Impending “Personhood” Fight Splits Wisconsin Anti-Abortion Activists
Wisconsin has decided to join multiple other states in seeing if they can force legal “personhood” on fertilized eggs. However, unlike other states in the country, Wisconsin is seeing growing opposition, and it’s coming from within the anti-abortion advocates themselves.
Pro-Life Wisconsin, who is helping to spearhead the so-called “personhood” initiative with legislative support and billboards for creating a public relations face, is being opposed by Wisconsin Right to Life, who believes that personhood is a move that the state just isn’t ready to accept, and that advocating for a law that outlaws abortion, some forms of fertility treatments and even some methods of birth control, is not only so radical it will alienate the state, but has no legal legs to stand on.
Pro-Life Wisconsin doesn’t see that as a concern, and attacks Wisconsin Right to Life over not being committed to ending abortion. “Shockingly, the strongest opposition to the bill at this point is coming from Wisconsin Right to Life (WRL). In February WRL published a position paper vowing to oppose any effort to grant Wisconsin’s pre-born babies full constitutional rights as persons, labeling such efforts a ‘threat to [the] protection of Wisconsin unborn children.’ They worked hard to ensure a personhood amendment was never introduced. Having failed in that effort, they are now calling every state legislator demanding that they not sign on to the bill. WRL admits that their legal reasoning for opposing a state personhood amendment is speculative. WRL offers no case law to back up their asserted problems, admitting that they are only ‘probable’.”
Wisconsin isn’t the only state to have internal battles among the anti-abortion factions over how far to go when pushing anti-choice legislation. Ohio still has its “Heartbeat” abortion ban on hold, due in part to the efforts of Ohio Right to Life, who wants the bill blocked because they don’t see it as legally viable and are afraid it will endanger other abortion restriction laws they are attempting to pass, as well as re-codify the ruling reached in Roe V. Wade, making it that much harder to overturn in the Supreme Court.
Sadly, anti-choice activists battling other anti-choice activists seem to be the only way to stop the onslaught of abortion restrictions passing at the state level. Until we can re-elect pro-choice majorities back into state office, the best reproductive rights advocates can do currently is hope they keep up the good fight — against each other.
Photo credit: wikimedia commons