Friday, February 21st

CLOSE

MADISON - A group of Republicans are seeking to change the state constitution to prevent courts from keeping abortion legal, but Democrats contend the measure could outlaw some forms of birth control.

The tactic has split abortion opponents, with some saying the proposed constitutional amendment would hurt their long-term goal of outlawing abortion. Because of that internal dispute, the proposal may face dim prospects in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Supporters say what they call a personhood amendment is meant to ensure abortion is illegal if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns rulings that have guaranteed a right to abortion.

The state constitution says all people are born equally free and independent. The proposed amendment would drop the word “born” and say the right to life applies to all humans at any stage of development, including before they are born.

The proposed amendment would allow the Legislature to specify what protections could be afforded to the unborn.