The movement to grant legal rights to fertilized eggs has seen its support dramatically collapse over the last few years, to the point where the most radically anti-choice states in the nation can’t pass bills in favor of it, or even get enough signatures to put the issue on ballots.
Personhood Ohio, however, has developed an ingenious plan to regain that support.
Via the Ohio blog Plunderbund:
Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.
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According to a Facebook posting by one of the group’s leaders, Dr. Patrick Johnston, the following message will be delivered to the phones of “55,000 pro-life Ohioans” this Friday.
This is Dr. Patrick Johnston, a family physician and the director of Personhood Ohio, and I’d love to put $5,000 cash in your hands for helping us protecting every baby under Ohio law! The failure of the Heartbeat Bill has shown us that the Ohio legislature will not do its duty and protect preborn Ohioans from death by abortion. Well, we can bypass the corrupt legislature and take it straight to the people by ballot initiative. Will you pray with us that every one of these babies will be protected? If you would like to help us save these children – and win $5,000 – please press 1 now to be directed to a Personhood Ohio volunteer, or visit Personhood Ohio – dot – com. Thank you so much and God bless you this New Year!
Even worse than being a lottery-style ploy for faux political support, the move is potentially a financial scam, too. Dr. Johnston’s last offer to give away $5,000 also offered not just one chance to enter his giveaway for every 25 petition signatures, but also an entry for every $25 donation to the cause and 10 chances for every $250 donation. All it would take is a couple of dozen “10 chances” donations to recoup the entire giveaway.
That may be all it would take, but even that much support is hard to come by. According to Dr. Johnston’s December 15th post in his Personhood Facebook group, the giveaway brought in only $3,444.00 in donations and a mere 2,512 signatures.
Failure to garner support for the bill has been a chronic problem—an attempt in July to get the amendment on the ballot needed nearly 400,000 signatures. Dr. Johnston was able to pull together only 30,000.
Still, Dr. Johnston seems undaunted in his quest to try to make a drastically unpopular idea look like it has grassroots support. So what happens if “personhood” somehow did make it onto the ballot, and win at the polls, but the Supreme Court dismisses the law anyway due to it being unconstitutional? That’s not a problem, either. Dr. Johnston believe the court can just be ignored. A November press release states:
What if the Ohio Personhood Amendment passes and the Supreme Court overturns it? Dr. Johnston responds, “Ohio would have no obligation to comply, but a duty to resist any attempt to slaughter innocent babies in Ohio. The federal government’s power is limited, by the Constitution and by the Creator. According to the U.S. Constitution, particularly Article X of the Bill of Rights, and according to Scripture, it is the God-delegated duty of civil authorities to protect the innocent through justice within their lawful jurisdiction.”
Buying political support and advocating rejection of federal law? Democracy at its finest.