While many people on are rightfully concerned with the idea that we now have corporate personhood in the United States, there is a movement around the country to give personhood rights in a very strange place: Wombs.
Mississippi is one of a handful of states that appears to be taking a huge step backwards when it comes to Women and reproductive rights. There is a particular disturbing organization, Personhood USA
, that is pushing personhood
ThinkProgress has been reporting on the disturbing campaign by radical anti-abortion groups to pass “personhood” amendments to state constitutions that would define life as beginning the moment an egg is fertilized. These laws would not only criminalize abortion, but outlaw common forms of contraception as well.
In reading a little more about this, Think Progress
has reported the following, via an interview on the Diane Rhem show that it's a lot more radical than that:
HOYE: Any birth control that ends the life of a human being will be impacted by this measure.
REHM: So that would then include the IUD [intra-uterine device]. What about the birth control pill?
HOYE: If that falls into the same category, yes.
REHM: So you’re saying that the birth control pill could be considered as taking the life of a human being?
HOYE: I’m saying that once the egg and the oocyte come together and you have that single-celled embryo, at that point you have human life, you’ve got a human being and we’re taking the life of a human being with some forms of birth control and if birth control falls into that category, yes I am.
This ballot initiative is so radical that even Mississippi Catholic Bishops
refuse to endorse it.
The National Right to Life organization has refused to promote it. Even the Catholic Bishops have refused to endorse the amendment, noting that the bill is so extreme, it could jeopardize their more serious efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade:
In the letter [Jackson Bishop Joseph Latino] called Personhood Mississippi “a noble initiative.” However, he said, “I join with Catholic bishops in several other states in not endorsing personhood petitions to be circulated in our Catholic parishes. We have committed ourselves to working for a federal amendment and feel the push for a state amendment could ultimately harm our efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
It is no surprise that the National Right to Life group and the Catholic Church want to overturn Roe V. Wade. What I find amazing is why
they are not endorsing this initiative: I suspect the Catholic Church and National Right to Life organization has a kinder gentler way to take away women's' rights (do I need to add a sarcasm tag?). I know that our own TriSec has written often of the issues with the Catholic Church and reproductive rights -- so please know, this is not just about women -- it is about the right to plan a family in a personal way. Religion is a personal choice in my opinion -- states sanctioning laws based upon a person's or group's religion is - in my opinion - not constitutional, and sadly we are here - again.
Let's return to Personhood USA
and Mississippi's Initiative 26 again. Last June, they sponsored a tour to promote this idea, and to get people to vote for it in the state. Do you know what they called their promotional tour? Mississippi Personhood Amendment 26 Kicks Off 'Conceived in Rape' Tour Today
Yes. You read that right.
Rebeccca Kiessling has long been an advocate for the personhood rights for every human being, no matter the circumstances of their conception or birth. Rebecca will be answering the “tough” questions on abortion, specifically discussing children conceived in rape, as she was. Conceived in rape and targeted for abortion, Rebecca will explain why Mississippi voters should vote “Yes” on Amendment 26, and what the abortion “exceptions” proposed by many really mean. “I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue. For them, it’s just a concept — a quick cliche, and they sweep it under the rug and forget about it,” Rebecca explains on her website, rebeccakiessling.com. “I do hope that, as a child of rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue.” Rebecca passionately defends the rights of preborn babies, and was recently quoted at a Personhood hearing as saying, “If you really care about a rape victim, you would want to protect her from the abortion, and not the baby. A baby is not the worst thing that could ever happen to a rape victim – an abortion is.”
And here is a little more: The Primary Mission of Personhood USA is to serve Jesus by being an Advocate for those who can not speak for themselves, the pre-born child. We serve by starting/coordinating efforts to establish legal "personhood" for pre-born children through peaceful activism, legislative efforts and ballot-access petition initiatives.
The war on women's rights is taking an even more disturbing turn. It is now a war on men and the rights they have to reproduce. It's a war on women who have been the victims of rape. This is an all out attack on every person in the United States being done - literally - in the name of Jesus. If you don't consider yourself a feminist simply because you are male, or because it doesn't really effect you, I strongly urge you to reconsider. There are groups out there that are going after far more than vaginas -- they are coming after your sperm too -- regardless of its usefulness to reproduce. Basically, in Mississippi, if this initiative passes, not only would abortion be outlawed, miscarriages would be considered abortion and it will illegal to end pregnancies that never existed. The idea of personhood flies in the face of what true pregnancy means, From NPR
"The medical community has really been quite clear about when pregnancy begins," says Dan Grossman, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the University of California, San Francisco, "and that definition is that pregnancy begins once implantation occurs."
That would be the implantation of the fertilized egg into the woman's uterus. One reason doctors don't consider a woman pregnant until after implantation is a practical one — that's when pregnancy can be detected by hormone changes in her urine.
But there's another reason, Grossman says. "It's really only about half of those fertilized eggs [that] actually result in an ongoing pregnancy."
The rest of the fertilized eggs either never begin dividing or never implant. Or they do implant but spontaneously abort. That can happen so early in pregnancy that the woman never even knows she was pregnant.
Translation: fertilization does not a pregnancy make. Personhood USA wants a fertilized egg to be classified as a person. In doing so, it appears that a woman could legally lose rights to her own body. What happens to a woman with an ectopic pregnancy
? What happens to a woman that has a fetus die inside her? You will recall, a D&C
is still considered an abortion.
When you wonder why women fight so hard to keep the rights they have and work for equality... when you wonder why we want more people to stand with us, keep this in mind: Women's rights matter for everyone. We still don't have an Equal Rights Amendment... and there are people out there trying to make sure that a fertilized egg - a zygote
(which is not an embryo) - has more rights than I do over my own body -- all in the name of their god.
I respect a person's choice of their faith; what I don't respect is when that faith is used to disrespect and/or control people. What I despise is when religion is used to trump serious medical issues. Family planning, Women's rights -- including the right to choose -- are all part of that. That is more than an opinion -- it is a medical fact. Personhood for a fertilized egg is dangerous to civil liberties as well the health of all women and all Americans.
Think it can't happen you you? Don't sit back and assume it won't -- it is
happening to you.
I have been warning people about this for a long time. I wrote this