As Georgia legislators meet for their first session of the season, pro-life advocates will rally outside the state Capitol Monday to urge them to prioritize a measure acknowledging the "personhood" of embryos and recognizing the right to life of persons from conception to death.
The Let Them Live Rally in Atlanta will seek to impress upon lawmakers the importance of supporting the Human Life Amendment (HR 536), which requires a two-thirds vote of the Georgia House and the state Senate to appear on the November 2008 ballot.
Pro-life advocates are confident that Georgian voters will approve the measure once it makes it past the legislature.
A 2006 independent poll by Strategic Vision Political found that 53 percent of Georgians believe that Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
"It doesn't make sense that we have on-demand abortion," Jenny Hodges, national director of Pro-Life Unity, which is sponsoring the rally, told the Christian Post.
"We're a pro-life state ... [and] we have a pro-life majority in House and Senate," said the Georgia resident.
She expects from 500-1,000 people to attend the rally Monday but noted that their grassroots efforts to reach out to schools and churches may bring in more.
While the House Judiciary Committee that is reviewing the resolution is Republican-controlled, Hodges said the concern stems from the Republican chair, who was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, and hopes the rally will send a message to legislators seeking election or re-election that "you're not going to win unless you're pro-life."
There is also a racial element to abortion that worries Hodges.
She quoted the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, who said, "We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population."
"Abortion is racist," said Hodges, noting that Sanger was an advocate for negative eugenics – the idea of halting undesirable traits through selective breeding. "In Georgia, the black community is sought out for abortion."
The measure would ensure that the word "person" applies to all human beings, irrespective of age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency, including unborn children at every state of their biological development, including fertilization.
The language of the legislation was drafted by the Thomas More Law Center, a pro-life law firm based in Michigan.
Several recognized religious leaders and pro-life representatives participating in the event include Dr. Johnny Hunter, Michael Peroutka, the Rev. Philip L. (Flip) Benham, Pastor William F. Brown, Troy Newman (Operation Rescue), the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and Eric Scheidler (Pro-Life Action League).
Later in the month on Jan. 22, which marks the 35th anniversary of the legalization of abortion, Georgia Right to Life will also sponsor a Together for Life rally in support of the amendment.
Presidential contender Gov. Mike Huckabee is expected to speak at the 10,000+ gathering in downtown Atlanta.
Pro-lifers nationwide will be hosting various events later this month to renew the call to end abortion. Thousands will gather in Washington D.C. for the 35th annual March for Life on Jan. 22 while others will convene on the streets of San Francisco for the 4th annual Walk for Life on Jan. 19.
A conference for pro-life bloggers like Hodges will also be hosted by Family Research Council on Jan. 22.
"We are ready to unite and end this thing," said Hodges of the blog conference.
On the Web: Further information on Georgia Human Life Amendment at www.georgiahla.com