Testimony for The Personhood Act of South Carolina (S217)…

The South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee has the opportunity to protect life in the womb by passing S217, The Personhood Act of South Carolina. Read the text of the bill here and pray that our legislators are given the courage and compassion necessary to send this bill to the full Senate, through the House, and to the Governor’s desk. I prepared the following statement and hope to present it to an upcoming judiciary subcommittee meeting…

Testimony Prepared for Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Meeting 

in Support of S217, The Personhood Act of South Carolina

There is always a purpose in denying personhood to a particular subset of mankind: To do so allows oppressors to gain legal protection for their murders. In the early 20th century, Jews were not considered persons and so they were killed. In the early part of the 19th century, Native Americans were not considered persons and so were killed. In the 18th and 19th centuries, African slaves in America were not considered persons and so were killed. I have said it here before and I will say it again: Today there are members of the human race—just like Jews, Native Americans, and African Americans in times past—who are arbitrarily being denied personhood so that they may be killed.

The graves of those who were denied personhood in previous eras litter the ground in many places around the world. The graves of those denied personhood today in the United States of America are found in the place where they are meant to enjoy nourishment, warmth, and protection: the wombs of their mothers. The pre-born child in the womb—the 21st century’s non-person—is discarded like refuse. Other testimony today—scientific, theological, ethical, medical—will make it impossible for you to deny the reality of what I said earlier: personhood is denied to babies in the womb so oppressors can kill them without consequences. We’ve seen this before, haven’t we?

Think about these terrible statements denying personhood to a particular people and connected, in one way or another, with our past, Senators:

In 1857…

…the men who framed [the Declaration of Independence]…perfectly understood the meaning of the language they used [“all men are created equal”], and how it would be understood by others; and they knew that it would not in any part of the civilized world be supposed to embrace the negro race…. —Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

About 25 years later…

An Indian is not a person within the meaning of the Constitution. —George Canfield in American Law Review 15 (January, 1881)

About 40 years later…

The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human. They cannot be human in the sense of being an image of God, the Eternal. The Jews are the image of the devil. —Adolf Hitler, speech at Krone Circus in Munich, Germany (May, 1923)

About 50 years later…

All this, together with our observation, supra, that, throughout the major portion of the 19th century, prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. —Roe v. Wade (1973)

All but one of those statements and their terrible denials of personhood are soundly condemned today. Yet, all those statements are cut from the same cloth: they deny personhood to a certain kind of person; they protect the oppressor and condemn his victim. Will it take another 60 million deaths before we are willing to repent for that fourth statement from Roe? Have the courage, Senators, to begin a national repentance here today. State what you know to be true: all men are created equal. Jews are persons, created in the image of God; Native Americans are persons, created in the image of God; African Americans are persons, created in the image of God. Babies in the womb are persons, created in the image of God.

Psalm 139 teaches us that God weaves each of us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Shall we take what God wonderfully weaves together and violently tear it apart after redefining it as a non-person, as discardable property? That is precisely what we are doing at a relentless pace. That carnage began just as every other instance in history started: by those with political power denying what is revealed in God’s Word, by denying personhood to a whole class of people.

Have mercy, Senators. Show our people how to repent. Begin by voting Yes for S217.

A Servant of Christ,

Andrew Dionne,
Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church
Board Member, Personhood SC
www.trinityspartanburg.com | www.personhood.sc

Restoring the hearts of the fathers to their children…

[Remarks delivered at #defundPP rally at The Peace Center (Greenville, SC), April 23, 2016]

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to testify before the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. Under consideration was the Personhood Constitutional Amendment joint resolution S.719. If this joint resolution gets passed, the people of South Carolina will be able to vote on the November ballot to put the following language in the state constitution:

The privileges and immunities of citizens of South Carolina and the United States shall not be abridged, so that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. These rights shall extend to both born and preborn persons beginning at conception.

(to keep up with this personhood legislation like our Personhood South Carolina Facebook page)

During that subcommittee hearing, it stood out to me that those speaking against S.719 were predominantly women (representing Planned Parenthood) while those speaking in support were predominantly men. Sensing the same disparity, Sen. Margie Bright-Matthews opined during the subsequent full Judiciary Committee meeting. She said, “there were a lot of men that had a lot of opinions about what should happen to a woman’s body and that was my problem.”

My first thought after the subcommittee testimony and Sen. Bright-Matthews’ statement—which, of course, was ignorant and deceptive on many levels—was this… Continue reading

SC Republican Senator Larry Martin continues to oppose pro-life legislation…

Update (3.28.16): Two weeks ago, after learning that other Senators were going to recall S.719 from his committee (which would have locked up the Senate for some time), Senator Martin relented and assigned the bill to a favorable subcommittee. This committee, chaired by Senator Lee Bright, passed the joint resolution and it is now on the docket for the Tuesday, April 5 full Judiciary Committee meeting. The vote will be close. Senator Martin has said he will back the legislation in committee so that it returns to the full Senate…but will then oppose it. Please pray that his mind changes. Pray that our conversations will be used to change the legislators’ thinking.


