ACHIEVING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FOR LIFE
1. WHAT IS THE CONSTITUTION?
The Constitution of the United States of America is the primary law of the nation, and is applicable in all 50 states of the union. It describes and explains how the national government is constructed and how it operates. Fundamentally, there are three governmental powers, or branches : the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch.
The Executive Branch consists of the president, the vice president, and a number of secretaries who have special areas of concern. The Legislative Branch is comprised of two bodies, or houses, namely the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is the function of these houses to introduce prospective laws and to enact them.
Determining whether the laws meet Constitutional standards is the role of the Judicial Branch of the Government. Named the Supreme Court, this branch is comprised of nine members called Justices. The Constitution provides the descriptive details of all branch operations. The Constitution also contains complete instructions for modifying its content. This is done by means of amendments.
2. THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Once a Constitutional amendment has been enacted, it becomes a permanent part of the Constitution. It cannot be altered or removed without the action of another amendment. The Constitution was signed in 1787, and shortly thereafter ten amendments were added to its body. This addition was called the Bill of Rights, and included such vital rights as freedom of speech, the encouragement of religion, and the legal protection of innocent persons. Over the years a total of 27 amendments have been added to the Constitution, all of them having authority equal to the original Constitution. The proposed Amendment for Life will extend the protection of life to unborn human beings.
3. CREATING AN AMENDMENT
In its instructions regarding Constitutional amendments, the Constitution first requires that the proposed amendment be passed as a law by two-thirds of the legislators in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This amounts to 290 representatives and 67 senators. The new amendment can be signed by the president, but this signature is not mandatory. After being passed by the federal legislature, the required procedure is to present the amendment to all of the nation’s state legislatures. This step is termed Ratification. To become an approved amendment to the Constitution, three-fourths of the state legislatures, or 38 states, must pass, or ratify, the amendment by a simple majority vote. At this point, the proposed amendment becomes an official part of the Constitution.
4. PROPOSING A NEW AMENDMENT
A Constitutional Amendment for Life has been proposed by Crusade for Life, Inc. a diversified pro-life organization founded in 1970. Having been occupied in a wide variety of pro-life and anti-abortion activities for over four decades, Crusade for Life concluded that abortion in America would never be ended until a Constitutional amendment was passed protecting unborn life from the moment of conception. Accordingly, in 2014 Crusade for Life published a booklet titled “Ending Abortion in America.” This booklet proposed a Constitutional amendment based on a Proclamation of Personhood issued in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. (Read this booklet on www.amendmentforlife.org under “Achieving A Constitutional Amendment for Life”)
The essence of the Proclamation is recognizing the unborn human being as a person throughout pregnancy. When so recognized, existing Amendments 5 and 14 will protect the life of the unborn child. Amendment 5 says “No person shall be deprived of life without due process of the laws,” and Amendment 14 says “No state shall deprive any person of life without due process of the laws.” Crusade for Life’s proposed amendment offers the text “As used in this Constitution, the word person shall mean and refer to any and all living human beings from fertilization (conception) to death.” Appropriately, this proposed text is referred to as the “Constitutional Amendment for Life.”
Crusade for Life believes that the proposed amendment is a logical forward step legally, because scientifically the unborn being is merely at an earlier stage of biological development. Since the word “person” simply means “human being,” it should and does apply to human life at every stage of development. So an amendment that corrects this grievous error can be seen to be both logical and reasonable. What lies before our country is the urgent question, how can the Constitutional Amendment for Life be attained? This will be the next endeavor in this presentation.
5. THE TIPPING POINT
A few decades ago a writer named Malcolm Gladwell wrote a prophetic book titled
“Tipping Point.” Based on issues such as disease epidemics or stylistic fads, Gladwell calls attention to focal points where a self-sustaining multiplication occurs. In his book, he analyzes the Tipping Point concept, and describes how a Tipping Point can be created. His technique may be valuable in establishing a large pro-amendment group.
6. CLOSING THE LOOP
Getting a two-thirds majority of the federal legislature to pass the Constitutional Amendment for Life is the first challenge to the Amendment program. In order to accomplish this, our entire nation must be made aware that an amendment is being sought. This information necessarily come from America’s media. Now we are talking about newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, and the internet media sources. This looks overwhelming, but it is possible by starting with a source that is determined to succeed.
One option is to get an individual who is known to the entire nation to take a significant interest in the amendment concept. By staging an event that features this individual, the media will be drawn into the issue. Once the media is involved, and people hear about the amendment, they are likely to look for a website that gives them more information. Such a website has been created by Crusade for Life and is currently available. By this means the amendment concept will spread widely.
A primary issue is getting the federal legislature to introduce a Constitutional Amendment for Life. Once the bill has been introduced, efforts can be made to bring the bill to a high level of acceptance. The answer is for pro-life citizens to contact their federal representatives and senators, encouraging them to sponsor the amendment. The citizens have power because the legislators need their votes to remain in office. As for the message that the citizens convey to their representatives and senators, this can be obtained from the Amendment for Life website, including the addresses and phone numbers of the legislators.
Once the Amendment for Life bill has been passed by the federal legislature, it must also be passed, or ratified, by three-fourths of the states. Being passed in this context means approved by a simple majority. After successful completion of this process by the states, the amendment is added to the Constitution. If the Constitutional Amendment for Life completes this process, it will be Amendment 28.
Obviously, ratification is an extensive and complex process. To be successful, the states have to be conditioned to the amendment content. This is done by the same media effort previously discussed. However, internet communications become extremely important. The ability of the internet to reach every community in America justifies special efforts with this medium. Basically, the amendment website can reach everyone in America. To do this, a special process can be employed.
7. USING THE INTERNET
The Constitutional Amendment for life has every good thing to offer, but to do its job it must be ensconced in America’s internet information system. The first step is to establish an informative website. This website must provide data on ending abortion, on the amendment rational, on amendment benefits, and on achieving the amendment. Once positioned, the amendment must be projected by an exponential outreach. This will get the amendment message out to everyone in America in the shortest period of time. Here is how the exponential projection can be employed.
A particular communication should be selected for projection, say the Amendment Benefits Booklet, which will be available on the website. This booklet should be downloaded onto an email, and sent to two other people. These people will be instructed to forward it to two other parties, and that they do the same thing. If all the parties contacted do the same thing, the entire United States will be covered.
8. OTHER CRITICAL FACTORS
In achieving a Constitutional Amendment for Life, it is essential to follow the leading of the Holy Scriptures. As Chronicles 7:14 says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” In today’s culture, who are “my people”? Christians and the church are now God¹s special people. How do we turn from our wicked ways? We as a nation must make the killing of the unborn, innocent child, illegal. Is God interested in nations today? Yes, but it is up to us, his people, to work to make our nation righteous.
All churches of America; Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Evangelical, must be the voice of righteousness in our nation. We are a Republic and as such are a nation of laws that are put in place by elected representatives. The pastors and those attending church have a responsibility to elect the very best people to office. Here are the steps needed:
1. Make sure every qualified adult member is registered to vote.
2. Make sure they understand the issues.
3. Encourage everyone to vote.
4. Encourage some to run for office themselves.
9. BLESS THE LORD
Above all, be diligent in prayer. We believe the Lord wants a Constitutional Amendment for Life, and will bless our efforts to achieve it. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus at the end of the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus said ” And I will be with you to the end of the age.”