‘Egg-as-Person’ Efforts Notch Another Loss


Ultra-conservative religious activists have suffered another set back in their quest to legally define a fertilized egg as a person.

Personhood Nevada blasted the state Supreme Court for failing to rule ahead of a June 18 petition filing deadline on its appeal to place the conception ballot question before voters. In a stinging press release the absolutist anti-choice group referred to the justices as “tyrants.” The court fired back asking proponents why it should rule on a now moot point that failed to qualify for the ballot.

Local backers have been flummoxed since a legal challenge was mounted by the ACLU of Nevada and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Opponents argue that enacting zygote civil rights would ban abortion under any circumstances and place strict limits on all but barrier forms of contraception, stem cell research and in-vitro fertilization.

Carson City District Court Judge James T. Russell ruled Jan. 8 that the proposed 14-word language was too vague and lacked the required focus on a single subject.

Proponents vow they’ll be back in 2012.

But political watchers question the right-wing campaign strategy of not preemptively circulating petitions while the case was under appeal in order to meet the fast approaching ballot deadline.

It’s those missteps and others that cast doubt on the group’s political chops as it claims to be rallying support in 40 states.

The relative ease of citizen-backed ballot thresholds in Western states make the region an easy target for a whole host of activist-inspired electoral shenanigans.

Voters in Colorado rejected the first-in-the-nation personhood ballot by a 3-to-1 margin in 2008. A second attempt to make the 2010 ballot survived only following a mad dash to collect additional petition signatures after state electoral workers invalidated thousands of duplicate names and those contained on incorrectly notarized petitions. Voters will get a second crack Nov. 2 at defining a person as at “the beginning of biological development,” otherwise known as conception.

In Montana, activists are also launching a second attempt to make the ballot after securing only half the 49,000 signatures needed in a failed 2008 campaign.

Personhood Montana is once again led by Dr. Annie Bukacek, a Kalispell physician and  conservative political lightning rod. While organizing the latest petition circulation effort, Bukacek has also battled Medicaid fraud charges following allegations she billed the government for praying with patients during examinations.

The Montana secretary of state is currently tallying ballot petitions. A preliminary signature count, updated daily on the state’s official election web site, is slowly trickling in. Final figures are expected within the next two weeks.

Arch-conservative states have also not been especially friendly territory for a Hail Mary attempt to ban abortion and contraception.

Missouri voters turned back a nascent personhood campaign which failed to collect enough signatures to make the ballot.

In Georgia, Iowa and Kansas where citizen-initiated amendments are prohibited, lawmakers did not yield to paleo-conservative lobbying and rejected bills to refer the measures to the voters.

However, Georgia Right-to-Life did successfully add a personhood straw poll to 45 partisan county primary ballots. Voters will be asked July 20 to express their preference for a constitutional amendment though the results have no legal bearing. Backers hope to use the results to again pressure Georgia lawmakers to place a constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot.

In California, where conservative candidates slugged it out in contentious statewide GOP primaries, personhood advocates couldn’t pull out a win to push a “human rights amendment” masquerading as a personhood measure.

Yet, it’s a basic misreading of federal case law and state constitution rules that will likely cause the group’s undoing in Mississippi — the one conservative state that held the most promise for setting up a protracted challenge to abortion rights under Roe v Wade.

While personhood activists did meet state petition submission requirements, RH Reality Check discovered that a unique provision in the Mississippi constitution prohibits modifying its Bill of Rights by citizen initiative. The anti-choice movement frames the lack of zygote civil rights as akin to the Dred Scott citizenship decision which was later overruled by the 14th Amendment.

The petty insults directed at the Nevada court are also not likely a harbinger of good legal system karma either. A legal challenge to the Mississippi ballot question is expected.

Meanwhile, personhood petitions continue to be circulated in Alaska, Florida and Oregon.

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To schedule an interview with Wendy Norris please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • williamwilberforce

    So Wendy Norris is suggesting that the proper legal procedure when a court issues an order is to ignore it and continue doing what they said was illegal?  It’s no surprise the “political watchers” she quotes remain anonymous.

    In the end thoug, Wendy Norris may be more right than she knows.  But I wonder if she would apply that same logic to Roe?

  • crowepps

    As I understand this case, the District Court judge said that the petition was too vague.  The amendment reads only“In the great state of Nevada, the term ‘person’ applies to every human being.”  however the ballot summary is extremely lengthy and, frankly, a mess.

