Note from Anne: The author of this post, Atlee Breland of Parents Against Personhood has been kind enough to allow us to repost it. It originally ran on PAP’s site on January 16th, 2012. Atlee has articles on Oklahoma slated to run in the next couple weeks, which you can find at PAP’s site, and we’ll run links to them on Twitter (@OAtPA) and our Facebook Page.
Ohio is facing a proposed 2012 personhood initiative, and Secretary of State Jon Husted estimates the cost of putting personhood on the ballot:
Getting items on the ballot isn’t cheap. Husted says each ballot issue costs the state about a million dollars.
“We’re required under the constitution to run advertising with the content of these initiatives in the newspaper,” Husted said.
In addition to the costs, Husted says it’s taken a toll on his staff which has to count and verify all the ballot signatures.
Of course, that doesn’t include the cost of defending the amendment in court. The proposed initiative is already the subject of a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court, and should it pass, would certainly become a multi-year court case which would go all the way to the US Supreme Court.
States like South Dakota have found that legal expenses run into the millions of dollars per year, even for much less drastic restrictions like informed consent measures. Kansas is currently spending over $2000 per day in legal costs.
That likewise doesn’t include the costs of initiative campaigns. A total of $3.2 million was spent on Mississippi’s Initiative 26 campaign, money which doubtless both the supporting and opposing groups, and the individuals and groups who contributed it, could have used for better purposes than maintenance of the status quo.
The costs of personhood, and the total lack of legal success to date, are a key reason why they’re opposed by pro-life groups in states like Nevada and Wisconsin. In these groups’ view, personhood is a waste of scarce financial and logistical resources.
Before you support personhood, ask yourself whether you want to impose the financial burdens of personhood on your state’s scarce budget, or if this is the most effective way to use your money to further your beliefs.
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