'Personhood' Initiative Won't Make Nevada Ballot

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - An anti-abortion initiative in Nevada
won't have the required number of signatures to qualify for the
November ballot, backers of the effort said Friday.

Personhood Nevada organizers face a Tuesday deadline to collect
more than 72,000 signatures to place the proposed constitutional
amendment on the ballot.

"We had an idea that we may not make it, based on the time we
had to collect signatures," Anna Maria Serra-Radford, president of
Personhood Nevada, told The Associated Press.

The amendment called "The Right to Live for Young and Old"
sought to define life as beginning at conception and to prohibit
some forms of birth control, fertility treatments when selective
reduction is used, and embryonic stem cell research.

It said, "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or
property without due process of law. As used in this section, the
word `person' includes every human being from beginning of
biological development until death."

The personhood initiative was one of two anti-abortion measures
initially proposed to define when life begins and to stop abortions
in Nevada. A group called Nevada Prolife Coalition withdrew its own
measure in March to join forces with the personhood group to help
gather signatures.

"One of the biggest issues we had to deal with were the
delays," said Chet Gallagher, director of Nevada Prolife
Coalition.

"I was hoping to be of greater assistance. Although we've
gotten a lot of petitions in, it's not near the mark that I had
hoped to assist them."

Neither Serra-Radford nor Gallagher would estimate how many
signatures had been collected, but both said the number would fall
short of the number required to advance to the ballot.

One personhood initiative proposed for this year's ballot was
rejected last fall by a state judge, who said it was vague and
misleading.

Three subsequent proposals by Nevada Prolife Coalition were
submitted and then withdrawn after legal challenges were raised by
the American Civil Liberties Union and Nevada Advocates of Planned
Parenthood Affiliates. The coalition then withdrew its fourth
measure in to concentrate on the Nevada Personhood proposal.


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