A group of Nevada’s pro-life organizations have come out in opposition to the Personhood Amendment initiative launched in October by Richard Ziser, a former Republican U.S. Senate candidate and campaign manager of Personhood Nevada.
The initiative petition, filed October 21 with the Secretary of State’s office, would amend the Nevada Constitution to read: "In the great state of Nevada, the term ‘person’ applies to every human being. Article I Section 8 of the Nevada constitution states, ‘No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.’"
Nevada Life, Nevada Eagle Forum, Nevada Families and the Independent American Party, issued a joint statement opposing the Personhood initiative petition, saying the proposed constitution amendment "is so vague and general that it may not even apply to abortion at all."
"This amendment will harm the pro-life movement by giving pro-abortion courts more power to decide all matters relating to abortion such as parental notification, informed consent and taxpayer funding of abortion," the pro-life groups’ statement said. "These matters should be decided by the elected representatives of the people – state legislatures and Congress, not the unelected courts."
Considering the courts to be the "greatest threat to the unalienable right to life of the unborn," the pro-life groups believe the Personhood Initiative "will end up giving unlimited power to the courts to perpetuate and expand the disastrous effects of Roe v Wade and will interfere further with any legislative efforts to stop abortion."
Richard Ziser told the Las Vegas Sun that he believes the wording of the initiative petition is clear. The amendment will be voted on by the people and not imposed by the courts, hence the pro-life groups’ apprehension of giving "pro-abortion courts more power" is "another opinion and everybody has their own," he said.
Keith Mason, cofounder of Personhood USA, observed that "Personhood Nevada is embarking in a battle against the greatest evil of our day, the dehumanization of defenseless people," while fellow cofounder Cal Zastrow charged that the opposing pro-life groups, while working toward the same goal, believed in "curbing instances of abortion" through outreach and education, instead of outlawing abortion.
"Praise the Lord for the vision and courage of Personhood Nevada to really end the murdering of children! When asked what legal language they propose to protect all preborn children in Nevada, other groups have refused to come up with any, but Personhood Nevada does have legal language and a realistic plan." Zastrow said.
Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D., legal analyst for Personhood USA, said in a press release "there is nothing vague in stating that ‘all human beings shall be considered persons’, just like there is nothing vague in stating that all persons have the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Referring to the lawsuit filed against the sponsors of the Nevada Personhood Amendment initiative by Planned Parenthood (PP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Garcia Jones pointed out that "Abortion proponents have sued to stop personhood amendments in Colorado, Missouri, and Nevada because they realize that personhood amendments have the power to unravel the web of legal fictions that impose abortion upon America."