Senate Pledges 2020

Updated Wednesday, June 24, 2020

In advance of the upcoming state primaries on June 9, Personhood SC has begun sending out pledge campaigns to state senate candidates, asking if they will support personhood if they are elected. The latest responses may be found below, organized by districts.

Response District First Name Last Name Party
1 Thomas Alexander Republican
Yes 2 Rex Rice Republican
Yes 3 Richard Cash Republican
3 Judith Polson Democratic
4 Jose Villa Democratic
4 Mike Gambrell Republican
5 Michael McCord Democratic
5 Tom Corbin Republican
6 Hao Wu Democratic
6 Dwight Loftis Republican
7 Jack Logan Republican
7 Karl Allen Democratic
8 Ross Turner Republican
Yes 9 Danny Verdin Republican
10 Floyd Nicholson Democratic
Yes 10 Billy Garrett Republican
11 Glenn Reese Democratic
11 Josh Kimbrell Republican
12 Dawn Bingham Democratic
Yes 12 Scott Talley Republican
Yes 13 Shane Martin Republican
14 Sarah Work Alliance
14 Harvey Peeler Republican
15 Vickie Holt Democratic
15 Wes Climer Republican
16 Ram Mammadov Democratic
Yes 16 Michael Johnson Republican
17 Mike Fanning Democratic
17 Mike Fanning Democratic
Yes 18 Ronnie Cromer Republican
18 Christopher Thibault Democratic
19 John Scott Democratic
20 Dick Harpootlian Democratic
Yes 20 Benjamin Dunn Republican
21 Darrell Jackson Democratic
22 Mia McLeod Democratic
22 Lee Blatt Republican
23 Bill Brown Democratic
23 Katrina Shealy Republican
24 Tom Young Republican
25 Shane Massey Republican
25 Shirley Green Frayson Democratic
26 Nikki Setzler Democratic
Yes 26 Chris Smith Republican
27 Vincent Sheheen Democratic
27 Penry Gustafson Republican
28 Greg Hembree Republican
29 Gerald Malloy Democratic
29 JD Chaplin Republican
30 Kent Williams Democratic
31 Hugh Leatherman Republican
32 David Ellison Republican
32 Ronnie Sabb Democratic
33 Luke Rankin Republican
34 Emily Cegledy Democratic
34 Stephen Goldfinch Republican
35 Thomas McElveen Democratic
36 Kevin Johnson Democratic
36 Leon Winn Republican
No 37 Kathryn Whitaker Democratic
37 Steve French Libertarian
Yes 37 Larry Grooms Republican
38 John Lowe Democratic
38 Sean Bennett Republican
39 Vernon Stephens Democratic
39 Tom Connor Republican
40 Brad Hutto Democratic
No 41 Sam Skardon Democratic
41 Sandy Senn Republican
42 Marlon Kimpson Democratic
43 Richard Hricik Democratic
43 Chip Campsen Republican
44 Debbie Chatman Bryant Democratic
Yes 44 Brian Adams Republican
45 Margie Bright Matthews Democratic
45 Rodney Buncum Republican
46 Nathan Campbell Democratic
46 Tom Davis Republican

House Pledges 2020

Updated Thursday, July 30, 2020

In advance of June 9, Personhood SC has sent out pledges, asking for support of personhood legislation. The latest responses may be found below, organized by districts.