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Nevada_Personhood_Amendment_(2010)

    It does not at all make it clear what the effect of passing the amendment about personhood would be or what laws would be needed in order to enforce  the obligation it asserts “the state” has to “protect” “persons” or “human beings” if personhood is granted to zygotes.  The petition ASSUMES that the only change this would make would be to give zygote’s ‘human rights’ and therefore ban abortion, but would it also ban in-vitro fertilization?  Birth control?  Criminalize miscarriage?  Restrict the lives of women who MIGHT be pregnant by outlawing women drinking coffee?  Allow women to sue their fetus for ruining the women’s health during pregnancy?  Require all pregnancies to end with ceasarians so the fetus didn’t “feel pain”?  Nobody really knows.

     

    The judge’s ruling was based on his opinion, “The issue to me is, are we adequately informing voters on what they’re voting on?”  In other words, after adding those words, what happens next?  Who knows!  The judge did not enjoin the petition advocates from gathering signatures, he said only that gathering those signatures might be a waste of time.

     

    The proponents of the petition appealed to the Supreme Court.  While waiting for the Supreme Court to hear the case, they did not invest the time and expense necessary to circulate the petition for signatures.  Before the Supreme Court could rule on the case, the deadline for petitions expired, and the Supreme Court said that the issue of the wording was moot because without signatures the petition was disqualified and even if the Supreme Court agreed with proponents of the petition that the wording was okay, it wouldn’t get to be on the ballot anyway.

     

    Wendy’s point is that the proponents of the petition had only two unpleasant choices, not appealing the case at all, or going ahead and attempting to get signatures even though the effort would be wasted if the Supreme Court agreed with the District Court judge.  The Supreme Court can only rule on specific real-time situations and only on a basis of you hit or you missed.  The Supreme Court does not, ever, put out rulings saying ‘here, we’ve written it for you and if you word it the way we suggest it’ll be acceptable’.

  • bei1052

    The proponents of the petition appealed to the Supreme Court.  While waiting for the Supreme Court to hear the case, they did not invest the time and expense necessary to circulate the petition for signatures. 

     

    Because there was an injunction stating that they couldn’t collect any signatures?

     

    Before the Supreme Court could rule on the case, the deadline for petitions expired, and the Supreme Court said that the issue of the wording was moot because without signatures the petition was disqualified and even if the Supreme Court agreed with proponents of the petition that the wording was okay, it wouldn’t get to be on the ballot anyway.

     

    That’s not what they said. They said that the issue was moot because the deadline for the submitting signatures had passed, and that deadline just so happened to lapse before the Nevada Supreme Court ever decided to get around to hearing the case even though the case was brought to the court long before the due date. In other words, the court just sat on their hands and waited for the date by which all petitions were due to pass before even attempting to rule on the issue. I’m not even so sure how you go about trying to rationalize that, because there is no rationalizing it.

  • crowepps

    In other words, the court just sat on their hands and waited for the date

    It always, ALWAYS takes months to get a case through the Supreme Court. Even expedited consideration cases take months. In another Nevada case (see below) the District Judge ruled in October, it was appealed to the Supreme Court with briefs due on February 3rd. That’s for an EXPEDITED case.

     

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/jan/22/nevada-supreme-court-expedite-water-rights-case/

     

    It isn’t a matter of sitting on their hands, it’s a matter of being very, very busy.

  • bei1052

    It isn’t a matter of sitting on their hands, it’s a matter of being very, very busy.

     

    No, it wasn’t. An appeal of Judge Russell’s decision barring the group from obtaining any signatures was filed on February 12th. If the group would have collected any signatures, they would have been held in contempt of court and been hit with a fine, jail time or a combination of both (something you nor Wendy nor Wendy’s “political watchers” apparently don’t realize). The Nevada Supreme Court waited until *one day* after the deadline to issue the following statement:

     

    It appears that the initiative’s proponents may not have obtained sufficient signatures to place the measure on the ballot, thus rendering this appeal moot. This court’s duty is to decide actual controversies, not to give opinions on moot questions.

     

    Well, of course they didn’t obtain enough signatures. The group was barred from obtaining any signatures due to Russel’s decision on January 8th. That’s why the appeal was filed, and the appeal wasn’t moot when it was filed as without the injunction the group would have collected more signatures. Of course it’s moot now because the deadline passed, and the deadline passed because the Nevada Supreme Court willingly let it pass.

     

    As it is, I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but it’s wrong.

     

    Like I said, try as you might, you can’t rationalize the above, as it’s underhanded– especially when you consider how long they waited until after the deadline passed to address the issue.

