Monday, November 7, 2011

Personhood in Mississippi

Tomorrow, in Mississippi, voters will be asked to vote on when life begins.  In deeply religious and profoundly conservative Mississippi, they may well decide that life begins at the moment sperm meets egg.  In other words, in Mississippi, a fertilized egg will be considered a complete person-- a human being.

Never mind that only one in 20 fertilized eggs goes on to result in a live birth and never mind too that 20% of all pregnancies result in miscarriage in the first trimester, for reasons unknown.  The point, in Mississippi is not about logic or even reality.  It is about outlawing abortion for all reasons, including danger to the life of the mother, rape or incest.

You may think this is just one more ignorant excess of the religious right like creationism or intelligent design, and you would be right in the sense that reason and  hard science have been thrown to the winds in favor of religious faith and emotional fervor, but this time, it looks like the bill is going to pass, and this time there could be some very serious consequences  for all pregnant women and the men who love them, at least in the state of Mississippi.

If a fertilized egg is considered a viable human being, then what happens to a woman who uses certain kinds of birth control which prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall?  Will such women be tried for murder in Mississippi? Will the pill be available in Mississippi? Will in vitro fertilization become illegal?

Oh, and what happens to a woman who miscarries in her first tri-mester-- a not uncommon occurance?  Will the products of the miscarriage be named and accorded a funeral? If life begins at conception, they should be. If the woman who miscarried was a smoker, or didn't even know she was pregnant and got drunk at a party, will she be tried for murder or manslaughter?  It is just possible she could be if Proposition 26 becomes law.

When the state becomes involved in pregnancy it is a dark and potentially evil road that lies ahead.  Doctors, lawyers, and cops end up with control over a pregnant woman's body and they end up making decisions  that rightly belong to the woman and the man who impregnated her. I will never understand how the same people who oppose government regulation when it comes to banks and business, are ready to hand women's personal rights to their own bodies over to the state.  These are often the same people who are all for capital punishment ( even though DNA evidence has shown how often the wrong person is convicted)  but absolutely against abortion, even when the life of the mother is threatened.  The message is clear.  Women are expendable.  Embryos are fully human.  Women are not.

Similar propositions have been floated on the ballots of half a dozen other states and none has passed.  The worry here is that, in Mississippi, proposition 26 just might make it .  If it does pass, the next move is to have the Supreme Court review it.  Given that the court decided not long ago that corporations have human rights, (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 08-205 (2010)) God only knows what it will decide in the case of fertilized eggs in Mississippi.  I've got my fingers crossed.

In Mississippi and elsewhere, I am for a REAL culture of life-- one that values not only all unborn forms of potential life, but also the lives of the women who carry and nurture that life and values them  EQUALLY.  I am really hoping that Mississippi does the right thing tomorrow.

H/T  Life Without A Net for the photo above


JamaGenie said...

You hit it the head with how they don't want any regulations on ways to make money. So many prisons are privatized these days. That means "FOR PROFIT". To keep that profit flowing and their stockholders happy, they need more and more incarcerated bodies. The "personhood" bill will provide them a entirely new revenue stream in the form of women charged with "murdering" a fetus, even if it was an unpreventable miscarriage that had nothing to do with the mother's lifestyle. This a slippery slope we shouldn't go down. EVER.

pinkpackrat said...

I never thought of the prisons for profit connection-- you may have a point there. Hmmmmmmm thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Brett Cottrell said...

Mississippi thinks eggs are people, and the Supreme Court thinks corporations are people. Does this mean corporate eggs will be people? All those tasty eggs you buy at the supermarket? People. That Egg McMuffin you ate for breakfast? People. Quiche? People, too. It’s a scary thought, unless you’re a cannibal.

pinkpackrat said...

another fascinating thought-- thanks Brett. I just went and checked out your blogpost on it-- love it.

JamaGenie said...

I am absolutely thrilled that the voters of Mississippi saw this ballot measure for what it was - a blatant attempt for government to control and therefore control a part of our lives where government has no business being. EVER.

btw, for what it's worth the captcha for this comment was "PREGrali"... Odd how these words often have some connection to content.