Response District First Name Last Name Party
1 Bill Whitmire Republican
2 Bill Sandifer Republican
3 Eunice Lehmacher Democratic
3 Jerry Carter Republican
Yes 4 David Davey Hiott Republican
No 5 Neal Collins Republican
6 Brian White Republican
7 Andrea Bejarano-Robinson Democratic
7 Jay West Republican
8 Jackie Todd Alliance
Yes 8 Jonathon Hill Republican
Yes 9 Anne Thayer Republican
10 West Cox Republican
11 Craig Gagnon Republican
12 Anne Parks Democratic
No 12 Robbie Bryant Green
12 James Pearman Republican
No 13 Denise Waldrep Democratic
Yes 13 John McCravy Republican
14 Stewart Jones Republican
15 JA Moore Democratic
15 Samuel Rivers Jr Republican
16 Mark N Willis Republican
Yes 17 Mike Burns Republican
18 Benjamin Smith Democratic
18 Tommy Stringer Republican
19 Jevarus Howard Democratic
19 Patrick Haddon Republican
20 Stephen Dreyfus Democratic
20 Adam Morgan Republican
Yes 21 Bobby Cox Republican
22 BK Brown Democratic
22 Jason Elliott Republican
23 Chandra Dillard Democratic
24 Bruce Bannister Republican
25 Leola Simpson Democratic
25 Tony Boyce Independence
25 Darath Mackie Republican
26 Monica Danneman Democratic
26 Raye Felder Republican
27 Garry Smith Republican
28 Ty Washington Democratic
28 Ashley Trantham Republican
29 Dennis Moss Republican
30 Steve Moss Republican
31 Rosalyn Henderson-Myers Democratic
32 Max Hyde Republican
Yes 33 Thomas Riddle Constitution
Yes 33 Travis Moore Republican
Yes 34 Roger A Nutt Republican
35 Helen Pendarvis Democratic
Yes 35 Bill Chumley Republican
Yes 36 Rita Allison Republican
Yes 37 Steven Long Republican
Yes 38 Josiah Magnuson Republican
39 Cal Forrest Republican
40 Rick Martin Republican
41 Annie McDaniel Democratic
Yes 41 Jennifer Brecheisen Republican
42 Doug Gilliam Republican
43 Reid Carrico Democratic
43 Randy Ligon Republican
44 Mandy Powers Norrell Democratic
44 Sandy McGarry Republican
45 Keith Grey Sr Democratic
45 Brandon Newton Republican
46 Gary Simrill Republican
No 47 Ryan McKenzie Arioli Democratic
47 Tommy Pope Republican
48 Kathryn Roberts Democratic
48 Bruce Bryant Republican
49 John King Democratic
49 Johnny Walker Republican
50 Will Wheeler Democratic
51 David Weeks Democratic
52 Laurie Slade Funderburk Democratic
Yes 52 Vic Dabney Republican
53 Richard L Richie Yow Republican
54 Patricia Moore Pat Henegan Democratic
54 Sterling McDiarmid Republican
55 Jackie Hayes Democratic
56 Bruce Fischer Democratic
56 Tim McGinnis Republican
57 Lucas Atkinson Democratic
58 Jeff Johnson Republican
59 Terry Alexander Democratic
60 Teresa McGill Cain Democratic
60 Phillip Lowe Republican
61 Roger Kirby Democratic
63 Isaac Wilson Democratic
63 Jay Jordan Republican
64 Kimberly Johnson Democratic
64 Cindy Risher Republican
65 Jay Lucas Republican
66 Gilda Cobb-Hunter Democratic
66 Jeffrey Cila Republican
67 Murrell Smith Republican
68 Mike Childs Alliance
Yes 68 Larry Guy Hammond Libertarian
68 Heather Ammons Crawford Republican
69 Chris Wooten Republican
70 Wendy Brawley Democratic
71 Terry Seawright Democratic
71 Lawrence Lee Libertarian
71 Nathan Ballentine Republican
72 Seth Rose Democratic
73 Chris Hart Democratic
73 Myron Samuels Republican
74 Todd Rutherford Democratic
74 Vimalkumar Jariwala Republican
75 Rhodes Bailey Democratic
75 Kirkman Finlay III Republican
76 Leon Howard Democratic
77 Kambrell Garvin Democratic
77 Justin Bishop Libertarian
78 Beth Bernstein Democratic
78 Viresh Sinha Republican
79 Ivory Thigpen Democratic
79 Victor Kocher Libertarian
80 Jermaine Johnson Democratic
80 Vincent E Wilson Republican
Yes 81 Robert Williams Republican
81 Bart Blackwell Republican
82 William Bill Clyburn Democratic
83 Evelyn Robinson Democratic
Yes 83 Bill Hixon Republican
84 Melissa Oremus Republican
85 Chip Huggins Republican
86 Bill Taylor Republican
87 Paula Rawl Calhoon Republican
Yes 88 RJ May Republican
89 Micah Caskey Republican
90 Justin Bamberg Democratic
90 Glenn Posey Republican
91 Lonnie Hosey Democratic
92 Joe Daning Republican
93 Russell Ott Democratic
94 Patricia Cannon Democratic
94 Gil Gatch Republican
95 Jerry Govan Democratic
95 Willie Legette Labor
Yes 96 D Ryan McCabe Republican
97 Ronee De Canio Democratic
97 Mandy Kimmons Republican
98 Chris Murphy Republican
99 Jen Gibson Democratic
99 Mark Smith Republican
100 Sylleste Davis Republican
101 Cezar McKnight Democratic
102 Joe Jefferson Democratic
103 Carl Anderson Democratic
104 William Bailey Republican
Yes 105 Kevin Hardee Republican
106 Russell Fry Republican
107 Alan Clemmons Republican
108 Lee Hewitt Republican
109 Deon Tedder Democratic
109 Rodney Travis Libertarian
110 Rebecca Niess Cingolani Democratic
110 William Cogswell Republican
111 Wendell Gilliard Democratic
Yes 111 Ted Vining Republican
112 Daniel Brownstein Democratic
112 Joe Bustos Republican
113 Marvin Pendarvis Democratic
114 Brad Jayne Alliance
114 Ed Sutton Democratic
Yes 114 Lin Bennett Republican
115 Carol Tempel Democratic
115 Spencer Wetmore Democratic
115 Josh Stokes Republican
116 Chardale Murray Democratic
116 Carroll O’Neal Republican
117 Krystle Matthews Democratic
Yes 117 Jordan Pace Republican
118 Mitchell Siegel Democratic
Yes 118 Bill Herbkersman Republican
119 Leon Stavrinakis Democratic
119 Alex Thornton Libertarian
120 Weston Newton Republican
121 Michael Rivers Sr Democratic
121 Eric Erickson Republican
122 Shedron Hook Williams Democratic
Yes 122 Ashley Lawton Republican
123 Christine deVries Democratic
123 Jeff Bradley Republican
124 Barb Nash Democratic
124 Shannon Erickson Republican

