Kristi Burton Brown, face of last Personhood amendment, on new pro-life blog and new baby
As an example of how persistence can pay off, Burton Brown points to the issue of women's suffrage in South Dakota. According to this timeline, a measure on the subject was first introduced in 1890 and didn't pass until 1917.
An image from the Personhood USA website.
"Everyone today clearly believes women have the right to vote, but it had to be repeatedly tried before the public voted for it," she says. "And it's the same for this issue -- which is really a human rights issue. Sometimes society doesn't recognize the truth until it keeps being put in front of them -- and then, people are like, 'Why didn't we realize this earlier?' And I think that will be the same kind of thing with the personhood issue."
This time around, Burton Brown has served mainly as an occasional consultant for the pro-personhood forces, who she compliments for taking the high road despite attacks from opponents that she sees as inaccurate. Take, for instance, the suggestion that the amendment is so broadly written that it would even nix standard birth control.
"That's untrue," she stresses. "What it would do is protect every human being from the moment of conception -- so if the birth control methods are really preventing conception, they wouldn't be outlawed. If, on the other hand, you're talking about abortion pills -- chemical abortion -- it would have the potential of banning those. But not the kind that bar conception. That should be every couple's decision to make on their own if it doesn't hurt human life."
Despite the prevalence about what she sees as widespread misinformation, Burton Brown is confident the Personhood Amendment will draw considerably more than 27 percent support this time around, in part because the political climate is decidedly more conservative in 2010 than it was during 2008. But even if it fails again, she'll find other ways of working on the pro-life issue. After completing coursework at Oak Brook College of Law & Government Policy, an online institution with a Christian focus, she recently passed the bar. Rather than joining a traditional law firm, she hopes to use her skills on behalf of the pro-life movement, perhaps in conjunction with a nonprofit advocacy group.
But that'll have to wait, at least for a little while. After all, she's got a baby to deliver -- the ultimate pro-life statement.