Vote no on bullshit

On Tuesday, November 8, the people of Mississippi vote on Initiative 26–the “personhood amendment”–which declares that personhood begins at the moment of fertilization. It’s just as ridiculous as it sounds and has no basis in science or law–just in conservative morality and controlling women. So, y’know, same ol’.

Initiative 26 adds just 35 words to the constitution of Mississippi:

SECTION 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”

Proponents would have you believe that those 35 words will have minimal impact on women in the state of Mississippi, outside of outlawing abortion (which is huge enough in its own right). Every fact sheet or FAQ you get from groups like Yes on 26 has the same list of things that the amendment won’t do: won’t outlaw birth control, won’t cost the state money, won’t prosecute women for miscarriages. And from an entirely literal reading, that’s actually true. The amendment doesn’t say anything outside of those 35 words. In fact, the danger of Initiative 26 lies in what the amendment doesn’t say: the exceptions and restrictions it doesn’t guarantee. Thirty-five words can do a huge amount of damage, and pretending it can’t means a lot of misleading, equivocating, and flat-out lying for groups like Yes on 26.

So to clear a few things up:

Yes, the bill can be used to outlaw all abortion. Obviously.

Yes, the bill can be used to outlaw the birth control pill. The vast majority of the medical community agrees that the Pill works by providing hormones that tell the body not to ovulate–when sperm is introduced into the uterus, there’s nothing for it to fertilize, so there’s no embryo. On the very off chance an egg slips through, though, the hormones also have thickened the cervical mucus so the sperm can’t get to the egg. And on the very off-off chance that supersperm does get through, it can’t penetrate the egg. It has been suggested that the Pill also might thin the lining of the uterus such that said unlikely zygote wouldn’t be able to implant. The medical community has seen no evidence that this third mechanism actually takes place, but they’re obliged to include it in information about the Pill just because the possibility exists. So if your bill identifies personhood as beginning at the moment of fertilization, then yes, it will outlaw any medication that could possibly prevent implantation of an zygote, even if it that doesn’t actually happen.

Yes, the bill can be used to prosecute women who miscarry. Identifying an embryo as a person places the pregnant woman in the role of guardian. As with a woman who gives a toddler alcohol, takes it bungee jumping, or drives it around without a baby seat, a pregnant woman who drinks, engages in vigorous physical activity, or drives without a seatbelt would be guilty of neglect and child endangerment if those activities negatively affected the embryo. And this isn’t theoretical–women already have been prosecuted for their miscarriages.

The Yes on 26 site notes that “women were not prosecuted for miscarriages before Roe v. Wade.” This is true–and has no bearing on this case. Roe v. Wade extended the 14th-Amendment right to privacy to include abortion; it didn’t establish personhood, and after it passed, a fetus was still just a fetus. And it doesn’t matter whether or not women were prosecuted for miscarriages then, because they are being prosecuted for them now.

Yes, the bill can be detrimental to women’s health. Outside of simply preventing women and their doctors from freely making the health decisions that are right for them, Initiative 26 places the fetus-person on equal legal standing with the mother. Women whose pregnancies endanger their health–ectopic pregnancies, preeclampsia, and so many other complications that kill hundreds of women in the U.S. every year–would have to weigh their lives against the lives of their fetuses. A woman with a deadly illness like cancer would have to risk endangering her fetus-person with chemotherapy drugs or choose to forgo treatment entirely. The bill does not specify that doctors will be allowed to terminate pregnancies for health reasons–it includes no exception for the life of the mother, leaving the question entirely up to judicial interpretation. All the bill says is that the fetus that threatens her life has the same right to life that she does.

Yes, health care costs can rise. The cost of malpractice insurance for OB/GYNs is so high that many doctors choose to leave the field, or not to go into the field at all, for fear of losing their livelihood over a “bad baby.” Initiative 26 would turn every doctor into an OB/GYN, and every procedure on a pregnant woman would be a potential malpractice suit. If women are lucky, their doctors will only raise prices to cover the increased premiums. If they’re unlucky, the doctors will bail entirely for a state where they can afford–and are allowed–to practice medicine. This is great news for a state consistently ranked 50th in the nation for health care and 49th for physicians per capita. [pdf]

No, the bill won’t outlaw IVF, but it might as well. While the amendment doesn’t prevent IVF clinics from creating new embryos, it does prevent them from destroying them once a woman is done with her treatment. That leaves the clinic as guardians of thousands of little embryo-people and liable for any damage that comes to them while in the clinic’s custody, and for the death of any little embryo-people that are transferred but don’t implant. Forced to make the transition from medical facility to cryogenic day-care center, it’s not unlikely that IVF clinics will leave Mississippi in search of more hospitable and less scientifically backward states.