Press Release: Legislators and Pro-Family Organizations Urge Gov. McMaster to Close Abortion Clinics Amid Epidemic

South Carolina, April 9th

Letters and petitions have been sent to Governor Henry McMaster urging him to close abortions clinics, who have failed to comply with his request to “halt all elective and non-threatening surgical and medical procedures.” The medical community at-large has voluntarily complied with the request during this crisis at great financial cost. They are united in their efforts to protect the lives of the most vulnerable in our society with one glaring exception — abortion clinics. As hospitals across the country face critical shortages of personal protection equipment (PPE) and medical resources essential to combating the coronavirus, abortion clinics continue to use scarce PPE and increase risk to exposure among staff and patients. 

A letter to Gov. McMaster authored by Senator Richard Cash (R-Anderson) and signed by 17 Senators including Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey and Senate President Harvey Peeler stated, “As a matter of fact, killing a baby in the mother’s womb is an elective procedure, a “choice”, not a necessity, not an emergency. Abortion clinics are not complying with the request you made on March 17th; rather they are using up PPE and exposing staff and patients to unnecessary risks by continuing to perform abortions.”

In a conference arranged by Sen. Cash, Rep. John McCravy (R-Greenwood), the moderator of the House Family Caucus said, “We are to the person outraged… disgusted at their failure to comply with the Governor’s request.” Family Caucus member Stewart Jones (R-Laurens), authored a “Letter from the House” signed by 17 members of the house that said, “The Governor has closed business, sent people home, families are not working, yet abortions continue in South Carolina. We need to close every abortion clinic in this state immediately. Other states are doing this across our country. Texas, Ohio, Maryland and other States are making these same calls.”

Also on the call were leaders of pro-family groups. Joshua Putnam, executive director of Palmetto Family Council, launched a petition campaign asking for abortion closure to “limit community spread” and urging “the Governor and DHEC to enforce what they have medical facilities to do during this pandemic.” Lisa Van Riper, President of South Carolina Citizens for Life, said, “society is working feverishly and making great sacrifice to save the heartbeat of those stricken with this virus. The fact that Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics… [continue to be] allowed to operate in direct defiance of the Governor’s directive is unconscionable.”   

Holly Gattling, speaking on behalf of the National Right to Life Committee, addressed the question of whether the Governor has the legal authority to temporarily close abortion clinics during the crisis. She pointed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The court upheld Governor Greg Abbot’s (R-TX) executive order requiring “all licensed medical facilities, and that’s including abortion facilities, to postpone all surgeries and procedures not immediately medically necessary.”

