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January 22, 2010

Supreme Court Declares Corporate Personhood. Is Fetal Personhood Next?

While pregnant women have yet to be recognized as full persons under the Constitution, and while anti-abortion groups push relentlessly for recognition of fetal personhood under the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken a significant step towards recognizing corporate personhood under the Constitution by extending First Amendment free speech protections to corporations seeking to influence elections. The 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission overturned approximately 100 years of precedents and reminds us, on this 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, that no constitutional precedent is secure.

While all of us will have to consider how to respond to yesterday's shocking example of judicial activism, we know that the efforts to establish fetal personhood and overturn Roe v. Wade will not stop. Our recent radio interview in California about fetal personhood provides a good example of how National Advocates for Pregnant Women is successfully reframing that debate and proving that such measures would radically alter the health and human rights of all pregnant women. Our new video, Roe v. Wade, New Science & the Old Geography of Pregnancy, and our commentary on Huffingtonpost and RHrealitycheck have some fun with the anti-choice movement's false claim that Roe v. Wade was decided without the benefit of modern science. It also makes clear that it is impossible to grant new legal personhood rights to the "unborn" without depriving pregnant women of their rights.

We are very grateful to Jessica Simkovic, our video producer, who is pregnant, due in the Spring, and fully aware that Roe v. Wade protects her rights to personhood at all stages of her pregnancy!