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Georgia Right to Life (GRTL) praised the courage of the North Dakota Legislature on Monday for its historic decision to grant its citizens the opportunity to declare personhood status to all innocent human life from its earliest biological beginning until natural death.

"Adding a personhood amendment to a state constitution is the best way to protect existing pro-life laws and to create the foundation for additional measures that guarantee both the sanctity and the dignity of life," said GRTL President Dan Becker.

"North Dakota's action should encourage the Georgia Legislature that the personhood movement is growing," Becker added. "Georgians are overwhelmingly pro-life and deserve the chance to make the same guarantee part of our state constitution."

The North Dakota House of Representatives gave final approval Friday to letting voters decide if their constitution should include: "The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected."

It's the first time any state legislature has authorized an officially binding personhood vote. The question will be on North Dakota's 2014 general election ballot.

A similar resolution was filed in the Georgia Senate this year by Senator Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville. If ultimately approved by voters in the November 2014 general election, it would amend our constitution to declare: "This state shall recognize the paramount right to life of all human beings at any stage of development."

The legislature will also be asked to adopt enabling legislation spelling out the details of how the amendment will be implemented.

"Personhood is the human rights issue of the 21st century," Becker said. "At least 55 million innocent children nationwide—1.5 million in Georgia—have been killed since 1973. It's time to finally end the carnage."

In addition to protecting pre-born children, a personhood amendment would also recognize the right to life of the physically and mentally challenged, the infirm and the elderly.

The amendment and accompanying legislation would also protect the life of the mother, permit the use of contraceptives that are not intended to cause an abortion, as well as in vitro practices that don't destroy excess embryos.

Under a personhood amendment, women could still receive all life-saving procedures from their doctors and would not be criminalized for an involuntary miscarriage.

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