Yes, the bill leaves the door open for some comically ridiculous shit. If personhood begins at zygotehood, that confers upon zygotes all the rights of people. In addition to life, persons in Mississippi get property rights. They have rights to certain social services. Minors can petition for emancipation. Under this amendment, a pregnant woman would be counted as two people for census purposes, and if Mom dies, her ten-year-old has to split his inheritance with a cooler full of snowflake babies. Is it likely to happen? No, probably not. Is it possible? Yup. And do unlikely, head-shakingly stupid things happen? All the time. If you consider that under this law, your average IVF clinic will have more frozen citizens than the state of Minnesota, does the concept of embryonic personhood make even the slightest amount of sense? Oh, sweet Lord in heaven, how it doesn’t.

If you only remember one thing about Initiative 26, let it be that since the text of the amendment is short, potential judicial application is tremendously broad. Even though the text of the amendment itself doesn’t ban the Pill, IVF, or miscarriage, it doesn’t in any way prevent lawmakers and law enforcers from using it for those purposes. Per the Yes on 26 FAQ:

Personhood is a constitutional definition that establishes a principle. It does not attempt to set policy and procedure for every situation.

Anyone who tries to talk about the things the amendment doesn’t ban is being disingenuous–the danger of this amendment isn’t what it does but what it can be used to do.

The danger isn’t just in Mississippi–Florida, Ohio, and South Dakota all have similar initiatives coming up for vote in 2012, and any similar bill would have similar results. If you’re in Mississippi, for the love of God vote no on Initiative 26 on Tuesday. If you know people in Mississippi, make sure they have accurate information about the potential impact of this amendment and aren’t just listening uncritically to abundantly available misinformation. If you don’t know anyone in Mississippi, you have five days to make new friends. And even if you’re not one to make friends, at least spread the truth around, if only for the reason that truth is shiny and bullshit makes the world a sad place.

55 comments for “Vote no on bullshit

  1. StaudtCJ
    November 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I wonder how this will affect the legal environment? Could women sue their unborn for theft of bodily fluids, for example? What about squatting, battery (destroying the pelvic floor, tearing, destruction of the skin due to stretch marks, pelvic changes, other bodily changes), pain and suffering? There are so many things wrong with this, because I foresee that women will not be able to do that. A fetus or fertilized egg will be held up as a protected individual, I do believe, and the mere woman surrounding it is just the support system. As a support system for a fetus, her actions and choices will be able to be severely curtailed and even prosecuted. I hope that no woman ever goes to jail for having a cup of coffee before she knew she was pregnant, or for daring to gain one ounce more than a doctor recommends, or refuses a procedure, or dares to become pregnant while fat, or any number of other potential issues. I fear for my sisters of all genders and shapes in Mississippi.

  2. Jamie
    November 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    A personal scary side note: It would DEFINITELY outlaw IUDs like Paraguard, which are typically used by people who definitely don’t want to have babies for at least the next 10 years, because non-hormonal IUDs do not prevent conception, only implantation and development.

  3. November 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    This is horrible. I wish I could actually vote on this. I hope the people of Mississippi A) know how detrimental this will be to women all over and B) are not too apathetic to actually go and vote.

  4. Politicalguineapig
    November 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Andie: Don’t get your hopes up. There may be intelligent life in Missisippi, but I haven’t seen any evidence of it. If aliens visited that state, they’d never come to Earth again.

  5. Echo Zen
    November 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    “A personal scary side note: It would DEFINITELY outlaw IUDs like Paraguard, which are typically used by people who definitely don’t want to have babies for at least the next 10 years, because non-hormonal IUDs do not prevent conception, only implantation and development.”

    That is not correct. ParaGard is type of copper IUD, which works as both a spermicide and ovicide (though it tends more toward spermicide). While theoretically it might prevent implantation (just as theoretically birth control might promote weight gain), this has never been observed in any laboratory in the history of the Solar System.

