Matt Sande, Legislative Director
P: 262.352.0890

Madison, WI –  The Assembly Committee on Health will hold a public hearing on Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 130, known as the Wisconsin Personhood Amendment, this Thursday at the State Capitol. The legislation would amend the Wisconsin Constitution to apply personhood rights to preborn children at all stages of development. An amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution requires passage in two successive legislatures followed by a simple majority vote of the people. The Governor’s signature is not required.

Pro-Life Wisconsin (PLW) Legislative Director Matt Sande will offer public testimony in support of AJR 130. Attorney Gualberto Garcia Jones, President of the Personhood Alliance and of Personhood Virginia, will also testify. Jones has been advocating for personhood nationally and internationally since 2004.

Authored by State Representatives Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) and Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) and State Senator André Jacque (R-De Pere), AJR 130 simply extends the inalienable right to life already found in the Wisconsin Constitution to all preborn children from the beginning of their lives.

“Pro-Life Wisconsin commends the authors of AJR 130 for their strong leadership in the defense of human life,” said PLW State Director Dan Miller. “We thank the amendment’s 19 co-sponsors for having the courage of their convictions: Senators David Craig and Duey Stroebel and Representatives Joan Ballweg, Robert Brooks, Rick Gundrum, Cody Horlacher, Rob Hutton, Bob Kulp, Gae Magnafici, Dave Murphy, Romaine Quinn, Timothy S. Ramthun, Michael Schraa, Ken Skowronski, Shae Sortwell, Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Paul Tittl, Ron Tusler, and Chuck Wichgers.”

The Wisconsin Constitution, in Section 1 of the Declaration of Rights, applies the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to only those people who are “born.” Assembly Joint Resolution 130 substitutes an inclusive personhood definition for the word “born.” That definition is: As applied to the right to life, the term “persons” shall apply to every human being at any stage of development, born or unborn.

“The Wisconsin Personhood Amendment enshrines in our state constitution the principle of equality of all human beings before the law, born and unborn,” said Sande. “It is indispensable to extending the protective cover of Wisconsin’s constitution over our state’s preborn children.”

Both the Kansas and Iowa supreme courts have recently ruled that the liberty right in their respective state constitutions includes a substantive due process right to abortion, greatly jeopardizing their states’ abortion regulations. Abortion is now a fundamental right in Kansas and Iowa. Both states are now moving to amend their state constitutions.

“It is truly shameful that the modern judicial leaders of Kansas and Iowa have found a right to kill innocent human beings in the inalienable right of liberty enshrined in their constitutions by their states’ founders,” said Sande. “They did so by utterly ignoring the existence of preborn children; by depersonalizing them. If the Wisconsin Supreme Court loses its tenuous conservative majority, we can be assured that a new liberal majority will move quickly to find a right to abortion in the Wisconsin Constitution. As a practical matter, the Wisconsin Personhood Amendment is absolutely essential to protecting all of our state’s pro-life laws, now and in the future.”

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