Nevada Personhood Effort

http://www.lifenews.com/state4965.html

Carson

City, NV (LifeNews.com) — Backers of the personhood
amendment
in Nevada are appealing in front of the Nevada Supreme Court
today
to make their case for the measure that could ban abortions.
They
will fight a ruling saying the amendment should not appear
before
voters on the November ballot.

Abortion
advocates in Nevada filed a lawsuit seeking to stop pro-life
advocates
who want to gather signatures to put a personhood measure on
the ballot.

In
January, a judge said the language was too broad and
violated a state
law saying ballot measures can’t cover more than one
subject.

The
amendment does not specifically mention abortion, but says
its intent
is to codify "the inalienable right to life for everyone,
young
or old, healthy or ill, conscious or unconscious, born or
unborn."

"In
the great state of Nevada, the term ‘person’ applies to
every human
being," the one-sentence amendment reads.

Personhood
amendment supporters appealed the decision to the state’s
high court
and now the seven justices will hold a hearing. An immediate
decision
on the legal divide is not expected, but the court fast
tracked the
case so amendment backers could still meet a May 18 deadline
to qualify
measures for the 2010 election.

Carson
City District Court Judge James Russell issued the ruling
siding with
the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. The pro-abortion groups say
the five-paragraph
description of the measure does not say that the end result
would
ban abortions.

"The
issue to me is, are we adequately informing voters on what
they’re
voting on," Russell said in his ruling. "There’s no way
for the voter to understand the effects of the initiative."

In
February, Personhood Nevada president Olaf Vancura said
there is still
enough time to get the personhood amendment on the ballot
after the
Nevada Supreme Court rules on its appeal.

"It’s
a civil rights initiative by and for the people. By the
logic of First
District Court Judge James Russell, the people of Nevada
would never
be allowed to bring forth a civil rights initiative," he
said
in a statement LifeNews.com received. "Such denial is
unconstitutional.
We’re appealing to the Supreme Court in hopes that they will
recognize
the voters’ rights in the State of Nevada."

Even
if the Supreme Court allows the amendment to move forward,
political
observers say it faces monumental hurdles.

If
the measure is approved, pro-abortion groups would file
another lawsuit
to overturn it and it would likely be overturned in state or
federal
court.

Also,
Legislative Counsel Bureau Brenda Erdoes tells the Las Vegas
Review-Journal
that it will run up against a 1990 law that put the 1973 Roe
v. Wade
Supreme Court decision in state law.

Not
every pro-life group in the state is on board with the
strategy, with
some saying
that it would be a waste of time and money
for what
would be a certain loss in the courts and that there are
better methods
for ending or reducing abortions.

Don
Nelson, president of Nevada Life, says money should be put
towards
education, legislation that has reduced abortions, or
electing pro-life
candidates who can help change the court so personhood
amendments
could be upheld.

"Right
now, we feel those measures will yield more progress for the
pro-life
movement," Nelson said. "We would have to pull back from
those efforts to get on something like this (petition) that
doesn’t
promise a lot of return."

"This
bill has no chance of ending abortion in America or in
Nevada. And
the effect of this could add more precedence to supporting
Roe v.
Wade," he explained.

Nelson
also said that the current Supreme Court will overturn the
amendment
and that the focus needs to be placed on changing what is
currently
a pro-abortion high court.

A
similar lawsuit was filed by Planned Parenthood against
Colorado’s
Personhood Amendment in 2008, but the lawsuit failed.
Although the
Colorado amendment was longer, it was found to be a single
subject
issue and allowed to proceed.

Colorado
was also the first and only state to have voted on a
personhood amendment
following the new movement for them. That amendment died on a
lopsided
vote at the polls, losing 73-27 percent.

Voters
in Colorado
will vote on the amendment again this year
and Mississippi
voters
may do so as well.

Buzz up!

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