    Of course that won’t stop extremist politicians and attorney generals from trying to ban IUDs on the grounds that they “might” prevent those poor, innocent fertilised eggs from implanting. But unlike anti-choicers, we have a moral obligation to deal in facts, not fairy tales.

  6. AnonymousDog
    November 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Individuality DOES begin at conception.

  7. November 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Jamie: because non-hormonal IUDs do not prevent conception, only implantation and development.

    Actually, I think it’s mostly that Cu2+ ions act as a spermicide.

  8. November 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Gah, Echo Zen got to it first. But yes. What Echo Zen said.

  9. November 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    What would be the legal standing of all the fertilized eggs that don’t implant for reasons unrelated to birth control? I guess all menstruating women in Mississippi will need to turn their used Kotex over to the state every month to make sure that no Blastocyst-Citizens escaped undetected.

  10. Caperton
    November 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Brian Schlosser: Blastocyst-Citizen

    Henceforth known as “blastocytizens.”

  11. EG
    November 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    AnonymousDog: Individuality DOES begin at conception.

    1) Not always. Consider identical twins.

    2) So what?

  12. Iam138
    November 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I took con law, like before the Pennsylvania case (Thornburgh?), so I admit I’m not completely up to date on abortion rights jurisprudence.

    But as long as Roe v. Wade hasn’t been overruled, any state law that outlaws abortion is unconstitutional. That is, without regard to the current activist make-up of the Supreme Court and it’s eagerness to overturn decades-old precedent.

    Or am I missing something? Seriously.

  13. Kristen J.
    November 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I think forced birthers expect the Court to eventually overturn Roe. They campaign hard and garner a signficant number of votes in presidential elections on that issue alone. And remember where Roe sits in SCOTUS jurisprudence. Roe was a throwback decision to a much more activist (in the good way) judiciary. Indeed the foundation of its holding…substantive due process…has been all but abandoned by the majority. I have little doubt that a conservative President would result in Roe being overturned.

  14. Marksman2010
    November 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Politicalguineapig:
    Andie:Don’tgetyourhopesup.TheremaybeintelligentlifeinMissisippi,butIhaven’tseenanyevidenceofit.Ifaliensvisitedthatstate,they’dnevercometoEarthagain.

    +1

    You’re absolutely correct. Mississippi, like most of the South, can’t be helped.

  15. Caperton
    November 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Okay, this is not going to devolve into the usual volley of how backward and stupid and ignorant and racist/sexist/whateverist and worthless and unsalvageable the South is. As regions go, it’s a nice one to beat up on and feel superior to. I get it. It’s a classic. But it’s made up of people, and that’s what you’re calling worthless and ignorant. The number of Southerners on this very blog should be evidence enough that no, it’s not beyond help, it’s not beyond salvaging, and there are people working to actually effect change while you sit and sneer. If you have a worthwhile comment, by all means make it. But I’m not going to hear an entire region of people, including Feministe regulars, getting slagged off for an entire thread.

  16. tentacle_mustache
    November 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Wait, does this legalize human cloning?

  17. lifeisbeautiful
    November 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Maybe you can explain why even though the eagle is no longer an endangered species, its eggs are still federally protected while they’re still in the mother eagle; once they are laid; through the 35-day incubation period and beyond through hatching. In fact, even the nonliving eagle egg shell is protected by the federal law. We’re talking a $100,000 fine! Shouldn’t a human baby have at least the same protection under the law?

  18. lifeisbeautiful
    November 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    It is simply bringing the constitution in line with what science already recognizes: “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman, Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic

    “The only times we even question whether human beings are persons (or “truly” human) are during exploitation and injustice. During the Holocaust, in support of slavery, and to spread eugenics, for example, we have questioned whether the people exploited or abused are really, truly human. To me, that’s powerful.” Ana Banderas http://liveaction.org/blog/is-it-a-person/

    AIN’T I A WOMAN? This is what Sojourner Truth asked when she gave her famous speech about the rights of black women.

    WELL, AIN’T I A PERSON?

    Ryan Bomberger answers this question in this beautiful music video written by a man who was conceived by an act of rape:
    http://www.theradiancefoundation.org/portfolio-item/unwanted-a-story-about-choice/

    How fortunate his mother recognized his “personhood”!

