Monday, December 28, 2009

Why Personhood?

Before considering the question, "Why Personhood?" it might be best to explain what Personhood is. The simple, dictionary definition of the word "person" is "a human being." The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees both the right to life and the equal protection of the law to all persons under the jurisdiction of the United States. Personhood is the effort to gain recognition in law that the term "person," as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, applies to all human beings from conception until natural death.

So, why Personhood? Politically, the pro-life movement has been a failure for over thirty-five years now. The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case is now (mistakenly) considered to be above any law passed by Congress or the state legislatures. Pro-life efforts to get Roe v. Wade overturned have focused on Supreme Court appointments, yet, when George W. Bush left office, seven of the nine Supreme Court Justices were nominated by supposedly pro-life Republican presidents. Why, then, is Roe v. Wade still firmly entrenched in our legal system?

Many "pro-life" figures have simply made too many compromises. Laws intended to regulate against the most heinous of abortion procedures instead serve as an instruction manual for performing an abortion. The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 did nothing but instruct abortionists on how far outside the birth canal a baby's body could be before that abortionist could no longer puncture that baby's skull and kill him or her. Why was this considered a victory for the pro-life movement? Those of us who advocate full Personhood rights for the unborn can no longer accept or tolerate any law that ends with describing any condition under which an abortionist can then go ahead and kill a child.

Another reason for the past 35 years of failure is that so many in the pro-life movement advocate exceptions for children conceived in acts of rape or incest. If any unborn child is to be considered a person with an unalienable right to life, then ALL unborn children MUST receive that same consideration. If all unborn children are persons with the right to life, then the child conceived as the result of an act of rape or incest has as much claim to the right to life as any other. Pro-lifers who argue for these exceptions destroy their own argument. If we allow abortion in cases of rape or incest, then upon what basis can we argue for the right to life of other children? The only logical argument against abortion that I could figure from such a position is that we regard children as punishment for some kind of sexual sin and that abortion is an attempt to escape such punishment. That argument disregards any right of the child and is easily discarded as any kind of a reason to make public policy.

The only truly "pro-life" position, one that respects the right of ALL human beings to life and liberty, is that of Personhood. Efforts are underway in several states to enact constitutional amendments defining unborn children as "persons." As Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in the Roe v. Wade decision, “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment."

If you would like more information about the efforts in other states, and how to get involved in such efforts, please visit

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Christmas is finally upon us, so I would hope that we have all finished our shopping and have the gifts that we bought for friends and family wrapped and under a tree somewhere. I was thinking about the receiving aspect of Christmas as I drove home from work the other day. I take great delight in seeing the faces of my children as they open presents, and I can't help but think about my own childhood Christmas experiences.

We give and receive gifts on Christmas as a symbol of the gift that God gave to us through his son Jesus Christ. If I take delight at seeing my sons accept their gifts from me, imagine how God sees things when one of us accepts the gift of Christ's salvation. I pray that all my friends, family members, and acquaintances come to accept this ultimate gift.

Marry Christmas everyone!

Kick off!

Welcome to all who love life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! I thought I would start this blog off with a letter I sent to Texas Governor Rick Perry the day before yesterday. I encourage everyone to send their own letter (and feel free to plagiarize from mine). The more letters we send, the better the chance that Governor Perry will actually see one of them himself...

December 22, 2009

Rick Perry, Governor of Texas
PO Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711-2428

RE: Unconstitutional Texas Law

Dear Governor Perry:

As a citizen of the great State of Texas, I am writing to you today to express my grave concern about sections of the current Texas Penal Code that are in plain violation of the Constitution of the United States.

According to Tex. Penal Code §1.07, a “Person” “means an individual, corporation, or association." (Tex. Penal Code §1.07.38) An "individual" (the term used in the definition of "Person") "means a human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth." (Tex. Penal Code §1.07.26)

Chapter 19 of the Texas Penal Code deals with the crimes of criminal homicide. Tex. Penal Code §19.02 plainly states that a person commits the offense of murder if he "intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual."

The definition of individual was put into the Code by the 2003 Prenatal Protection Act, designed to protect pregnant women from violent acts that might result in the harm of their unborn children. Governor Perry, you signed this act into law which was an important step in protecting the rights of infants in the womb. Unfortunately, that same act also created Tex. Penal Code §19.06, which states, in part, that:

This chapter [the chapter defining criminal homicide] does not apply to the death of an unborn child if the conduct charged is:
(1) conduct committed by the mother of the unborn child;
(2) a lawful medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed health care provider with the requisite consent, if the death of the unborn child was the intended result of the procedure;

After reading these sections of the code, I can only come to the conclusion that unborn children are defined as persons according to the law, and yet, this same Texas code makes an exception as to the rights and protection of these persons. Thus, current state law fails to protect the unalienable right to life, as described in the Declaration of Independence, of these unborn children.

Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution says, in part, that "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The current Texas code, specifically §19.06, is in clear violation of the last two clauses of Amendment Fourteen as it allows for the deprivation of life without due process of law, and it denies these certain persons "within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Even the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision claimed that: “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment." As of 2003, Texas law now establishes this suggestion of personhood, so, according to the Roe v. Wade decision, the right to life of unborn children MUST be guaranteed in accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment.

Governor Perry, you swore in your oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State. Your taking of this oath demands that you take immediate and decisive steps to bring Texas law into compliance with the Constitution of the United States and to stop the murder of innocent human life that is taking place in this state.


Dan Hawkins

Cc: Texas Conservative Coalition
PO Box 2659
Austin, TX 78768

Texas Alliance for Life
2026 Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78705

Debra Medina Campaign
3027 N. Richmond Ste 500A
Wharton, TX 77488