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Team Aleteia



Can “Personhood” Save Babies in the “Abortion Capital of America”?


Group launches campaign to convince people that even a zygote is a person.


Kreutz became involved in the prolife movement when she was contemplating her third abortion. “I have three living children, and I had almost three abortions,” she said sadly. “I almost aborted my youngest child,” she added, since she was a single mother who already had two children. But prolife activists “saved my baby,” and then “the Lord just pressed on my heart” to become personally involved in the prolife movement, she went on to explain.

Also speaking at Saturday’s conference was the nationally-known Rebecca Kiessling, the face of the movement to oppose abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Kiessling has appeared on CNN, Fox News, CBN, and EWTN to explain how she was conceived through rape and saved from abortion only because the laws at the time prevented it.

“No exceptions and no compromises is the most effective pro-life strategy,” Kiessling argued. She pointed to the complete turnaround in the State of Georgia when state right to life activists made a decision not to endorse any political candidate who favored rape or incest exceptions to anti-abortion laws. Becker, who is currently president of Georgia Right to Life, confirmed that the state legislature changed from being “last in the nation in pro-life law” to enacting several life-affirming laws that do not include any exceptions for rape or incest.

The concept of personhood is naturally allied with the no compromise, no exception position, since a baby conceived through rape or incest is logically as much a person as a baby conceived any other way. Kiessling thus strongly supports pressing the issue of personhood. “Personhood has caused the media to exponentially increase stories about abortion,” and therefore there is a “huge residual value of having the issue on the ballot,” said Kiessling.

The president of Personhood Education New York stressed that the group’s main focus is education, not politics, however. The group intends to create a separate non-profit organization with a more specific political purpose some time in the future. For now, the introduction of a personhood amendment to the New York state constitution is “not even in our sights,” she said.

The organization’s president, Dawn Eskew, explained that “education alters political activity. … So the main goal is to educate the community.” She concluded, “you can’t have any changes with bills or laws unless you change the people.”

Karee Santosis the co-author, together with her husband, Manuel P. Santos, M.D., of a Catholic marriage advice book forthcoming from Ave Maria Press in 2016. She and her husband began teaching marriage preparation and enrichment classes in New York City in 2003. Karee has written numerous articles on marriage and family for the National Catholic Register, Faith & Family magazine, and various Catholic websites. She also founded the online Catholic marriage support community Can We Cana?.

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