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Hearing expected on proposed constitutional amendment related to abortion

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Lawmakers and other stakeholders are set to discuss a proposed constitutional amendment related to unborn babies on Thursday morning.

Legislators are proposing a change to the first line of the state Constitution. Currently the line states:

'All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights: among those are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'

Lawmakers want to change "people" to "persons" and then drop the word "born." It would then read:

'All persons are equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights..."

Those who sponsor the bill said they think that by changing people to person, it can apply to "every human being at any stage of development."

They said they hope the change would offer protections against abortion for unborn babies.

This isn't the first time this amendment change has been proposed. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, lawmakers proposed it back in 2011. At the time, abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood opposed it.

They said it was "way out of touch with Wisconsin values."

Constitutional amendments need to be approved by two successive state Legislatures, and then approved by a majority of voters.

The hearing starts at 9 a.m.

Sara Maslar-Donar

Reporter, WKOW 27 News

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