Action Item

Sister reader J.J. tipped me off to this article, which, I have to say, made for some very disturbing reading. The Illinois State House Judiciary Committee on Civil Law has approved a bill that would define a “person” as including:

every infant member of the species Homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.

The legislation would amend the "Statute on Statutes," the section of Illinois law that defines basic words used throughout the state's law books, terms such as "month," "highway" and "person."

"Born alive" is described as any human who has been completely expelled or extracted from the mother and who has a heartbeat or muscle movement, whether or not the umbilical cord is still connected and regardless of whether the expulsion was a result of a natural birth, cesarean section or abortion.

By including "born alive infants" in the definition of "person," the babies now enjoy the protection of every state law that applies to "people," including laws on murder.

Although there was an amendment stating that the definition of “born alive” wouldn’t be construed as to be applicable to existing state and federal abortion laws, supporters of the law include the Concerned Women for America, Illinois Citizens for Life, the Illinois Federation for Right to Life (IFRL), and the Catholic Conference of Illinois, all anti-choice groups. In fact, Dawn Behnke, an attorney who lobbies on behalf of the IFRL, said:

What it does is support the legal principle that infants that are born alive, regardless of their stage of development or the circumstances of their birth, are persons and deserve protection under the law.

That doesn’t sound to me like the anti-choice groups have much regard for the amendment which exists ostensibly to protect abortion rights. Not so coincidentally:

Abortion foes have sought legislation for years in response to a rare form of abortion where babies sometimes survive and live outside the womb, if only for a short time.

All is not lost:

HB984 must still win approval from the full House and Senate before the governor can consider whether to sign it into law.

Contact Illinois Governor Blagojevich and let him know that you trust he will not undermine women’s rights by signing this bill into law in Illinois.

(Thanks, J.J.)

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