Authors note: There are two updates at the bottom of this post for clarity and accuracy.
I need to vent a little. I just read a statement from Rep. André Jacque who is pushing a personhood amendment in Wisconsin that frustrated me, and it’s not the first time I’ve seen this kind of thing. I believe that a common talking point that grassroots pro-life people on both sides of the incrementalism/personhood debate both use needs to be retired.
State Representative André Jacque proposed personhood amendment in Wisconsin two weeks ago. Predictably, it has caused a lot of debate among the pro-life community in Wisconsin, because the people that are usually referred to as “incrementalists” are concerned that this bill will get nothing accomplished at best, and harm the pro-life movement at worst by adding significant case law against us. (Hint: if you support personhood legislation and you don’t know what stare decisis is or the huge role it played in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, you probably ought to look into that before supporting personhood bills while the majority of the Supreme Court is in favor of keeping abortion legal.)
Wisconsin Right to Life and NRLC attorney James Bopp have both expressed concern about the personhood amendment for pragmatic reasons, and Rep. Jacque’s response was this:
“Quite frankly, it’s kind of odd to see them on the same side as Planned Parenthood and NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League, on a piece of legislation.”
I am so sick of seeing pro-life people that have strategic objections to personhood legislation because they want to see abortion made illegal as quickly as possible compared to Planned Parenthood and NARAL, who are trying to keep abortion legal for as long as possible.
To be clear, while I have seen several leaders from the personhood movement compare incrementalists to Planned Parenthood, I have yet to see a pro-life leader from