Dr. Matt Clark, a practicing physician who holds a master’s in public health and serves as Executive Director of Personhood SC, offered his thoughts from a medical and public health perspective on the decision of abortion practitioner’s to continue to provide abortions: “From the perspective of an individual physician, in my office we’re practicing very strict social distancing … and the kinds of visits we have with patients are not near as close and likely to spread illness as what’s going on inside abortion clinics.

State House Representatives Ask the Governor to Close Abortion Clinics During COVID-19 Shutdown

The following is a transcript of the letter sent by 17 representatives of the state house of South Carolina to Governor Henry McMaster, asking him and his administration to close non-essential abortion clinics in the state during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dear Governor McMaster:

We the undersigned members of the South Carolina House of Representatives and the Family Caucus, write to raise substantial concern regarding Planned Parenthood and any abortion provider in South Carolina. Because of the pandemic, you asked medical professionals not to perform elective procedures at this time. Unfortunately, some are not following this advice and therefore are endangering the public by continuing. Despite your request on March 17th to “halt all elective and non-threatening surgical and medical procedures … ” they have continued to perform abortions.

It is imperative for healthcare facilities to cease performing elective surgeries during the current COVID-19 crisis yet, Planned Parenthood continues to perform elective abortions.

Putting aside any questions with respect to “elective” and “nonselective” at a time when personal protective equipment and other medical supplies are in short supply, it is unconscionable that a healthcare facility is not contributing to helping. Abortion facilities are linked to surgical facilities.

A growing number of states like Ohio and Maryland have ceased performing elective abortions during this COVID-19 health crisis to preserve critical personal protective equipment and medical supplies. South Carolina should do the same and stop abortions from being performed in defense of life.

Also, it was reported in the Hill that “A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that Texas can temporarily enforce a ban on abortions as part of its coronavirus response. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay on a ruling from a lower court that had blocked Texas from enforcing the ban. State officials argue the ban is intended to conserve medical supplies for health workers on the front lines of the corona virus response.”

We are sure you will find the fact that Planned Parenthood continues to operate performing abortions during this time equally disturbing. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We are hopeful that all healthcare facilities will direct resources to beating COVID-19 and defending life by helping the people of South Carolina in this incredibly difficult time. I’ve also attached a letter from Palmetto Family to DHEC that has pertinent information.

Sincerely,

Rep. Stewart 0. Jones
Rep. John R. Mccravy III
Rep. Josiah Magnuson
Rep. Garry R. Smith
Rep. Steven W. Long
Rep. Jonathon D. Hill
Rep. Doug Gilliam
Rep. Mike Burns
Rep. Anne J. Thayer
Rep. Bobby J. Cox
Rep. William M. Chumley
Rep. Mark Willis
Rep. Melissa Oremus
Rep. Rick Martin
Rep. Ashley Trantham
Rep. Patrick Haddon
Rep. Adam Morgan

A copy of the original letter may be read here: House Representative Letter – 6 April 2020

2018 Personhood Day

On January 24, 2018, legislators, pastors, and citizens of South Carolina gathered at the South Carolina State House to urge passage of the Personhood Act of South Carolina (S217 / H3530). Below are their passionate speeches, personal testimonies, and prayers in support of the right to life of all preborn babies…

1. Executive Director Dr. Matthew Clark & SC Governor Henry McMaster

 

2. Senator Richard Cash

 

3. Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant

 

4. Attorney General Alan Wilson

 

5. Mrs. Valerie H. Quick

 

6. Pastor Tommy E. Quick

 

7. Representative Josiah Magnuson

 

8. Personhood SC Board Member, Pastor Andrew Dionne

 

9. Mrs. Ashley Lawton

 

10. Mr. Yancey McGill

 

11. Mrs. Rose Duncan

 

12. Pastor Mike Gonzalez

 

13. Mr. Travis M. Childers

 

14. Personhood SC Executive Director, Dr. Matthew Clark

Allan E. Parker, Jr. Testimony in Support of S217

SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF S. 217 OF

ALLAN E. PARKER, JR.

President, The Justice Foundation

[Video of this testimony can be viewed here.]

