California 'personhood' push begins

Posted on November 18, 2011 

A "personhood" anti-abortion petition drive is being started in California, it appears. Note some major differences from Mississippi's proposed amendment in the release below. Their's defines person as "from the beginning of their biological development as human organisms" instead of the from fertilization wording in Mississippi's. Also, this one would strip rights from corporations and the cost estimate is "tens of millions annually."

A press release from the Calif. Secretary of State's Office:

SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponent of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for his measure. The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: CONSTITUTIONAL DEFINITION OF A PERSON. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Defines "person" as including all living human beings from the beginning of their biological development as human organisms, for purposes of state constitutional protections of due process and equal protection. Eliminates state constitutional protections of due process and equal protection for non-biological entities, such as corporations. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Costs from the establishment of due process and equal protection rights for zygotes, embryos, and fetuses, potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually. (11-0041) The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1519 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 11-0041. The proponent for this measure, Walter B. Hoye II, must collect signatures of 807,615 registered voters – the number equal to eight percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by April 16, 2012.

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