptions.

House Bill 1 sponsored by Bobby Franklin with many other cosponsors, declares that “a fetus is a person for all purposes under the laws of this state from the moment of conception” and cites the decision of Roe v. Wade itself to justify its complete ban of abortion.

Franklin’s bill states that “The State of Georgia has the duty to protect all innocent life from the moment of conception until natural death,” and adds that three decades of legal human abortion have “negatively impacted the people of this state in many ways, including economic, health, physical, psychological, emotional, and medical well-being.”

“As a direct result of three decades of legalized abortion on demand, the nation has seen a dramatic rise in the incidence of child abuse and a dramatic weakening of family ties, with the infamous Roe v. Wade decision pitting mothers against their children and women against men.”

The legislation continues: “Georgia Constitution, at Article I, Section I, Paragraph II, provides: ‘Protection to person and property is the paramount duty of government and shall be impartial and complete. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. Because a fetus is a person, constitutional protection attaches at the moment of conception.”

Under article 5, the legislation quotes the Roe decision: “Justice Blackmun, writing for the majority in Roe v. Wade , 410 U.S. 113 (1973), wrote: ‘when those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer [to the question of when life begins].’ Now, 30 years later, the General Assembly knows the answer to that difficult question, and that answer is life begins at the moment of conception.”

In the 1973 Roe decision, Justice Blackmun admitted that Roe would lose its legal justification if an unborn child were determined as a person deserving of rights guaranteed in the 14th Amendment. “[Texas] argue[s] that the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment… If this suggestion of personhood is established, the [pro-abortion] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”

The bill was brought before a house committee hearing January 9, where Sandra Cano, “Mary Doe” of Roe’s companion case Doe v. Bolton, offered testimony and was joined by Dr. Alveda King, niece of the famed Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.

The bill has been greeted with enthusiasm from pro-life organizations. Rev. Flip Benham, Director of Operation Save America/Operation Rescue, described the measure as “the very best bill that any state has brought before its legislative body yet… it is an all out declaration that human life begins at conception and therefore is due protection under the color of Law.”

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