  19. a_MississippiREV
    November 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Politicalguineapig:
    Andie:Don’tgetyourhopesup.TheremaybeintelligentlifeinMissisippi,butIhaven’tseenanyevidenceofit.Ifaliensvisitedthatstate,they’dnevercometoEarthagain.

    There is intelligent life here, but we’re up against a smear campaign from the right that’s unbelievably ignorant and aggressive. I, as a Christian pastor, have been told that I’m no longer a believer, and not worthy of heaven for being against this proposition (by supporters of 26). It hurts knowing the damage that this could bring. It hurts worse knowing that it simply gives ammunition to the rest of the world who already think that we’re backwards, hateful, etc.

  20. Tony_
    November 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I’m sure you’ve seen this before if you’ve been following this, but this bill is so extreme that even Haley Barbour can’t support it.

    Parents Against 26 have published this excellent video against the initiative.

  21. Politicalguineapig
    November 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Caperton: Duly noted. I am just kind of tired of the eternal batshittery of various states. I know there must be a few Democrats in those states, but it seems like they’re fighting a losing battle against the rising tide of fundamentalism. Actually, I can’t remember a time when the South wasn’t full of fundamentalists.They’ve just gotten a lot louder recently.

    a_MissippiREV: I’m sorry to hear that. My college roomate is no longer a Catholic because of her pro-choice views. She came back in tears a couple of times, because she was told, back in 2004, that good Catholics shouldn’t vote for Democrats. It’s basically the same reason that I avoid church. Well, that and the nagging fear that I would have to give up reading and singlehood, both of which I enjoy.

  22. Echo Zen
    November 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I’m inclined to believe that, should this initiative pass, it will be the biggest booster shot to reproductive justice since “Roe v. Wade.” Think about it.

  23. Tony_
    November 3, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    @Politicalguineapig, which is why the South needs our support especially. The best solution, when things are at their worst, is not to give up hope, but to stand fast especially so. The civil rights movement started in a much more backward South than today, so how can anyone give it up?

  24. Annonymous
    November 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I am a resident of MS. I am voting NO! This has been a hot topic on my Facebook page all day. For sake of time and my hand cramp, here’s a few things I said on my status:

    I’ve read through both the ‘Vote yes’ and ‘Vote no’ sites, both are bias towards their own ideas. Just because it says: it won’t ban BC or it will choose a mother’s life over a child does not mean it’s going to happen that way. There will always be someone who won’t agree with a woman’s decision to have control over her own reproduction system and base their opinions on that alone. As a member of the medical community I can tell you we are taught that regardless of your own religion or personal beliefs, we as health care providers must support a patient’s rights and own decisions. Period. The government ought to do the same.

    My apologies for the language, but not my opinion. I sincerely accept everyone’s right to their own beliefs and do not judge them, that’s why I have such a hard time accepting that anyone else can make decisions for me. If I as a health care provider must accept what my patient’s decide about their health and well-being, why should anyone else have the right to tell me what to do? I also do not believe that any female should be given adult rights because of pregnancy. That just means that she, as an adult, should be working, paying taxes, taking care of her child, not living off the government (as a lot of mother’s do because they’re irresponsible, lazy, and had an ‘unplanned pregnancy’) or looking for a handout. I don’t agree with any young female (I’ve seen as low as 9 years old) being sound and stable enough to give birth, and God forbid, by rape or incest. It’s just plain cruel!

    I’ll let my decisions be between me and my maker, not my FB friends or government. I’ll be damned before I’ll be stripped of my rights as a human being. The choices I make may not be the “right” ones but who the hell is anyone to make that decision for me?!

    My uterus my choice. You have your opinion I have mine. I might sound like a cold-hearted b***h, but I’m realistic.

  25. EG
    November 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Tony_: The civil rights movement started in a much more backward South than today, so how can anyone give it up?

    Well, sure, but it also inspired Phil Ochs’s great song, “Here’s to the State of Mississippi.”

    Annonymous: not living off the government (as a lot of mother’s do because they’re irresponsible, lazy, and had an ‘unplanned pregnancy’)

    You got a stat to back up this assertion that “a lot” of mothers “live off the government” because they’re “irresponsible, lazy, and had an ‘unplanned pregnancy'”?

