Personhood

Have you heard about the personhood movement?  Basically anti-abortionists are moving to change state constitutions to redefine “personhood” so that any fertilized egg – regardless of when/how/where the egg was fertilized is considered a person with rights under the law.  And Mississippi will apparently have this measure on the ballot in November.

I am well aware of the old adage that it is not polite to discuss politics or religion.  I’m about to discuss both.

It really pisses me off when people decide they want to legally mandate what a woman can and cannot do with her body as it relates to reproduction.  Particularly when they are not going to provide any assistance or resources one way or the other.

Let’s take 17 year old Nerd Girl for example.  I was raped by someone (dude was never caught) my sophomore year of college.  Now, I’ve thanked God many, many, many times over that I did not contract any diseases or become pregnant as a result.  But what if I had gotten pregnant?

If I’d kept the baby – as the personhood people would like to mandate – I would’ve been a 17 year old, uneducated, black, single mother.  I am hard pressed to believe that any of the people lobbying so hard against abortion would’ve opened their arms, hearts and homes to adopt the child they demand I not abort. I also find it hard to believe that they would’ve provided me with any of the resources necessary to raise a child.  Because you know, don’t have the baby if you can’t feed the baby.

I’m a Christian.  And I can’t say for sure what I would’ve done had I found myself pregnant, but I’m almost certain I would’ve terminated the pregnancy.  And I’m pretty sure God would’ve forgiven me.

I know that this will be presented to voters as anti-abortion legislation.  And that will appeal to the majority of voters in this conservative, primarily Republican state.  But.  What many people don’t realize (and yes, I’m going to find a way to actively campaign against this measure) is that the consequences will reach far beyond a woman’s ability to “just” have an abortion at will.  Ectopic pregnancy?  Too bad.  That’s a person in your fallopian tube – you cannot terminate.  And yeah, untreated ectopic pregnancies can lead to maternal death.  Infertile?  Too bad.  IVFs would most likely not be done anymore because destroying any embryos that weren’t implanted or selectively reducing the embryos would be considered murder.  11 year old girl molested and pregnant?  Too bad.  The scenarios go on and on.

This kind of stuff is just bullshit to me.  Pardon my french.  These people claim to want smaller government.  They say that government is too big and has too much authority.  Yet they want to climb all up in women’s uteruses (uteri, I think) and legislate that most personal of space.  Get the hell out.  Literally and figuratively.

I’m not really sure what I can do within the confines of my job – as a state employee who works in bioethics – but I just cannot keep silent on this one.

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17 thoughts on “Personhood

  1. *sigh* I’m right there with you. I don’t agree w/ this movement at all. I’m sorry but I will NEVER understand how the government feels the right to tell a woman what she should or shouldn’t do w/ her body.

  2. The government is only getting involved because the radical jesiis freaks are the ones pushing for their beliefs to become laws. My opinion – religious views have no place in the rule books. And yeah, we all know I say Jesiis a lot and have strong opinions, but my main opinion is this – YOU do what’s right for you, I’ll do what’s right for ME. Done.

  3. “I am hard pressed to believe that any of the people lobbying so hard against abortion would’ve opened their arms, hearts and homes to adopt the child they demand I not abort. I also find it hard to believe that they would’ve provided me with any of the resources necessary to raise a child.” >> This right here! It kills me how these people talk out of both sides of their mouth when it comes to this issue. They are the first to slam the poor, the uneducated, the people with multiple children and no money (just listen to your average Se.an Han.nity/Ru.sh Lim.baugh rant) but they are against providing the funds necessary to support these people. You cannot have it both ways. I’m not the one who has to raise the child and I can’t force someone down that path either. I know how hard it is to raise a child and my situation is more or less “ideal”! Who am I to dictate that someone else has to deal with that situation because they made a mistake or for other reasons?

  4. Your last part is what gets me on so many issues, including this one. The very people that push for things like this claim to want smaller government, but they propose and support the most invasive legislation. Get out of my bedroom, my womb, and my heart….it’s too much. People seem to think they can legislate morals and ethics…it can’t be done, if only for the reason that we don’t all share the same ones.

  5. onefromphilly says:

    AND….. these are the same friggin people that will stand in front of Planned Parenthood and BLOCK a women’s right to obtain BIRTH CONTROL!!! ANd they support the Death Penalty!

    sick azz bastids!

