Tag Archives: abortion

Mississippi vote could outlaw birth control

A fertilized egg is the very first form of reproductive life. Up for the vote is whether this egg should be considered a person with rights.

Mississippi voters are gearing up to vote on a measure that could redefine a fetus as a person with rights. On the November 7th ballot is Initiative 26, known by many as the “Personhood Amendment”, changing the legal definition of the word “person” or “persons” (terms used in Article 3 in Mississippi’s Constitution) to include “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof”.

In layman’s terms, this amendment outlaws abortions at any stage of the pregnancy (even in cases of rape, incest, or in cases of ectopic pregnancy) by giving the right to life to the fetus rather than viewing the mother as the only one with legal rights.

Supporters of this initiative argue that human life starts from the moment of conception. Their main purpose to passing this initiative is to “protect life regardless of age, health, function, physical or mental dependency, or method of reproduction” (as quoted by the Christian Medical and Dental Associations). As Personhood USA, the group behind the initiative and the Personhood Movement puts it, “A person, simply put, is a human being. This fact should be enough. The intrinsic humanity of unborn children, by definition, makes them persons, and should, therefore, guarantee their protection under the law.”

But according to those who oppose this initiative, it goes deeper than that.

Their first concern is that the proposed measure does nothing to prevent unplanned pregnancy or teen pregnancy. Beyond abortions, the language in this initiative is so broad and vague it is actually endangering the use of birth control such as IUDs, birth control pills, or the morning-after pill. Most birth controls tend to thin the lining of the uterine wall. If a woman’s egg happens to become fertilized, this thinned lining is unable to support the pregnancy and the woman would miscarry. If Initiative 26 passes next week, a woman who miscarries in this manner could be guilty of homicide. As a result, it is doubtful that insurance companies would cover any form of birth control, thus stripping a woman of the opportunity to access affordable birth control. This will only lead to a drastic increase of unplanned pregnancies, a rise in women needing government assistance, an influx of poverty stricken families, and a whole new crop of problems for Mississippi in the snowball effect the passing of this initiative would have on the state.

Also threatened if this amendment passes is assisted fertility techniques like in-vitro fertilization. In the process of in-vitro, eggs are fertilized outside of the body and then implanted in the woman. Many of these fertilized eggs do not survive before implantation. By Initiative 26’s definition, each one of those eggs that have been fertilized but died could cause the mother and the doctor to face legal repercussions.

It is my personal opinion that passing Initiative 26 is a horrible idea. But why do I care since this is going on in Mississippi and not here? Because, first and foremost, it is silencing the reproductive rights of women in more ways than one, regardless of where this is occurring. Second, this affects not only residents of Mississippi, but college students from out of state, and any other woman who has reason to make medical decisions regarding their reproductive system in the state of Mississippi. Third, California could be next. Already there are groups gathering signatures in Florida, Montana, and Oregon to include this initiative on their state ballot.

If Mississippi passes this initiative, it will become law 30 days after the vote. It will undo all the advances medical science has done for the well being of family planning. And it will be a step backwards in the rights of women in Mississippi….and beyond.

Information was gathered from:
Personhood USA
NPR
The DM Online
BallotPedia
The Constitution of the State of Mississippi

Proposed budget wages War on Women

Just yesterday, I came across the article on the lawmaker who proposed that miscarriage be classified as “prenatal murder” if a woman cannot prove she wasn’t the cause of the pregnancy loss. Nevermind the fact that doctors don’t know what causes the majority of miscarriages.  Nevermind that a woman is already going through enough trauma when their body expels the baby they had every intention of carrying to term.  And God help the woman who lifts something too heavy, or is at fault in a car accident, or falls and hurts herself so badly that she loses her pregnancy.  Because if this law passed, she could be charged with a felony. 

I find this outrageous, and it pisses me off to no end.  But it’s not the only form of attack on women in this country. 

Obviously we are in some economically trying times in this county.  And legislature is coming up with a budget to compensate for money lost.  But, as an editorial piece in the NY Times proclaims, the budget being proposed by the Republican House of Representatives is staging “a war on women”. Because it’s long, I’ll give you the “cliff’s notes” version of the piece. But if you’re concerned about any of this, I urge you to read it for yourself by clicking HERE.

The proposed budget will strip Planned Parenthood of its funding, and eliminate Title X, “the federal family planning program for low-income women that provides birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and testing for H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases.” Without this program, women will go untreated, possibly without even knowing, if they have cancer or an STD. That means they could die.  And the rate of abortions will go up if women don’t have access to birth control.

Speaking of abortions, if a group even talks about abortion at all they will lose federal funding. If a woman has an abortion during her childbearing years, she will be denied insurance coverage. Hospitals that receive federal funds are even allowed to refuse to terminate a pregnancy – even if it’s to save the mother’s life.

Also affected are the WIC program, which will be reduced by 10%, and a $50 million cut from programs that offer healthcare to 31 million low-income children and prenatal healthcare to 2.5 million low-income women a year.

As the editorial piece states, it’s doubtful that all of this will pass without some amendments. But some of this will.  And this attack on women’s reproductive rights and care is shocking, and infuriating.  Do any of these men have mothers, sisters, daughters, or wives?  Are we stepping back in time to 100 years ago, when women were considered mere property of their husbands without the right to any say at all? 

What the hell is going on?