“The evidence is clear that life begins at conception. We need to enshrine it in the Constitution. Now is the time. Georgia is the place. Let us vote and let them live.”
-Georgia State Representative Martin Scott (R – Rossville) speaking before the House Judiciary Committee advocating for H.R.536, the proposed constitutional amendment that would define “personhood” as the moment fertilization occurs.
U.S. Represenative Paul Broun (R – GA) and five of his Georgia Republican colleagues in Congress have introduced a similar bill at the federal level that would seek to do the same thing as state Rep. Scott’s legislation. Congressman Broun says House Resolution 4157, the “Sanctity of Human Life Act”, would “define life as beginning with fertilization, and declare that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person. [It also declares that] the life of each human begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent… at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.”
The independent blog, “That’s My Congress”, has expressed concerns that if passed, the legislation could lead to a complete ban on in vitro fertilization.
…under Paul Broun’s proposed law, all fertilized eggs would have full legal protections. If an in vitro fertilization process created 15 fertilized eggs for a couple, 8 of which could survive as healthy infants if implanted, then all 15 fertilized eggs would have to be implanted, including all 8 viable ones. Those eggs would be human beings with full legal rights, after all. So, either the couple would have to have all 8 children, or they would have to find seven other woman who would be willing to adopt their fertilized eggs, going through pregnancy with these children that weren’t their own, and then raising those children to adulthood.
These financial and other practical requirements for in vitro fertilization would end the availability of in vitro fertilization for couples in the United States. Even American couples who went to Canada to have the procedure done could then be charged as murderers upon re-entering the United States.
That makes H.R. 4157, in effect, a bill to ban in vitro fertilization.
Source: 5/10/2008 That’s My Congress blog “Republicans Try To Outlaw In Vitro Fertilization”
The so-called “Sanctity of Human Life” Act currently sits in the House Judiciary Committee. Six Georgia Republicans including Jack Kingston, Lynn Westmoreland, John Linder, Nathan Deal and Phil Gingrey co-sponsored the bill.