On October 23, 2009, the Lieutenant Governor of Alaska certified an application for a ballot initiative that seeks to “recognize[e] the legal personhood” of “all human beings, from the beginning of their biological development, including the single-cell embryo.”
The initiative seeks to ban all abortions and commonly used forms of birth control. It could also interfere with doctors’ ability to treat life-threatening pregnancies, miscarriages, and infertility, as well as ban some stem cell research and other life-saving therapies and cures. In addition, it could reach far beyond health care, affecting thousands of laws, and it fails to explain to voters its intent and impact.
On November 23, 2009, three Alaska citizens — a professor, nurse, and lawyer — represented by the ACLU, the ACLU of Alaska, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, asked the court to find that the Lieutenant Governor improperly certified the initiative and stop it from being placed on the ballot.