  • crowepps

    If zygotes are “persons” under the law, then wouldn’t zygotes conceived in Nevada be considered “naturally-conceived citizens of the United States” even if they were born elsewhere?

  • crowepps

    Do you have a link to any of the filings in the case?  I find the injunction preventing them from getting signatures just as illogical as you do.  There certainly doesn’t seem to be any known harm that would occur from people being able to get signatures.  I will note that I ran across several articles on more than one initiative that protested that the Legislature in Nevada has set a very high bar for citizen initiatives to succeed, and that of 14 different groups which were trying to get something on the ballot, none succeeded.

     

    Sounds like the powers that be in Nevada don’t want any annoying ‘little people’ interferring, on this or any other issue.

  • ahunt

    then wouldn’t zygotes conceived in Nevada be considered “naturally-conceived citizens of the United States” even if they were born elsewhere?

     

    crowepps…if I’m ever in Alaska…may I buy you the beverage of your choice?

     

    But bear in mind, Arizona pols are working overtime to to subvert the 14th…

  • crowepps

    Sure, I’d love to have a cup of tea with you!

     

    The problem with the various ‘personhood’ amendments is that although the proponents of them think they know what would happen next, their secretiveness about the fact they would ban many types of contraception means that there can’t be an open, healthy discussion of exactly what the end results really would be.  And for another, after passing the new law, it would become necessary to legally define “human being”, something which has not been done to date legally.

    • otaku1960

      I’m also bothered by the secrecy of the groups promoting these “egg as person” (aka “ultimate human life amendments”) ballot initiatives. They have also failed to take The Law of Unintended Consequences into account. I worry that some naive voter will blacken the space (or flip the lever) “yes”, thinking this will only ban abortion. My feeling is the general public doesn’t realize the true scope of the harm “egg as person” amendments will have. ANYTHING which affects the ZBEF would be illegal if any of these boondoggles became law.

  • squirrely-girl

    I think my biggest issue with giving “personhood” to all ZBEF’s is that, any way you look at it, not all of them make it to term. How do we give “personhood” to a fetus developing without a brain? Are naturally occurring miscarriages then considered suicides? 

  • ahunt

    there can’t be an open, healthy discussion of exactly what the end results really would be

     

    INDEED!

     

    Think Utah…

     

    …and then add in the threat of gubmint intrusion, bizarre restrictions on every aspect of women’s lives, the two-tiered system of justice that would emerge, where the poor and women of color would be disproportionately targeted, the staggering increases in state welfare, medical, legal and incarceration costs…the list is goes on.

     

    Wish I could remember the name of the idiot in Colorado, a leader in “the cause,” who essentially stated that it didn’t matter what the actual ramifications of the law would be…the plan was to get the law on the books, and sort out those niggling little details later.

     

     

     

     

  • invalid-0

    One can be a person, but not a citizen.  The whole world doesn’t revolve around American citizens, crowepps.  ALL human beings deserve basic dignity and respect.

  • crowepps

    I’m sure since nobody has any idea of what the cause of most naturally occurring miscarriages is, the default position would be triggered – somehow it must be the fault of the pregnant woman herself.  She probably was thinking negatively or some kind of woo like that – because if she’d really CARED, then it wouldn’t have happened. Sigh.

  • ahunt

    Miss the point much?

  • crowepps

    “Men like to oversimplify everything in order to justify their lack of ‘worry’ about it.”  Unknown

  • crowepps

    And here I thought we were discussing the laws of a state in the United States.

     

    There are four classes of ‘persons’ in America: citizens, legal aliens (such as students and non-citizen wives), tourists and illegal aliens.   Isn’t the whole point of this law that it’s a “person” as soon as it’s conceived? Surely you aren’t asserting that the zygote “human being” is a tourist or an alien until it’s born as though being born makes some huge difference in its status!

  • ahunt

    Well…there ARE ideas, crowepps…all of which revolve around some maternal failure of some kind.

     

    Remember the “cortisol” study?

     

    Breast-feeding? Shameful to resume intercourse three months hence…

     

    And those high powered chick lawyers…three times more likely to flush…

     

     

  • ahunt

    Like pregnancy…not their problem, after all.

  • crowepps

    I’m old enough to remember the hysteria about how working at a computer monitor was probably a cause of miscarriages.  Never seemed to occur to anybody that it might be the full-time job as a data entry clerk with lots of stress and little control over the workload or working conditions at low pay that might be the problem.  No, no, it must be invisible rays from the cathode tubes.

