NC candidates support personhood

Candidates in North Carolina support personhood

By Harlan Brown
Nov. 4, 2012
Updated Nov. 6, 2012

RALEIGH   Four statewide candidates in North Carolina and a U.S. House of Representatives candidate are taking a stand in support of human personhood legislation.

A total of 20 candidates are running in nine races for governor, lieutenant governor, and council of state. Four of those candidates say they support a personhood amendment to the state constitution. Each of the four pro-personhood candidates won a runoff election in June.

A survey of 14 candidates in six U.S. House of Representatives races in central North Carolina found only one candidate supporting personhood legislation. Currently, in the U.S. House of Representatives no one is promoting personhood legislation. In 2011, S. 91, a personhood version of the Life at Conception Act, was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The House counterpart, H.R. 374, contained an added sentence that changed the bill into an anti-personhood bill.

Personhood candidates

The following candidates are supporting personhood:

  • Dan Forest for NC Lieutenant Governor
  • Mike Causey for NC Commissioner of Insurance
  • Ed Goodwin for NC Secretary of State
  • John Tedesco for NC Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Pete DiLauro for District 1 House of Representatives

Another supporter of personhood in North Carolina is Kevin Hayes, one of three candidates in NC House District 4. A member of the Constitution Party, he is running as a Libertarian to obtain ballot access.

Some Presidential candidates support personhood. Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode supports personhood but also supports anti-personhood legislation if he thinks that it will reduce the number of abortions. America's Party candidate Tom Hoefling supports personhood uncompromisingly and pledges, "I will shut down every abortion facility in the country." Goode and Hoefling each have ballot access in states representing 75% or more of the electoral votes. In California, Hoefling's name is on the ballot, and Goode is a certified write-in candidate. In North Carolina, Goode is a certified write-in candidate, and Hoefling does not have ballot access.

The following U.S. Presidential candidates are anti-personhood:

  • Barack Obama, Democratic Party
  • Jill Stein, Green Party
  • Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party
  • Mitt Romney, Republican Party

For a comparison of candidates, see the following web pages:

The Personhood Movement

In recent years the pro-life movement has placed increased emphasis on the personhood of all human beings. Personhood was a crucial issue in Roe v. Wade. Justice Harry Blackmun wrote, “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”

The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to life in the 5th and 14th amendments. Amendment 5 says, "No person shall ... be deprived of life ... without due process of law." Amendment 14 says, "... nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Due process involves being accused, tried, and convicted of a capital crime.

The Constitution is not the source of the right to life; it springs from a higher source. America's founders viewed the right to life as a God-given unalienable right. The Declaration of Independence declares, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Since 1984 the Republican Party Platform's abortion plank has endorsed 14th Amendment protection for children in the womb. Some Republican politicians support that plank; many do not.

Personhood amendment

An example of aa proposed human personhood amendment (pertaining to North Carolina) is as follows:

Sec. 38. Person defined. As used in sections 1 and 19 of article I of the state constitution, the terms "person" or "persons" shall include any human being from the moment of conception. Conception is defined as "fertilization or the functional equivalent thereof."


Although the candidates for the North Carolina judiciary were not surveyed on the personhood issue, it seems that the strict constitutionalist approach of the Republican candidates is more in harmony with the right to life. The statewide Republican judicial candidates are as follows:

For more information

For more information about personhood, see the following websites:

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