Walter Hoye

We Talked About Personhood!

In Abortion, Personhood on October 24, 2011 at 12:00 am

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We Talked About Personhood!

“State protection of the unborn child as a person is no longer a novel thing It grows year by year, state by state. And the public supports it.” — (FORSYTHE: Saving Personhood Growing Number Of States Protects The Unborn Child)

Charmaine YoestCharmaine Yoest

I recently asked for and enjoyed a meeting with Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United For Life 1 and Clarke D. Forsythe, Senior Legal Counsel with Americans United for Life 2 and author of Politics for the Greatest Good: The Case for Prudence in the Public Square (2009). We talked about Personhood, the Pro-Life strategy that is focused on the child in the womb’s right to the privileges of Personhood from the beginning of our biological development, regardless of the means by which we are procreated, without exception. We talked about the twenty-five (25) cases and briefs attempting to overturn Roe v. Wade including those cases and briefs arguing 14th Amendment Personhood and an Americans United for Life effort dating as far back as 1971. We talked about Personhood in terms of a federal life amendment which in my opinion is the final chapter of the Civil Rights movement. Because we talked and listened to each other’s heart for Christ’s sake and for the sake of saving the lives of women and children, horribly hurt by the incontestable evil of abortion, we found common ground. Thank you Charmaine.

In the course of our discussions Clarke Forsythe shared an Op-Ed regarding Personhood he had written and at the time was not published. Well, I am glad to report that it was recently published by the Washington Times on Friday, October 21st, 2011. In his very informative Op-Ed, Forsythe succinctly communicates the history and veracity of Personhood. Thank you Clarke. While I will use this information in my efforts to promote Personhood, I publish it here and now for your review and consideration.

FORSYTHE: Saving Personhood

“These laws (i.e., “Personhood” legislation) have grown, and they are popular. Prosecutors use them, and juries regularly enforce them.” — (Clarke Forsythe, Senior Legal Counsel with Americans United for Life)

Clarke D. ForsytheClark D. Forsythe

“The Alabama Supreme Court’s unanimous decision last month, in a case called Mack v. Carmack, might surprise some Americans.

The court held that an unborn child at any time of pregnancy is a person protected by Alabama’s wrongful death laws. Wrongful death statutes — which virtually every state has — allow family members to sue for money damages for the death of a ‘person.’

In reaching their decision, the Justices relied on the Alabama fetal homicide (unborn victims of violence) law passed in Alabama in 2006, reasoning that since the fetal homicide law — sort of the criminal counterpart to the wrongful death law — protected the unborn child as a human being throughout pregnancy, the wrongful death law — to be consistent — should do so as well.

The principle is old, though the specific legal means of protecting human life has evolved.

In 1765, William Blackstone, the leading authority on the English common law, wrote: ‘Life is the immediate gift of God, a right inherent by nature in every individual; and it begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother’s womb.’

One of the first Supreme Court Justices, James Wilson, wrote in the 1790s, ‘With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law.’

The decision in Mack v. Carmack rests on a growing body of statutory and case law in the states. Prenatal injury law, wrongful death law, and fetal homicide law have increasingly protected the unborn child. 38 states now have fetal homicide laws, and 28 of those states extend protection from conception. 38 states have wrongful death laws that protect the unborn child.

These laws have grown and they are popular. Prosecutors use them, and juries regularly enforce these laws. These laws can apply — and many do apply — at any stage of pregnancy to protect the unborn child.

Virtually every state allows a prenatal-injury suit for any injury after conception, demonstrating that the law treats the life of a human being as beginning at conception.

In addition to these laws, states have enacted other laws protecting the unborn child as a person. Arkansas passed Amendment 68 back in the 1980’s, which states: ‘the policy of Arkansas is to protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth.

All of this shows that although the November ballot measure in Mississippi has drawn media attention as unusual, legal protection for the unborn child as a person has been a growing phenomenon for years across the states.

State protection of the unborn child as a person is no longer a novel thing. It grows year by year, state by state, and the public supports it.

Far from being newly minted in Mississippi, the personhood of the unborn child is a movement as old as English common law with a long tradition of acknowledging the value that such children hold for their expectant parents and family.” 3

California Human Rights Amendment

“Personhood is the Final Chapter In The Civil Rights Movement. Personhood is what the Pro-Life Movement looks like victorious.” — (Walter B. Hoye II, Founder and President of the California Civil Rights Movement)


California Human Rights AmendmentPersonhood is a righteous movement working to respect the God-given right to life by recognizing all human beings as persons who are “created in the image of God” from the beginning of their biological development, without exceptions. Personhood focuses the discussion on the baby’s entitlement to rights of personhood and the inhumanity of anything less. Personhood allows voters to see that abortion is too great an evil to be left to individual discretion and personal choice. Personhood believes all human life should be protected by love and by law. Blackstone is right. “Life is the immediate gift of God … and it begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother’s womb.” Wilson is right, “… human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law.” Forsythe is right. “State protection of the unborn child as a person is no longer a novel thing. It grows year by year, state by state, and the public supports it.” Personhood is right. Personhood is the truth which dwells within us and will be with us forever. The California Human Rights Amendment is right. “The term ‘person‘ applies only to all living human beings from the beginning of their biological development as human organisms — regardless of the means by which they were procreated, method of reproduction, age, race, sex, gender, physical well-being, function, or condition of physical or mental dependency and/or disability.” 4

For the “truth’s sake” 5 alone, regardless of our pragmatic preferences or personal proclivities, we should all be standing together and fighting together for Personhood. For “love’s sake” 6 I beseech us in the words of the great Negro Spiritual to “Walk together,” “talk together,” “sing together,” “shout together,” “mourn and never tire” together because “there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.” 7

Brothers, we really need to talk.

Reference(s):
1. Americans United for Life (http://www.aul.org).
2. Ibid.
3. Clarke D. Forsythe, The Washington Times (http://bit.ly/oAXW00).
4. The language of the 2012 California Human Rights Amendment (http://www.iamaperson.us).
5. II John 1:2 (KJV).
6. Philemon 1:9 (KJV).
7. “Walk Together Children”, NegroSpirituals.Com (http://bit.ly/mV6py4).

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  1. Hi Pastor Hoye! I really enjoyed reading this article. I’m an attorney and have been doing research on Roe, working on Personhood, and other pro-life issues. Is there a way I could get a list of the 25 cases you mentioned that have tried to challenge Roe? I’d really like to take a look at them. Thanks so much! Kristi Brown

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