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Personhood Ohio Threatening to End Abortion Statewide by 2015

Contact: Dr. Patrick Johnston, Personhood Ohio, 740-973-7458

ZANESVILLE, Ohio, March 25, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Abortion-threatening legislation is gaining momentum in several states, posing a major threat to legal abortion this year.

President of Georgia Right to Life Dan Becker was featured at Cleveland Right to Life's annual conference, where he spoke on the necessity of protecting every unborn child in state law. He received a standing ovation after his lecture and volunteers gathered over 1,400 signatures for the Ohio Personhood Amendment and gave away hundreds of petitions.

Historically, Personhood movements and large pro-life groups like Cleveland Right to Life have not always walked hand-in-hand. In the 2011 campaign for Mississippi's Personhood Amendment, the Catholic bishops were divided, with only half of them supporting the Amendment. Ohio Right to Life has not supported the Ohio Personhood Amendment and National Right to Life leaders have opposed Personhood Amendments, preferring to spend their resources regulating abortion and electing Republicans to office. In the past year, however, there appears to be a growing tsunami of support for attempts to protect every unborn child statewide in state law.

North Dakota's Human Life Amendment passed in both Houses of the North Dakota legislature in 2013, and reads, "The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected."

Christopher Dodson, Executive Director and General Counsel for the North Dakota Catholic Conference, encourages support of North Dakota's Human Life Amendment, which will be on the ballot in November: "It gives the people of North Dakota the opportunity to decide whether the state should recognize a legal right to life for North Dakotans. A state constitutional amendment respecting the right to life is not unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that states may enact their own laws and constitutional provision to protect human life, including unborn human life. Nor is a state constitutional amendment respecting the right to life made moot by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on abortion... Let's affirm in our state constitution that which this Legislative assembly and the people of North Dakota consistently affirmed with its own laws - that every human being has a right to life that should be respected and protected to the greatest extent possible."

Dr. Patrick Johnston, the family physician who directs Personhood Ohio, states, "The Catholic bishops of Ohio have discouraged signature-gathering in their churches. Pray that they will follow North Dakota's lead and help protect every preborn child in state law this year. Protecting these threatened children is divine mandate no human court can overrule." He says that Personhood Ohio will continue to lobby pro-life groups to help gather signatures for their ballot initiative. If their goal of 385,000 signatures is reached by July, the Ohio Personhood Amendment will be on the ballot in November and a simple majority vote could protect every preborn child statewide by January 1, 2015 - including children threatened by abortion-inducing drugs.

Certainly, if Ohio passed their Personhood Amendment, North Dakota their Human Life Amendment, or Colorado their Brady Bill, the battle would be far from over. However, it would be refreshing to see opponents of abortion unify behind a simple Amendment that, for once, simply expresses what they all believe: that human life begins at conception and every person should be protected by law.

Dr. Johnston is available for comment through www.personhoodohio.com/contact.

Correction to press release dated 3/24/14: Chris Dodson and the North Dakota Catholic bishops expressed support for North Dakota's Human Life Amendment, not Personhood and not any Personhood Amendment.