  26. Dazie
    November 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Well, I am here in Mississippi and yes we actually do have intelligent life here. Unfortunately, we also have a large majority of religous nutjobs. I live in a small community and I would say 90% of them will be voting yes on this nonsense. I have actually given up on trying to convince my family and others to vote no. They will not move past the “abortion is murder” logic. They do not care what price women will have to pay as long as their agenda is forced upon us. There is no convincing these people. They are like brainwashed, rabid dogs. Unfortunately, if I had to bet, I’d bet that this passes. But let me explain something. The constitution of MS cannot be changed by direct vote, so this will be overturned upon legal challenge. They took this to court already and the case was dismissed ONLY because the issue was irrelevant because it had yet to be voted on. However, a lot of damage will still be done just by it passing. I truly believe this whole thing is smoke and mirrors to distract people in MS from what else is currently going on in this state.

  27. November 3, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    @Politicalguineapig #19: Ignorance and ass-backward dumbfuckery are not indigenous to the southern states. Look at the nonsense we’ve seen in Wisconsin and Maine and California in recent history. As Caperton noted in the post, similar laws are pending in Ohio, South Dakota and Florida. The Dobsonians are based in Colorado, Fred Phelps is in Kansas and Russ Douthat writes for the New York Times. It’s a national issue, and sectarian divisions aren’t going to help us.

  28. Dazie
    November 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    EG: Well,sure,butitalsoinspiredPhilOchs’sgreatsong,“Here’stotheStateofMississippi.”Yougotastattobackupthisassertionthat“alot”ofmothers“liveoffthegovernment”becausethey’re“irresponsible,lazy,andhadan‘unplannedpregnancy’”?

    That wasn’t my quote, and I don’t have a stat, but if you come to Mississippi you won’t need a stat. It’s plain as day. They aren’t ashamed to brag about not having to work either. I remember my mommy giving us food stamps to buy candy and bragging about the free money we get from the government while she stayed home all day smoking. By the way, 20 years later, the government just got done paying for her cancer treatments.

  29. November 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    EG:
    You got a stat to back up this assertion that “a lot” of mothers “live off the government” because they’re “irresponsible, lazy, and had an ‘unplanned pregnancy’”?

    Yeah, because if we’re fighting personal anectdote to personal anectdote I could say a lot of mothers work their ass off to raise their kids and NOT live off the goverment because it can be fucking humiliating. You know not all single mothers got there by being lazy and irresponsible? You know birth control fails right? Oh, and so do marriages, and long term partnerships that have borne children. So while I can get on board with the ‘my uterus, my choice’ thing, I’d step lightly before you start making gross generalizations about young and/or single and/or divorced mothers. Because fuck that.

  30. November 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Oh Damn.. I wasn’t directing that towards EG.. that was meant towards Annonymous

  31. EG
    November 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Dazie: if you come to Mississippi you won’t need a stat. It’s plain as day.

    No, actually, you do need a stat, because, as it turns out, “plain as day” and “common sense” are often incredibly biased and, not to put too fine a point on it, dead wrong.

    Speaking as somebody who did a lot of work with people on welfare a little less than fifteen years ago.

  32. Politicalguineapig
    November 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Dazie: What Andie said. Also, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for welfare, so that kind of hits close to home. My mom was the youngest of five, raised by a single mother. Grandma had to get help from the government and from her older children to keep the youngest three fed, clothed and housed. I guess it was irresponsible of her to let my Grandfather work for the government as a physicist, back in the days when ‘physics’ meant working with all sorts of nasty radioactive materials. Life happens.
    Brian: That’s true, but the ground for movements like this seems to be especially fertile in the South. And look what happened in Wisconsin and Califiornia: massive protests and a strong opposing movement. If Scott Walker had tried to pull the same thing in Missisippi as he’d pulled in Wisconsin, he’d’ve been applauded, and there wouldn’t have been a squeak of protest.
    Tony: There’s a lot of differences between this movement and the Civil Rights Movement. First of all, churches are considered to be very prestigious in the South. Organizing civil rights actions out of churches helped the movement by legitimizing it. It has never been a central tenet of any church, that women are people and not fetal life support systems. Secondly, Washington got involved, and told the southern states to cut out the racism, as they were making the United States look bad. I don’t think Washington cares anymore.