My name is Allan E. Parker, Jr. I am currently the President of The Justice Foundation. I graduated from the University of Texas School of Law number 1 in my class in 1979. I was a member of the Law Review with other awards and distinctions. I am a former Professor of Law. I have studied and taught International Law. See my attached curriculum vitae.

I have had the great honor of representing Norma McCorvey, the former “Roe” of Roe v. Wade and Sandra Cano, the former “Doe” of Doe v. Bolton in their efforts to reverse their two cases that brought legalized abortion to America. The Justice Foundation has collected the legally admissible written testimonies of over 4,500 women hurt by abortion and I have represented over 3,355 women hurt by abortion in cases at the United States Supreme Court.

The United States Supreme Court cited The Justice Foundation’s Amicus Curiae Brief on behalf of Sandra Cano and 180 Women Hurt By Abortion in its decision known as Gonzales v. Carhart in 2007 which stated as follows: “It is unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret” their abortions. “Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision” and is “fraught with emotional consequence.” The Court also noted that “severe depression and loss of esteem can follow” an abortion. Gonzales also reaffirmed that “[t]he government may use to voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman.” 127 S. Ct. 1610, 1633 (2007). The Court upheld a federal statute which struck down the inhumane late term abortion procedure.

The victory in that court decision led to other court decisions based upon the women’s testimony including Planned Parenthood v. Rounds1 in which the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a South Dakota statute requiring an abortionist to tell a woman that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being,…” and that ‘human being’ in this case means ‘an individual living member of the species of Homo Sapiens‘. In that case the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals en banc (meaning the whole court) determined there was adequate scientific evidence to support that statement so that it is not false, misleading or ideological. The 8th Circuit Court also upheld the South Dakota statute requiring abortionists to tell women if they have abortions, they have an increased risk of suicide and suicidal ideation or thoughts.2

Having analyzed S. 217, it is my conclusion that the Bill is constitutional under the U.S. Constitution. The United States Constitution in both the 5th and 14th Amendment says that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law. Since the scientific evidence is quite clear now that a child in the womb is a human being from the moment of fertilization, it is clear that such a human being is a person who should be entitled to the full legal protection of the law with respect to their right to life at a very minimum. The greatest injustice in the world today is the dismemberment and death of millions of persons, literally the most innocent children in the womb, by abortion.

In addition, abortion is a crime against humanity. A crime against humanity occurs when any government withdraws legal protection from a class of human beings resulting in their severe deprivation, including death – the ultimate deprivation of rights. Dredd Scott was such a crime against humanity by denying personhood to African Americans. Plessy v. Ferguson was a crime against humanity by maintaining “separate but equal” segregation for African Americans. Brown v. Board of Education corrected the Supreme Court’s error which had been created 58 years earlier in Plessy v. Ferguson and gave African Americans equal rights to equal facilities and benefits under the law as the Constitution had intended. Roe v. Wade is not even as old as Brown v. Board of Education was when it was reversed since it is only 44 years old and not 58.

The written Constitution is the highest law of the land, under God’s law, since we claim to be one nation under God. Our Declaration of Independence is based on God’s law, and declares that our rights come from God. We derive the legitimacy of our form of government from the written Constitution which was ratified by the people, not judges. When the government follows the Constitution this gives it the legitimacy of the consent of the governed and it becomes a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Opinions of the Supreme Court are interpretations of the Constitution. They are applications of the Constitution to particular factual situations. Facts can change. They are not the Constitution nor are they laws of the United States in the sense that federal statutes are laws of the United States. Supreme Court decisions are binding on the parties to a case or controversy.

The Supreme Court is not infallible. The Supreme Court has reversed itself on constitutional issues over 200 times including recent issues such as the death penalty and criminal sodomy. The most famous example of the Supreme Court reversing itself is Brown v. Board of Education.

Everyone agrees that Brown v. Board of Education was a great decision. It is celebrated throughout American society as one of the crowning achievements of the U.S. Supreme Court. It is often used as an example of how the Supreme Court should expand into other areas of law and create new constitutional civil rights.

But why was Brown v. Board of Education so great? First, it is great because it corrected a horrible injustice that actually constituted a crime against humanity. As stated above, a crime against humanity occurs when a government withdraws legal protection from a class of human beings resulting in great harm to them. The Plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education massively documented the harm that the “separate but equal” doctrine had created in the lives of Black Americans. Brown became a great and historic decision by reversing the Supreme Court’s erroneous doctrine of “separate but equal” and restoring full dignity, humanity and legal protection to a class of human beings in America, Black Americans.

