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November 21, 2011
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Wisconsin Personhood Amendment introduced

Legislation that would amend the Wisconsin Constitution to apply personhood rights to preborn children at all stages of development was introduced on Thursday. Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 77, authored by Representative Andre Jacque (R-Green Bay), extends the inalienable right to life found in the Wisconsin Constitution to all preborn children from the beginning of their lives. Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) is the lead author in the State Senate. An amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution requires passage in two successive legislatures followed by a simple majority vote of the people. Click here to read the amendment language, and click here to view PLW's legislative memo. Click here for a national story on the opposition’s reaction.

From a pro-life perspective, the Wisconsin Constitution contains a glaring error at its outset. In specifying the beneficiaries of its human rights, our state constitution leaves out the preborn. It applies rights to only those people who are "born." Representative Jacque is proposing a minimal but absolutely essential correction, a personhood amendment, to make the Wisconsin Constitution cover all people, every person, at any stage of development.

Assembly Joint Resolution 77 tracks the original constitutional language as closely as grammatically possible, only substituting the inclusive personhood definition for the word "born." That definition is as follows: As applied to the right to life, the terms "people" and "person” shall apply to every human being at any stage of development. Such a definition is indispensable to spreading the protective cover of Wisconsin’s constitution over all its citizens.

The amendment language reads as follows:

Article 1. Declaration of Rights. Equality; inherent rights. SECTION 1. All people are equally free and independet, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; to secure these rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. As applied to the right to life, the terms "people" and "person" shall apply to every human being at any stage of development.

Should Roe v. Wade be overturned someday and the abortion issue remanded to the states, an activist Wisconsin Supreme Court could (and very likely would) use the word “born” in our current state constitution to deny the right to life of the preborn by interpreting an independent right to abortion in that document. In so doing, the court could nullify any present or future pro-life laws in our state. The changing makeup of the Wisconsin Legislature could also jeopardize any pro-life laws in our state. Every two years our state election process determines the majority party in Madison. Legal protection of the preborn should not (and must not) be contingent upon which party controls the state legislature. The right to life should not be subject to the whims of a politicized supreme court or an ever-changing legislature. Only by enshrining the right to life in our state constitution will preborn children be afforded full and lasting legal protection. 

The introduction of the Wisconsin Personhood Amendment is a watershed moment in the history of the pro-life movement in our state. It seeks to end abortion in Wisconsin, not to regulate or restrict it. It seeks to end all violence toward preborn children in Wisconsin – surgical, chemical, experimental, etc. – at all stages of development. We have been working toward the introduction of such an amendment for the last five years, and we thank Representative Jacque for demonstrating the courage of his convictions in finally making it a reality.

We also thank the co-sponsors of the bill for their principled stand in supporting the amendment: Senator Grothman and Representatives Dan LeMahieu, Don Pridemore, David Craig, Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Evan Wynn, and Tom Larson.

The Wisconsin Personhood Amendment is not intended, or worded, as a challenge to Roe, or as an attempt to define personhood under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It seeks only to bring into the Wisconsin Constitution a true definition of human life as endorsed by Wisconsin citizens speaking through the amendment process, thus making the highest law in our state cover all people, every person, at any stage of development. We recognize that its protections cannot be fully effective as long as Roe remains law, but we believe a proper definition of personhood should be in place should Wisconsin be freed from the effects of that noxious decision.

The Wisconsin Personhood Amendment has been endorsed by Wisconsin Family Action, Personhood USA, Pastor Walter Hoye of the Issues4Life Foundation, American Life League, and Charles E. Rice, Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Notre Dame. For more information on the Wisconsin Personhood Amendment, check out

Take Action!

Please CALL or EMAIL your state representative and state senator now and urge him or her to support AJR 77, the “Wisconsin Personhood Amendment.” 

Tell your legislators to extend the inalienable right to life found in the Wisconsin Constitution to all preborn children at all stages of development.

If your legislator is a co-sponsor of AJR 77, please thank him!

To find out who your state legislators are, click here for PLW's website and scroll over the Legislative Affairs menu item at the top of the page. A drop down menu will appear. Click on the Speak Up icon and then scroll down the page and click on Who Are My Wisconsin Lawmakers? Type in your street address, city and zip code. The names and contact information of your state senator and state representative will appear.

Once you know who your state legislators are, go back to the Speak Up page and use the links listed under Email Your Government Officials to send your email to your state senator and state representative. That way PLW will receive a copy of your email which will enable us to monitor the activity of our grassroots advocacy campaigns.

If you prefer to leave a telephone message with your state legislator, call the toll-free State Legislative Hotline at (800) 362-9472. Or call the legislator’s office directly. Thank you!

Empty Manger Christmas Caroling

Last year's Empty Manger Christmas Caroling effort was so popular, we're doing it again this year, and in more cities to boot!

What better way to bring the joy of Christmas to a place where hopelessness abounds?