  33. Tapetum
    November 4, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Individuality DOES begin at conception.

    Interesting. So the Dione quintuplets were one person, and Lydia Fairchild, genetic chimera, is two people?

    Somehow I think my standards for individuality and personhood differ from yours.

  34. Kara
    November 4, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I wonder… if this passes…

    What will happen to a woman who goes out of the state to get an abortion? Will she be arrested and prosecuted for murder on her return?

    What will happen to a woman who goes out of the state to get birth control pills or an IUD? Will she be arrested and prosecuted for attempted murder on her return?

    Oye. Ridiculous.

  35. Anna
    November 4, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Tony_:
    I’msureyou’veseenthisbeforeifyou’vebeenfollowingthis,butthisbillissoextremethatevenHaleyBarbourcan’tsupportit.

    ParentsAgainst26havepublishedthisexcellentvideoagainsttheinitiative.

    That made me cry.

  36. Sandy
    November 4, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Echo Zen: I’m inclined to believe that, should this initiative pass, it will be the biggest booster shot to reproductive justice since “Roe v. Wade.” Think about it.

    But the suffering that would result before anything positive happened… ugh. If the people of Misssissppi are not already convinced this is a bad path to go down, their eyes probably aren’t going to be open to how much it’s going to suck once it’s in practice. Cause teh babies are safe, that’s all that matters!!1! Such an outcome might be the kind of jump-start you hope for elsewhere in the country, but given the current climate of reproductive rights in the US, given that more and more women are being prosecuted for miscarriage (a word I dislike as it implies the woman was doin’ it rong, but that’s the word I’ll go with since “spontaneous abortion” seems to make the average person think “SHE HAD AN ABORTION ON A WHIM?!”… can we get a neologism for miscarriage up in here?), given that birth control and Planned Parenthood have come so strongly under fire and that this all seems to be the new normal, I am much more worried it would set off a chain reaction in other states along the same lines. Cause if it saved teh babies in Mississippi, you know they’ll try to replicate it in 20 more states. (Of course it won’t be in effect until/unless Roe is overturned, but lately that’s feeling like a matter of time.)

    The only reason I’m hanging onto hope here is that Colorado is pretty damn conservative, and the voters there pretty soundly rejected a similar amendment to their state constitution.

  37. Not Missing MS
    November 4, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Politicalguineapig:
    Andie:Don’tgetyourhopesup.TheremaybeintelligentlifeinMissisippi,butIhaven’tseenanyevidenceofit.Ifaliensvisitedthatstate,they’dnevercometoEarthagain.

    That’s because any intelligent life gets the hell out of Dodge.

  38. Tina
    November 4, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Kristen J.: Roe was a throwback decision to a much more activist (in the good way) judiciary.

    What? Why aren’t “conservative” (really “corporatist”) judicial decisions considered activist? It’s not like there have been any of those recently or anything.

  39. 10G
    November 4, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Here’s my ten cents and I’m sticking to it: ANY state that forces women to give birth to an unwanted, unplanned child should ALSO FORCE the “Forced birthers” to adopt EVERY…..SINGLE…unwanted kid. You wanna bitch and moan about “the rights of the unborn”, then I say be part of the solution and not the problem–put your money where your mouth is and take on those unwanted babies. All done now….as you were. ;)

  40. Anonymous in MS
    November 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    To the comments in regards to intelligent life in MS! I’m a MISSISSIPPIAN AND DAMN PROUD OF IT! I am a mother of 3 beautiful, healthy children and my children wouldnt be here today if it wasnt for birth control introducing the hormones into my reproductive system to start the ovulating process that my body failed to start on its own. I have quite a few friends that werent able to conceive on their own and had to IVF…they have beautiful children b/c of it. To take a women’s right to do what she wants to do with her body is not right and not fair! Its MY BODY!!! I should make the decisions, not the government. I dont beleive how they think its ok to let a child carry a baby and leave with a horrific experience b/c they were raped. Im not putting my girls through that if it were to happen to one of them! Miscarriages happen and sometimes with no certain reason behind it….. cant fault and charge the mother with manslaughter when she had no control over her child unexpectedly dying! I’M PRO LIFE AND I’m VOTING NO ON 26!!!

  41. November 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Good for you, Anonymous in MS. And congratulations that the medical treatment you got allowed you to start your family.