SC State Senator Larry Martin continues to obstruct the passage of a joint resolution (S.719 / H.4093) that would allow the citizens of South Carolina to vote for a constitutional amendment on the November 2016 ballot. With the passage of this joint resolution, we the people would be able to vote whether or not to add the following language to the SC Constitution:

Section 3.a.    The privileges and immunities of citizens of South Carolina and the United States shall not be abridged, so that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. These rights shall extend to both born and preborn persons beginning at conception.

Sen. Martin refuses to take even the first step in this process, to assign the bill to a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. Please contact Sen. Martin and urge him to move the resolution forward.

Statement Prepared for South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives Regarding the Personhood Constitutional Amendment (S.719 / H.4093)…


Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man (Genesis 9:6).

The above verse from the book of Genesis is the basis for Western society’s condemnation and prosecution of the sin and crime of murder. Scripture makes it clear—as did the laws of our land until 1973—that persons born and preborn are to be protected. The personhood legislation that you are considering would bring a resolution to the moral conundrum we’ve been trying to resolve since the US Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade opinion denied the wisdom found in God’s Word and the hundreds of years of legal precedents derived from it.

Each time personhood for the preborn is debated in the SC legislative assemblies—as it has been for far too long now—those who speak in opposition mention several “difficult situations” that would arise if such legislation became law. Ectopic pregnancies, modern reproductive technologies (such as in vitro fertilization), accessibility to certain abortifacient contraceptives are mentioned as reasons that personhood should not be granted to the preborn.

On the other side, those who support personhood for the preborn—as I do—speak of the humanity, dignity, and inalienable rights of those children peacefully floating around in the amniotic fluid of the wombs of their mothers. Continue reading

South Carolina Personhood Constitutional Amendment (S.719 / H.4093)…


Update (5/1/15): Senator Martin has promised to kill this attempt to protect the least among us. He sent me the following email this morning:

Thanks for your email.  I have briefly reviewed the text of S. 719, and it appears be identical to the language in S. 129.  Moreover, I assigned the same bill to a subcommittee last session and am unaware of any change in rulings by the federal courts that would permit a state to ban all abortions.  However, I strongly support H. 3114 which further restricts 2nd trimester abortions in our state and appears to be public policy that we can successfully defend in federal court.
Best regards,
Larry Martin
The cowardice of our legislators in the face of federal immorality is depressing. Praying now that God would raise up men who fear Him more than they fear the State.

Yesterday, the SC Personhood Constitutional Amendment (S.719) was introduced in the South Carolina Senate. Thank you, Senator Lee Bright. And today (April 29), it was introduced in the SC House (H.4093). Other attempts have been made to protect persons within the womb (most recently with the SC Personhood Act, S.129), but this is the first time a constitutional amendment has been attempted in the state. Should this proposal go forward, the citizens of SC would vote for the amendment during an upcoming general election. The centerpiece of this amendment is this statement:

The privileges and immunities of citizens of South Carolina and the United States shall not be abridged, so that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. These rights shall extend to both born and preborn persons beginning at conception.

The SC Personhood Constitutional Amendment was read in the SC Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republican Senator Larry Martin chairs the Judiciary Committee, and he has proven himself to be no friend to children in the womb and legislation to protect them. S.129 was pre-filed in December of 2014 and has not (and will not) be assigned to a subcommittee during this legislative session. He’s stalled the bill to death. Now, S.719 falls into his hands…and I imagine he will use his power as the chairman of this committee to kill the joint resolution.

Please contact Senator Martin [larrymartin@scsenate.gov; (803) 212-6610] and urge him to give S.719 a chance to see the light of day…


A Sermon on the 42nd Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade…

I don’t often do this, but I’d like to draw attention to a sermon I preached two Sundays ago. Remember, dear brothers and sisters, your very young neighbors are being led to the slaughter…

Abortion—What is the Church to do?

Eagles nests and human babies: an example of ethical stupidity…

A South Carolina man may go to jail for cutting down a tree that held the empty nest of an eagle. Bernie Kole, a neighbor who complained about the missing tree and nest whose complaints made another neighbor make a report to the State, said, “If nothing else comes out of this, I want the public to know they can’t remove, damage an eagle’s nest, and you certainly can’t cut down the trees.” The penalty:

DNR wildlife biologist Charlotte Hope, who monitors the birds, said the penalties for damaging a nest or harming eagles can be stiff, including tens of thousands of dollars in fines and jail time. Both the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act apply. The acts prohibit endangering bald eagles and damaging or removing a nest, among other restrictions.

Meanwhile, just up the road at the Charleston Women’s Medical Center… Continue reading