Human rights for embryos

By Summer Knowles - email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The issue of abortion could soon be taking center stage across our state as a group pushes it into the spotlight. "Personhood Florida" is pushing for a ballot initiative that would give human rights to embryos.

It's a hot button question and always has been: When does life officially begin?

A group, called Personhood Florida, says it begins from the instant of conception, and they are now pushing a ballot initiative in Florida to give human rights to embryos. "It's an attempt to guarantee personhood and protection in Florida, and it does not circumvent Roe v Wade, the personhood amendment," said Dr. Pat McEwen.

If approved by voters, it would ban many forms of contraception and all abortions including cases of rape. "The reason for that is, if you think about it, there are two victims in a rape."

"This is an attempt to hijack the Florida state constitution," said Lillian Tomayo, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of South Florida. She believes the Personhood Amendment is extreme and incongruent with the values of most Americans. "It really is very worrisome that an organization like this is putting forward an amendment of this nature. One that violates basic science and runs counter to what most Americans believe in."

But whether Floridians are pro-life: "By in large, I feel, an embryo should be protected," said Peter Meng.

Or pro choice: "I think abortion should be a woman's choice," said Katie O'Neil.

The overwhelming majority of the people say the issue of 'personhood' is ballot worthy in 2010.

"I think embryonic rights is a states issue not a federal issue," said one registered voter.

"It's up to us, as a majority, to say yay or nay," said Tracy Smith.

"I would say put it on the ballot," Meng stated.

Now, this initiative isn't a go yet. One of the things they have to do is get 677,000 signatures by February 1 for it to be placed on the ballot.