Personhood Arkansas, an affiliate of Personhood USA, has submitted amendment language to the state that would define life as beginning at the moment of conception.
“No innocent person shall be denied the right to life,” reads the amendment. “With respect to the right to life, the word ‘person’ shall apply to all human beings, including the unborn, at every stage of their development.”
Though “fetal personhood” bills have cropped up across the country, many have failed due to vague language. Simply defining life from the moment of conception could leave the door open to unintended consequences. In addition to outlawing abortion, say critics, the bills could ban birth control and affect in vitro fertilization and disease research.
Earlier this week, a Nevada judge rewrote his state’s personhood initiative, ruling that it was too vague. The Arkansas group says it has included language intended to specify what, exactly, the bill would affect. According to a press release, the Arkansas Personhood Amendment language “clarifies the pro-life position and the true effect of personhood in that mothers will continue to have access to life saving medical treatments” and specifically states: “This Amendment shall have no effect on medical treatment for life threatening physical conditions intended to preserve life.”
“We witnessed the misinformation tactics used by those who would continue the abortion carnage. Personhood Arkansas has submitted language that is concise and effective in our goals, and it addresses important concerns Arkansas voters may have,” said Personhood Arkansas Director Preston Dunn Jr., in a press release.