The second great thing about Brown v. Board of Education is that the Supreme Court corrected its own mistake, rather than leaving it to society or a civil war to correct its injustice. Where did the doctrine of “separate but equal” come from? It did not come from the Constitution, it came from the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. It was contrary to the Constitution. When the radical Republicans were in control of the South through Reconstruction after the Civil War, Black Americans – the former slaves and their descendants, were given full legal rights and many of the Southern legislatures had large numbers of Black Republican representatives. However, when Reconstruction ended and control was given back to the local populations of the South, Southern Democrats created the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’. In 1896, in Plessy v. Ferguson the Supreme Court lacked the moral courage to overcome the opposition of the Southern Democrats and strike down the “separate but equal” doctrine.

Thus it was the Supreme Court’s moral cowardess, social injustice, and indifference to the plight of human beings that led to continued legal segregation. Plessy v. Ferguson was “legal.” It was approved by the Supreme Court, but it was unjust. It was only fit and right for the Supreme Court to reverse its own decision and 58 years of stare decisis in Brown v. Board of Education. All Americans agree on that today, except a radical fringe.

It took the Civil War to end another crime against humanity by the Supreme Court which was the Dred Scott case in which the judges denied personhood and thus legal protection to a class of human beings, i.e. Black Americans in slavery.

The U.S. Supreme Court did not create any new “constitutional” rights for anyone in Brown v. Board of Education. They merely reversed their own 58 yr. old precedent and reversed their own decision in Plessy v. Ferguson which had denied these rights that were specifically written in the Constitution in the 13th and 14th Amendments. Thus Brown is actually an example of how the U.S. Supreme Court is duty bound by morality, law and justice to overturn any of its previous decisions, no matter how long they have been in place, when they are a crime against humanity.

Is there a class of human beings in America today who have been denied personhood and thus legal protection, which results in their severe deprivation or even death? The answer may create shock and horror for some, but there are almost a million children in the womb killed each year by their parents. It is time for the U.S. Supreme Court and South Carolina to reverse this crime against humanity and give full legal protection to each human being, no matter how young.

Society is also ready for such a change in that we have enacted Safe Haven laws in every state in the nation including South Carolina. Any woman that does not want to take care of a child she has conceived, for whatever reason can now transfer responsibility to care for the child to the state. In all 50 states the child can be transferred to the state at the moment of birth or within a reasonable time thereafter and the state will take care of that child until adopted or he or she reaches the age of majority. See www.safehavenalliance.org. South Carolina allows 30 days for the transfer. Estimates are up to two million parents will be or are waiting to adopt healthy infants. The U.S. Supreme Court has not rated on this issue.

In fact, Plessy was Supreme Court approved devastation for the Black community. Roe v. Wade has also devastated the Black community, so much so that it could be called racist.

Plessy and segregation would still exist today if we simply followed Supreme Court opinions forever. Plessy, like Roe, was the law of the land. Even under the doctrine of stare decisis, which says we should not overturn decisions lightly, it is always time to end a crime against humanity, no matter how many people object; no matter how loud the screaming or rioting. The greatness of Brown is that the Court had the moral courage to reverse its own decision. We need that today.

Even as a Supreme Court precedent, there is no such thing as a “super precedent” as claimed for “Roe” by Senator Dianne Feinstein in the recent Gorsuch hearings. It has been 25 years since the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether to reverse Roe v. Wade in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and it significantly eroded Roe at that time. Roe v. Wade was reduced from a fundamental right to a right which cannot be “unduly burdened”. Strict scrutiny was reduced to a mid-level tier of scrutiny. The recent Hellerstadt decision only held that a bill which purported to regulate benefits for women from abortion must, in fact, produce some medical benefits, which the Court held the bill did not do. The Personhood Amendment is clearly intended for the benefit of human beings in the womb, and clearly relieving them from death is a much more significant benefit to them than the medical regulations were to women or children in the Hellerstadt case. Judge Neil Gorsuch, assuming he is confirmed, recently listed factors which he would consider in overruling precedent including

1) The age of the precedent, Roe v. Wade at 44; Plessy v. Ferguson at 58 when it was overruled by Brown v. Board of Education.

