Personhood Strategy

We need a winning pro-life strategy

After 50 years of abortion on demand, it is time to rethink our pro-life strategies and examine the efficacy of the pro-life movement.

“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”

– Albert Einstein


Professor Charles Rice on Personhood

Charles E. Rice (2006)

In 2006, Michigan became the first state to attempt to amend their laws to recognize the preborn child as a person for purposes of the state constitution.  In reponse to opposition by several establishment pro-life organizations, Professor Charles Rice wrote this succint legal memo in support of the amendment.

Click here to read the entire memo.

Rethinking the Pro-Life Strategy

By Robert Muise Esq. (2008)

Over the past year, debate and discussion over the direction of the pro-life movement has increased profoundly.  National leaders of the movement, including Catholic leaders, have eschewed—and in some cases directly opposed—efforts to pass constitutional “human life amendments” at the state level.  Instead of supporting such a strategy, they largely favor the current “incremental” approach, which offers no plan or promise of ending abortion in the foreseeable future.  After 35 years of abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy, it is time to rethink pro-life strategy and the efficacy of the national pro-life movement.

Read the entire memo by clicking here.

Incrementalism vs. Personhood Debate

Debate at the Ave Maria Law School (2009)

Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center defends the Personhood strategy and Clarke Forsythe argues for incrementalism based on the virtue of prudence. 

Prudence and Moral Clarity in the Quest for Personhood

By Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq. (2009)

The close relationship between the social conscience and representative democracy is at the heart of American and world history. Behind every major twist and turn of history there is a social movement driven not by legal subterfuge and political compromise but unabashed truth, courage, and clarity.

Read the entire memo by clicking here.

A Fool’s Errand: State Personhood Proposals (Pro-Life Establishment Arguments Against Personhood)

By Paul Benjamin Linton, Esq. (2009)

There is no shortage of bad ideas in the pro-life movement. Here’s the most recent one: state “personhood” proposals. These proposals, drafted as either state constitutional amendments or state statutes, purport to recognize unborn children as constitutional “persons,” and are intended to challenge the Supreme Court’s holding in Roe v. Wade that the unborn child is not a “person,” as that word is used in § 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Failing that, they are intended to persuade the Court to overrule Roe and return the issue of abortion to the states.

To read the entire memo click here.

A Defense of State Personhood Amendments and of Civility in the Pro-Life Movement

By Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq. (2010)

Perhaps the weakest assertion put forth by Mr. Linton in his article is that “state personhood amendments … could overturn the entire body of law developed over the years regulating the practice of abortion. That is because, by definition, you cannot regulate what you prohibit.” Isn’t the goal of the pro-life movement to prohibit the practice of abortion? And if the state personhood amendment is as ineffectual as Mr. Linton predicts, and is simply thrown out at first glance, how would this affect our current laws, for how could laws deemed to be unconstitutional trump existing laws? And if they are found to be constitutional and therefore the amendment is enforced, why would a complete ban be a worse thing than the regulation of the lawful killing of children in the womb?

To read the entire memo click here.

Unborn Children as Constitutional Persons

Gregory Roden, J.D. (2010)

The Roe opinion and other Supreme Court cases implicitly recognize this function of state sovereignty. The states did exercise this power and held unborn children to be persons under the property, tort, and criminal law of the several states at the time Roe was decided. As an effect of the unanimity of the states in holding unborn children to be persons under criminal, tort, and property law, the text of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment compels federal protection of unborn persons. Furthermore, to the extent Justice Blackmun examined the substantive law in these disciplines, his findings are clearly erroneous and as a whole amount to judicial error. Moreover, as a matter of procedure, according to the due process standards recognized in Fifth Amendment jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade should be held null and void as to the rights and interests of unborn persons.

To read the entire memo click here.

An Apologia for Personhood

By Stephen M. Crampton, Esq. (2012)

When it comes to the unborn, however, we not only fail to protect them, we celebrate their destruction as a  constitutional right. This is plainly wrong. The Personhood Movement seeks to remedy this injustice and to protect the unborn. It is the only pro-life strategy that offers a direct and immediate challenge to the tyranny of Roe v. Wade.’

Click here to read the entire memo.

Personhood Contra Mundum

By Gualberto Garcia Jones, Esq. (2015)

Being attacked by the mainstream pro-life movement for adhering to its foundational principles can be discouraging for any pro-life activist. However, now, more than ever, a return to our foundational principles is the only longterm solution to the constitutional, political, and cultural crisis brought on by liberal secularism.

Click here to read the entire memo.

Protecting Prenatal Persons: Does the Fourteenth Amendment Prohibit Abortion?

By Joshua J. Craddock (2017)

What should the legal status of human beings in utero be under an originalist interpretation of the Constitution? Other legal thinkers have explored whether a national “right to abortion” can be justified on originalist grounds.1 Assuming that it cannot, and that Roe v. Wade2 and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey3 were wrongly decided, only two other options are available. Should preborn human beings be considered legal “persons” within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, or do states retain authority to make abortion policy?

To read the entire memo click here.



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