WASHINGTON – Saying that life begins at the moment of conception, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., has introduced The Life at Conception Act, legislation that declares the unborn to be “persons” under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
“This legislation declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known – human life begins at conception,” Sen. Wicker said. “Rather than attempting to amend the Constitution, this legislation addresses the question of when life begins, something the Supreme Court left unresolved in its Roe v. Wade decision.”
In its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court refused to resolve the question of when life begins, leaving Congress the opportunity to declare legislatively that life begins at the moment of conception. In the Roe v. Wade decision, the court acknowledged that “if this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case [i.e., “Roe”], of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”
Wicker’s bill, the Senate companion to House legislation introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has ten original cosponsors: Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., David Vitter, R-La., Jim Bunning, R-Ky., Richard Burr, R-N.C., Jim Demint, R-S.C., Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., James Inhofe, R-Okla., Mel Martinez, R-Fla., John Thune, R-S.D., and George Voinovich, R-Ohio.