  6. Jam says:

    Yo son. It killlllllllls me that a bunch of men sit around deciding what we should do with our bodies. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!! No woman should be forced to raise the child of her rapist if she doesn’t want to. Nor should she be forced to carry that baby to term and then give it away. “We’ll write in exceptions” so then I’ll have to get a note from Congress before I can end what may be in another case a potentially fatal pregnancy. And PREACH on big government and welfare. Welfare’s cut or made more difficult at every possible turn but then you try to cut EVERYTHING that would prevent adding single mothers! What’s next? Legislating who can get their tubes tied? Of course we’ll never legislate vasectomies. That’s a man’s right to choose.

  7. I’ve always felt funny about laws that legislate a woman’s body. And I have huge respect for you in that you went through a traumatic experience that provides a perspective that’s too often missing from this debate.
    So I say good for you for finding a way to speak out and making others aware.

  8. sayitlikethis says:

    Speak on it! You hit everything right there. The sad part is that these same individuals call themselves educated and that they are representing their constituents. Um, yeah….I’m gonna need them to come off that one. Denying funding to Planned Parenthood because they provide abortions? No, PP also provides birth control and exams for the low-income and uninsured. And lest we not forget that the same folks wanting to make embryos “people” are the same people who don’t want national healthcare. So where are these women supposed to go?

    Reproduction decisions should be left to the woman who has the reproductive organs. Not her senator, governor or President. Point blank.

    I have always been and always will be pro-choice.

    I hope you find a way to lobby on that issue and get some supporters because that bill needs to be aborted. Pardon my pun.

  9. I have been told that the dr. numbs the mother and places a type of blending device inside of her. The baby is chopped to pieces. It breaks my heart to think of what the baby must go through. What if its asleep and awakes to that? What if its eating? The baby is in there relying on its mother and then pain. It isn’t about religion for me. Why not just put the baby to sleep with a needle or something? Death row inmates get to die in a humane manner but a fetus who harmed no one can be sliced and diced, dismembered and crushed, stabbed, or suffocated while ALIVE.

    I didn’t really care about abortions, until I learned the cruelty of the procedures.

    I also prefer fetuses to be considered as living so when folks beat or kill pregnant women, they should get a murder charge for the baby if it dies.

    When I was pregnant it occured to me that if folks considered my baby a person, I could have driven in the car pool lane. That was frustrating to me.

    I don’t think women should have to carry the child of an assault but I wish there was another way to kill the baby.

    • The woman is injected with something that puts the embryo, fetus, whatever you want to call it at that point so sleep 1st before any procedure is done. They aren’t just chopping anything up as you’ve heard.I think if that were the practice a lot more women would be against it.

  10. t. sheree says:

    It simply serves as a distraction from the larger issues, like it did in my Great State this past legislative session (ie, a law mandating that doctors perform a sonogram before an abortion…deemed emergency legislation over other issues such as a looming deficit affecting education and state employment on a large scale). I’ve always believed that the people who speak the loudest on issues are the ones who are involved/affected the most in their private lives, on one side or the other…this level of hypocrisy is really, really sickening. And, anything to make people feel and appear better than others is going to be pushed to the forefront.

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. AR Gal says:

    “These people claim to want smaller government. They say that government is too big and has too much authority. Yet they want to climb all up in women’s uteruses (uteri, I think) and legislate that most personal of space.”

    Honest to goodness, this was my thought after reading the first paragraph. Not verbatim, of course, but still you get my drift. I’m pro-choice all day long until the cows come home. In this case, I hope they never do….unless they are part of the personhood movement. In which case, I hope they are slaughtered.

  12. Jazz says:

    I believe you have the right to do whatever you want with YOUR body , and I have the right to do what I want in my body. Even though I am anti-abortion, I believe in a womans right to choose. This movement is dumb, for lack of a better word.

  13. i hadn’t heard from this. Thanks for opening up and showing us why this is so personal to you. You speak for SO many women on this issue. I live in Illinois and have no plans to move to the south EVER, so I feel relatively free from the madness. However injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere (or whatever the quote is), so I feel connected to your struggle down there and I’m sorry that you have to deal with such conservative jerks.

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