- Milwaukee: Pro-Life Wisconsin and 40 Days for Life of Milwaukee will be singing Christmas carols
on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. both days, outside Affiliated Medical Services. Affiliated is located at 1428 N. Farwell Ave, Milwaukee.
- Madison: PLW affiliate Vigil for Life will be singing Christmas carols on Dec. 22 at 5:30 pm at Planned Parenthood, 1306 Orin Road, Madison.
- Green Bay: Pro-Life Wisconsin and 40 Days for Life of Green Bay will be singing Christmas carols on Dec. 23 at 3pm at Bellin Hospital, 744 South Webster Avenue, Green Bay.
- Appleton:
Pro-Life Wisconsin will be singing Christmas carols on Dec. 23 at Planned Parenthood, 3800 North Gillette Street, Appleton. Time TBD.

We will have copies of Christmas carols and the empty manger. Please spread this message far and wide. Most of all, prepare the way of the Lord by joining us in song to glorify the King of kings.

A Thanksgiving gift: Mother with aggressive cancer gives birth to healthy baby despite treatment

From LifeSiteNews:

During a routine self examination one morning, Erika Vandiver became apprehensive as she located a lump in her left breast. Just two months earlier, in February 2009, Erika and her husband Andrew had been overjoyed to discover that she was pregnant. This time the young mother was managing to hold onto the new life.

Prior to this pregnancy, 28-year-old Erika had suffered four miscarriages, the last one requiring her to be hospitalized for several days due to blood loss. "I was afraid another miscarriage would break my health or my spirit," said Erika in an interview with LifeSiteNews.

The young married couple had kept the news of this pregnancy "close," keeping their fingers crossed in the hope of giving their year-and-a-half old son Simon a brother or sister.

Erika's obstetrician initially thought the lump was a clogged milk duct or some other pregnancy related swelling and told the young mother to keep an eye on it. But by June, the lump had become noticeably larger and more painful. At this point, Erika's doctor ordered an ultrasound and biopsy.

The results that came in July were not good. The now 20-week pregnant mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Click here to read more.

Cardinal Burke: Attacks on unborn are rooted in 'contraceptive mentality'

From LifeSiteNews:

Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of America's highest ranking Catholic prelates, urged pro-life advocates last month to confront an "erroneous view of human sexuality" that robs the sexual act of its life-giving purpose.

"The attack on the innocent and defenceless life of the unborn has its origin in an erroneous view of human sexuality, which attempts to eliminate, by mechanical or chemical means, the essentially procreative nature of the conjugal act," the prelate, who heads the Apostolic Signatura (the Vatican’s highest court), told the McHenry County Catholic Prayer Breakfast in the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois on October 31.

The prelate stressed the essential role of obedience in promoting a culture of life, and lamented that even some bishops had openly dissented from Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which reiterated the Church's opposition to contraception.

"A most tragic example of the lack of obedience of faith, also on the part of certain Bishops, was the response of many to the Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae," he said.  "If the shepherd is not obedient, the flock easily gives way to confusion and error."

Click here to read more.

Join PLW at the March for Life

Join pro-life Wisconsinites and 400,000 people from around the nation to mark the anniversary of the deadly Roe v. Wade decision.

The annual March for Life will be held Monday, January 23, in Washington, D.C.  Pro-Life Wisconsin's buses will be leaving on Friday, January 20, and returning Tuesday, January 24. 

Cost for the trip, including travel to and from Washington as well as hotel accommodations, is $275.

We will travel by bus and stay two nights at a Capitol Hill hotel. Register NOW to guarantee a seat!

Call PLW's office at (262) 796-1111 or e-mail for more info.

Pro-life news wrap-up

- Newly-released documents
show DOJ knew Stupak agreement was a sham. Read more here.

- U.S. biotech company Geron Corp announced its decision to quit embryonic stem cell research. Read more here.

Affiliate activities

Pro-Life Wisconsin Walworth Co.
prays at Planned Parenthood in Delavan, WI. Signs are provided. Contact Phil Cullen for info - 262-742-3299.

Pro-Life Wisconsin Juneau County
gathers for prayer witness every Monday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Family Planning Health Services, 522 State Road 82 # F, in Mauston. Please call Richard Irwin, (608) 565-6706, for more information. They meet every second Tuesday of the month at the Hatch Public Library in Mauston at 7 p.m. in the Community Room.

Pro-Life Wisconsin Marathon County
prays the Rosary once a month on Saturday at 10:45 a.m. at Family Planning Health Services. Call Ron Putzer at (715) 842-5368 to confirm date.

Pro-Life Wisconsin Fond du Lac County
prays in front of Planned Parenthood, 333 N. Peters Ave., Fond du Lac, on the second Saturday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For information, call Ann at (920) 921-6062. A pro-life Rosary is said at 8:30 a.m. before the 9 a.m. Mass each Saturday at St. Mary's Church, Marquette St. at E. Merrill Ave., Fond du Lac.

