For the fourth time, Rep Ron Paul has submitted a bill for the Sanctity of Life Act which states:
...Congress declares that--
(A) human life shall be deemed to exist from conception, without regard to race, sex, age, health, defect, or condition of dependency; and
(B) the term `person' shall include all human life as defined in subparagraph (A)...
It also removes jurisdiction over this law from the Supreme Court and the District Courts.
The idea of personhood has been gaining traction over the past few years, especially with abortion being a popular and valuable hot button issue for politicians. This year alone has seen a record number of anti-choice bills in the states.
Personhood takes anti-choice to the extreme by declaring that the moment of conception is when a person exists. Montana has a constitutional initiative to amend the state constitution to make that designation. A Georgia legislator submitted a bill (PDF) that declares a fetus is a person from the moment of conception and introduces "prenatal murder". It also requires a report of spontaneous fetal death with the county registrar within 72 hours. The registrar will issue a fetal death certificate. It's on the verge of requiring a criminal investigation of a miscarriage.
And that is what logically follows. Something like 10-25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and for a number of reasons. We're already prosecuting women for chemical endangerment of an unborn child and for murder after delivering a stillborn child even though the there was no proof of drug abuse affecting the child. We are seeing laws originally intended to protect pregnant women and the contents of their wombs now being used against them. So why not investigate every known miscarriage to determine if the woman is criminally at fault for having an ectopic pregnancy?
A vocal and energetic minority won't stop until legislation is in effect that has complete control of wombs. And they're winning.