2) The reliance interests which are significant, but which are significantly lessened by South Carolina’s Safe Haven law allowing women to leave their babies at the hospital upon birth or within thirty days thereafter thus eliminating the need for abortion. Most women get abortions because they cannot or do not want the baby, not because abortions are good in themselves. No woman gets pregnant to get an abortion, according to the Texas abortionist in Hellerstadt.

3) Whether the decision was correctly decided. Most analysts conclude that Roe was an exercise of raw judicial power and it has been criticized by liberal and conservative legal scholars.

4) Whether it is constitutional or statutory. Constitutional errors must be correct by the Court. Since Roe and Doe are purported “constitutional” decisions, it is far more important for the Supreme Court to correct its decision when it is wrong since it is vastly easier for the Supreme Court to correct it than for the American people to correct it through either civil war or constitutional amendment.

5) Another factor in overturning a precedent is whether it has come to be accepted by the American people. Planned Parenthood v. Casey was supposed to put an end to the controversy and settle the abortion question. It clearly has not. In Hellerstadt, Justice Alito stated, “The constitutionality of laws regarding abortion is one of the most controversial issues in America law, but this case does not require us to delve into that contentious dispute”. Who could disagree with that? This shows that the continuing legitimacy of Roe v. Wade was not in question nor examined by the Supreme Court in the Hellerstadt case. On the other hand, in Gonzales v. Carhart, Justice Ginsburg in her dissent shows that the Court’s hostility to Roe is barely concealed and that in an appropriate case with the appropriate evidence, it might well reconsider it.

Do the rights in the Bill of Rights, and the immunities protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, apply to the unborn? In other words, is there in English Common Law and history at the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment any declaration of the rights of the unborn which would warrant incorporation into the Fourteenth Amendment? The answer is “Yes”.

There is a principle in Blackstone referring directly to the unborn, as clear and direct as any reference to the right to privacy, or any of the other more specific rights listed in the Bill of Rights. It is a clear declaration of rights and refers specifically to the unborn:3

“One who is in the womb is held as already born, whenever a question arises for its benefit.”

According to English Common Law, the unborn have all the rights of the born, and these rights have been embodied in our Constitution in the Fifth, the Ninth and the Fourteenth Amendments.4 All the rights in the Bill of Rights apply to the unborn, as well as the born. In addition, the members of Congress and others that passed the Fourteenth Amendment with its express right to life were significantly involved in promoting laws against abortion.

“The Fourteenth Amendment was created in 1866 and adopted in 1868, which places it directly in the time frame in which the most important burst of anti-abortion legislation in American history was occurring. It is noteworthy that the same congressmen who voted for the Fourteenth Amendment had also created, voted for, and enacted laws in the Federal Territories of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada that made the performance of abortion on ‘a woman then being with a child’ a crime. To argue that the creators of the Fourteenth Amendment would have approved of their amendment as the basis of a fundamental right of privacy that included a woman’s decision to have an abortion, is to argue in blatant contradiction to historical facts. These were the same legislators who had created tough anti-abortion laws. It is reasonable to conclude that the concept of a ‘person’ was so basic to the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment that it was simply taken for granted to include a person in the womb. There is no indication that legislators in the latter half of the nineteenth century viewed the concept of a ‘person’ to be separable from the concept of living human being. And yet such a distinction is imperative if we are to accept Weddington’s and ultimately the Court’s logic.” (Resler, Compelling Interest, 40-41). See also, Resler, Compelling Interest, 62-64.

The Tenth Amendment also gives powers to the state. S. 217 is a proper exercise of the state’s duty to protect the life of all persons within the state.5

In conclusion, in the words of Abraham Lincoln: “And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution … I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.” Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

Advancing Life, Liberty and Justice in Him,

Allan E. Parker, Jr.,

President

1 Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, 530 F. 3rd 724 (8th Cir. 2008) (en banc)

2 Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota v. Rounds, 686 F.3d 889 (8th Cir. 2012) (en banc)

3 Blackstone’s Commentaries, 130. Also cited in Black’s Law Dictionary, pg. 1481.

4 The 9th Amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

5 The Tenth Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”