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Nevada judge blocks ‘excessively broad’ personhood petition

By David Edwards
Thursday, December 22, 2011 11:14 EDT
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Ohio abortion activists (ProgressOhio)
 
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A Nevada judge ruled Wednesday that an anti-abortion petition is so vague that backers may not even circulate it among voters.

In granting an injunction against Personhood Nevada, District Judge James Wilson said that the attempt to define the meaning of a “person” in the state’s Constitution was “excessively broad.”

During the 45-minute hearing, Personhood lawyer Gary Kreep repeatedly refused to state the true purpose of the petition.

He claimed it would prevent “discrimination against the unborn,” but also suggested it would stop health care rationing under “Obamacare.”

“It looks to me like this is excessively broad,” Wilson explained. “It covers who knows what.”

“If the purpose is to establish when a human life begins, then it ought to say that in the text and it doesn’t,” the judge added.

American Civil Liberties Union and Nevada Advocates of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, who sought the injunction, argued that the petition violated the “single subject” rule for ballot initiatives because it would have impacted abortion, birth control, stem cell research and in vitro fertilization.

“There’s no way to even discern what the purpose of the initiative is,” ACLU attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas told The Republic. “Any person looking at this initiative would merely think they are stating a fact.”

Earlier this week, Wilson ruled that a similar petition from Nevada Pro-life Coalition could go forward after it was rewritten to explain that it would outlaw some forms of birth control and abortion in the cases of rape and incest.

A similar so-called “personhood” constitutional amendment was defeated overwhelmingly in Mississippi earlier this year.

Watch this video from KRNV, broadcast Dec. 21, 2011.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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