What is Personhood?

Human personhood is the legal recognition of a human being’s full status as a human person that applies to all human beings, irrespective of age, health, function, physical or mental dependency or method of reproduction, from the beginning of their biological development.

• Human personhood is the final chapter of the civil rights movement. It proposes commonsense values for otherwise convoluted jurisprudence.

 What You Should Know

• The human personhood movement seeks to restore the original intent of the Constitution by defining every human being as a “person” from his or her biological beginning. Although human personhood is not a new concept, the human personhood movement has recently been reignited, is spreading quickly and is gaining momentum.

• The need to amend the Constitution by clarifying the definition of personhood can be explained by visiting a landmark Supreme Court decision. In 1965, the United States Supreme Court, in Griswold v. Connecticut, suddenly found the “right to privacy” in sexual matters in the “emanations” from “penumbras” (shadows) allegedly found in the Constitution.

Griswold v. Connecticut made human beings property again, like slavery. Human beings can be owned in test tubes and wombs. They can be used involuntarily as test objects, destroyed for their stem cells, genetically modified, cloned, dissected and stripped of their dignity.

This so-called “right to privacy” was invoked by the Supreme Court in 1973, in Roe v. Wade, to decriminalize abortion in the United States.

Why Personhood?

Americans have been given a clear direction for advancing the civil rights of all people, including preborn babies – that forgotten class of citizens. Personhood was called for in the hearings of Roe v. Wade. Roe’s attorneys admitted that if personhood were to be established for the preborn, they would not have a case.

• Legal precedent and the Constitution’s original intent support the argument for personhood. The authors of the Constitution clearly intended to protect each human being from his or her biological beginning.

Modern medical science supports personhood. Any opposition to personhood initiatives will not be based upon legitimate scientific evidence. Personhood removes the politically charged rhetoric of the debate and replaces it with the commonsense principle that life begins at each human being’s biological beginning.


• Medical ethicists, constitutional lawyers and veteran pro-lifers collaborated to formulate American Life League’s Federal Human Personhood Amendment. This language is being used across the country in state personhood amendments. ALL’s Federal Human Personhood Amendment makes clear the Constitution’s original intent and therefore restores protection to all human beings.

• The Federal Human Personhood Amendment is unlike all other pro-life legislation in that it guarantees the right to life of ALL people from the moment of creation until natural death. It addresses all of the problems stemming from the culture of death by striking at its root instead of merely trying to treat its symptoms.

• It is not incidental that we are seeking the legal recognition of personhood for all human beings via a constitutional amendment, as opposed to a bill. An act or a bill would grant protection, but would not change the Constitution. Any act or bill passed by Congress could be undone by a future Congress, through a simple majority vote and the president’s signature. A constitutional amendment is not vulnerable to the power of each new congress and, if passed, would become a part of our Constitution.