Vigil for Life-PLW Dane County have a perpetual presence on the sidewalks in front of Madison's Planned Parenthood abortion facility (3706 Orin Road, Madison, WI 53704). Each day that Planned Parenthood is open for business (every week day), 2 people (at least!) will be scheduled to be present on the sidewalk. The times and days are as follows: Monday-Wednesday: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.; Thursday 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.; and Friday, 1pm - 3pm. Individuals or groups are needed to sign up for these 2-hour shifts, especially on a monthly basis. You may also "stop by." Those interested should click here to view the online scheduling calendar or contact affiliate leader Laura Karlen at (608) 445-2064 or email

Pro-Life Wisconsin Chippewa Valley prays and gives public witness against abortion and contraception outside the Eau Claire Planned Parenthood (1231 Menomonie St.) every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the first Saturday of the month at 11 a.m.

Pro-Life Wisconsin Milwaukee County gathers regularly on Saturday mornings at the Affiliated abortion center, 1428 N. Farwell Ave. in Milwaukee, between 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. SIDEWALK COUNSELORS ARE NEEDED! If you can come pray or counsel women entering the abortuary, please contact Peggy Hamill, (262) 796-1111, or e-mail for more information.

Pro-Life Wisconsin Outagamie County invites you to love your preborn neighbor as yourself, by going out to the places where abortions are sold and committed. Please plan to come and sidewalk counsel (beside the driveway), pray and witness with signs at Planned Parenthood Appleton North on 3800 N. Gillett St.

Pro-Life Wisconsin Waukesha County will join other pro-lifers for monthly prayer in front of the Planned Parenthood in Waukesha, 426 W. Main St. Prayer gatherings will be held the fourth Saturday of every month at 10 a.m.

Pro-Life Wisconsin Kenosha has consecrated our fight against Planned Parenthood to Jesus through Mary.  We pray every Saturday at 11 a.m. in front of the Planned Parenthood facility, located at Roosevelt Road and 36th Avenue in Kenosha. Please come and pray the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and other prayers with us. For more information contact Karie Kinzler at or at (262) 656-0301.

Please join Pro-Life Wisconsin Racine for a prayer vigil every Wednesday from 11 a.m. until noon at the Racine Planned Parenthood, 832 Main St. All are welcome to join with your presence or your prayers.

Rock County Chapter of Pro-Life Wisconsin encourages people to come to the Rockford abortion mill to pray, witness and counsel. The Northern Illinois Women’s Center is located at 10th St and Broadway, Rockford, Ill. Although the abortion facility has been closed by the Illinois Health Department, pro-lifers are encouraged to continue praying here. The Rosary begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by the Divine Mercy Chaplet. For more information please call Mary Jane Stephan (815) 624-2270 or (815) 670-1166. PLW Rock County is also on Facebook!

Courtesy announcements

The Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Vigil for Life
organizations are inviting all pro-lifers to “come away” (Mark 6:31) and spend some time in prayerful silence with Christ Jesus on our fourth annual Advent retreat. The retreat will run Friday December 2 to Saturday December 3 at Durwards Glen Retreat Center in Merrimac, Wisconsin. Anyone working to protect innocent human life, or concerned about building a culture of life is welcome to attend. The cost of the retreat is $55 per person. Scholarships are available. Father William Vernon, pastor of St Christopher Catholic parish in the Diocese of Madison, will lead the retreat. For more information or to register contact Jen Dunnett at (715) 340-2779 or

The third Monday of every month All Saints Catholic Church in Berlin says a Rosary for life at the church's monument for the unborn after a 5:15p.m. Mass. Everyone welcome.

Pro-lifers pray the Rosary every Thursday evening
at 6 p.m. at the West Bend Planned Parenthood, 532 Shepherd’s Drive, West Bend, WI. Located on the West end of town, approximately 1-1/2 miles west of Hwy 45 on West Washington Street (aka: Highway 33) in West Bend. It is in a shopping mall on the north-side of the street. We are on the sidewalk.

Holy Hour for the Unborn
: St. John the Evangelist Parish, 8500 W. Cold Spring Rd., Greenfield, Wis. We come together every fourth Wednesday of the month from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to pray for the end of abortion. The church has 24 hours of Adoration seven days a week. Contact Kathy Knaack with questions,

Cenacles of Life meets every Saturday morning at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Cambridge at 8:30 am to pray two rosaries for an end to the culture of death.

Cenacles of Life meets at St Mary’s Good Shepherd Chapel, 108 McHenry St, Burlington, WI every Wednesday at 6 p.m., and recites the second oral Rosary in the main body of the church, finishing at 7:15 p.m.

Cenacles of Life meets every Saturday morning at 6:45 a.m. to pray two Rosaries for pro-life intentions before the 7:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Pine Bluff, west of Madison.

The Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe has a prayer vigil every Monday at 4:30 p.m. in Wisconsin Rapids on 8th St. by the Shopko mall to pray for the closing of the Planned Parenthood. If you have any questions contact Will Goodman at (608) 698-7443.

The Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe has a prayer vigil every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in Stevens Point in front of the strip mall next to Family Video to pray for the closing of Family Planning Health Services. If you have any questions contact Jen Dunnett at (715) 340-2779.

If you enjoy receiving the Monday Update every week, please consider donating to Pro-Life Wisconsin’s life-saving work. For your convenience, credit card donations are accepted by phone, (262) 796-1111 or toll-free (877) GOD’S WILL or use our secure online donation form. Thank you for your generosity!