Nevada personhood ballot measure rewritten by Judge
Nevada initiative would prevent all abortions even in the case of rape, incest or health of mother
A district judge ruled that Nevada's personhood ballot measure was misleading to voters. The judge has rewritten the initiative.
Similar personhood measures are ongoing in the state of Mississippi and elsewhere.
Under Nevada law, all initiatives need to be accompanied by an explanation of their effects to help voters make informed decisions. However -- the Nevada Prolife Coalition's official explanation of the measure only discusses its effects on the legality of abortion.
Both medical and legal experts say that granting unborn children legal personhood would have far-reaching legal consequences even beyond the issue of abortion. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the Nevada personhood measure last October, claiming it was misleading to voters because it did not list the measure's full ramifications.
"Nevadans deserve to know that this initiative seeks to outlaw women's health services like abortion, the birth control pill and treatment for complicated pregnancies, just to name a few," Elisa Cafferata, president and CEO of Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates said in a statement. "Nearly 20 years ago Nevada voters affirmed the tenets of Roe vs. Wade and a woman's right to privacy. Nevadans do not support interfering in women's personal and private decision making."
The president of Personhood USA Keith Mason said Planned Parenthood's statements about the effects of the initiative were not true.
"It only affects those procedures in as much as they kill an innocent person; it does not ban those things at all," he said.
Nevada District Judge James E. Wilson sided with the plaintiffs this week, determining that Nevada Prolife Coalition's description of effect "is inadequate" to inform voters. Wilson didn't rule the measure illegal, but ordered the Nevada Prolife Coalition to substitute the following language into the initiative before it starts collecting signatures:
The initiative would protect a prenatal person regardless of whether or not the prenatal person would live, grow, or develop in the womb or survive birth; prevent all abortions even in the case of rape, incest, or serious threats to the woman's health or life, or when a woman is suffering from a miscarriage, or as an emergency treatment for an ectopic pregnancy.
The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to utilize some forms of birth control, including the "pill;" and to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will affect embryonic stem cell research, which offers potential for treating diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, and others.
The Nevada Prolife Coalition has to collect 72,352 valid signatures by June to get the measure on next year's ballot.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Personhood, Nevada, abortion, Right to Life, Personhood amendment
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