  42. sidhe3141
    November 5, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Roe v. Wade extended the 14th-Amendment right to privacy to include abortion

    Fourth. Requirements were extended to the states by the 14th, but privacy is the fourth.

    Sorry. Knee-jerk pedantry.

    • November 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

      Fourth. Requirements were extended to the states by the 14th, but privacy is the fourth.

      Sorry. Knee-jerk pedantry.

      Actually, Caperton is right on this one. The Court decided Roe partially under the 14th Amendment due process clause, which protects privacy against state intervention.

  43. November 5, 2011 at 1:56 am

    @Politicalguineapig: Well, all I have to say is: Southern Poverty Law Center

  44. Politicalguineapig
    November 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Brian Schlosser: Ok, I will admit that African Americans in the South spend more time in the real world then the white population does. I think the African American population is mainly going along with Prop 46 because of the huge influence the church has in that population. I can’t blame ’em; they’re living on top of the psychic equavalent of a Superfund site. (Kind of the same reason why Germany keeps pumping out bands, especially ones that inhabit the darker end of the music spectrum. All that built up evil has to go somewhere.)

  45. sidhe3141
    November 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Pedantic and wrong. I really do stink at this.

  46. bellacoker
    November 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I am literally terrified of this law. The logical conclusions are incredibly frightening.

    For example, if IUDs become illegal, what should be done with all of the women who currently have IUDs? If these people believe what they are arguing then they can’t allow murderers to murder for the 5-10 years their device might continue killing.

    Also, most women don’t know their pregnant for weeks after conception. And things that are perfectly legal for adults to do can be harmful for fetuses. So, what is a responsible, sexually-active lady, who does not want to be tried for murder do? Take a pregnancy test everyday? Stop doing things which are legal for adults because they may have been made functionally illegal for potentially pregnant adults?

  47. Heather
    November 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I just want to say that I am an educated female born and raised from Mississippi..so YES there is INTELLIGENT human beings from here…not many but some. I will be voting no on 26 as well as a few others i know. But mainly i see people in my town who are extremely UNEDUCATED and IGNORANT to the facts. I had one girl who i work with actually say that if this bill does ban contraceptives to keep your legs closed..how rude and dumbly blind can you get? Most people are only basing this on religious factors and not actually seeing this could be harmful to EVERY woman. They do not understand that they will no longer have the freedom to go get on birth control. If they have an ectopic pregnancy they will NOT be able to get treatment as fast as they need it because the doctors will have to get PERMISSION to treat them from law enforcement (that is coming from an actual ob/gyn doctor in my town). So let’s say this now tissue that is in this woman’s tubes is about to bust. What can the doctor do? NOTHING until that doctor gets permission from higher ups to actually help this woman. In the meantime, she could possibly DIE. But oh no, that blob of tissue has a right to try to survive although it’s already dead.

    Sorry for the ranting but it’s extremely frustrating living in a small-minded community filled with ignorant, uneducated people 24/7. God i hope to leave this state in the near future. Thanks :)

  48. Meredith in Mississippi
    November 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Florida could be next! If we don’t vote 26 down it could spread to other states. Vote NO on 26!

  49. anne
    November 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Wow! Just think, you could set up an IVF clinic and start asking for child support for all those persons being held in frozen tanks. Cost of childcare would rise! Could you then seek extra money on your taxes if you are pregnant? (one more dependent!) You could petition a judge to grant your IVF clinic the money in estate inheritance cases….or tell the “parents” of the little conception angels to take their children with them. What happens if an IVF clinic goes up in an arson case, is the person who commits arson than liable for like 1000’s of murder cases?…….My mind is twirling from all the possibly ridiculous loopholes this law would create! I am against abortion for myself but I could never stand for rights of people being ripped away from them. Maybe they should start calling it a felony to get your tubes tied or for getting a vasectomy!

  50. Brett Cottrell
    November 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    There is no “I” in uterus, but there is a Mississippi.

  51. Politicalguineapig
    November 8, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    EchoZen: So I’ve been thinking about it, and I really do not want to lose today for the sake of a hypothetical win tomorrow. When you think of all the lives that are going to be affected, losing ground on 46, even in such a lost-cause state as Missisippi, isn’t a good thing at all.

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