     

    It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the ‘personhood’ advocates that one reason they’re having trouble getting these things passed is all of a sudden they’re starting to be an actual threat to men’s sex lives.  I mean, ProLife is a great philosophy and all that, but passing this kind of all-inclusive ‘zygotes are more important than anybody else’ law might turn out to interfere with a guy’s ability to get LAID!

     

    I suppose that would never cross the horizon of the average male ProLife advocate, because that never happens for him anyway (or he’s already had HIS vasectomy).

  • crowepps

    “In fact, politics has been described as little more than “organized hypocrisy,” with good reason.  However much governments are supposed to represent “the people,” the interests of rulers and states to maintain and even increase their power rarely coincide with those of people to be free of state coercion, control, and even violence.

     

    http://www.hnn.us/articles/128443.html

    Certainly this type of law does NOT coincide with the interest “of people to be free of state coercion, control, and even violence” but instead will increase all of them.

  • crowepps

    Those mothers, sisters, wives and daughters all being replaceable units, pretty much indistinguishable from each other, and if one gets ‘broken’, you can always turf it out and get a replacement.  Besides, that never happens:

    “Only when it’s medically necessary to save a woman’s life would Brinkman’s bill allow abortion. But that never happens anyway, he says.

    “It’s a fallacy perpetrated by the Planned Parenthood people,” Brinkman says. “My doctors tell me they’re never in that type of dilemma.”

    http://mediagirl.org/moiv/what-do-you-call-woman-who-has-abortion

     

  • ahunt

    My own sense is that proponents of this kind of legislation are infinitely more interested in religious “dominion” than in constitutional adherence.

  • ahunt

    It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the ‘personhood’ advocates that one reason they’re having trouble getting these things passed is all of a sudden they’re starting to be an actual threat to men’s sex lives.  I mean, ProLife is a great philosophy and all that, but passing this kind of all-inclusive ‘zygotes are more important than anybody else’ law might turn out to interfere with a guy’s ability to get LAID!

     

    Snerk.  Now that you mention it again… I ran it by the better half…

     

     

    Crowepps, I almost peed my pants:

     

    …any law that prevents the  “young uns’” from getting more action than he gets is fine by him.

     

     

    Seriously? He is baffled, and not just because we have three sons.

     

     

  • colleen

    One can be a person, but not a citizen.

     

    It’s beginning to look like what the religious right calls “basic dignity and respect” is as empty and meaningless as what they call “compassion”

     

  • squirrely-girl

    My own sense is that proponents of this kind of legislation are mentally challenged with regard to logic of any kind.

  • bei1052

    I think my biggest issue with giving “personhood” to all ZBEF’s is that, any way you look at it, not all of them make it to term. How do we give “personhood” to a fetus developing without a brain? Are naturally occurring miscarriages then considered suicides?

     

    Even George W. Bush thought the above post was dumb.

     

    1.) Not everyone makes it to their first birthday. I guess they’re not persons either, huh? I mean, that’s how it plays out if we’re going to play the whole “If you don’t make it to time period X then you’re not a person” game.

     

    2.) What does having a brain have to do with being a person? Last I checked, corporations don’t have a brain (nor are they even alive) yet even they have the basic protections of personhood. Makes you wonder…

     

    3.) Naturally occuring miscarriages would be deemed as suicide as much as dying from cardiovascular disease is considered to be suicide.

    • arekushieru

      And not many agree with personhood status for corporations.  I don’t.

    • squirrely-girl

      … and that whole totally insignificant point of CHILDBIRTH AND BEING BORN!!!!!! 

       

      1) Really?! Are you that dense or just really stretching for the “what if?!” game? Your criticism of my argument would almost start to make sense (not really) if we just ignored that pernicious little line in the sand that so many of you fail to see or acknowledge… CHILDBIRTH. Seriously. I’m not extrapolating to people and persons who have BEEN BORN because we’re not talking about PERSONS… we’re talking about ZBEFs. Learn it, live it, love it.

       

      2) Corporations only have the basic protections of personhood because the Roberts court (very recently) ignored a CENTURY worth of case law to appease corporate and political special interests at the expense of REAL people. I find some sweet irony in your reference to our old pal George there. 

       

      3) I was being sarcastic. Like crowepps suggested, instead of looking at them like suicides, the more likely result would be blaming women for the body’s natural functions. At any rate, if your cardiovascular disease results from poor lifestyle choices and diet all against that of medical advice, why shouldn’t it be considered a form of suicide… albeit a long and drawn out one?

       

      P.S. Even my retarded hamster thought the criticisms of my original post were dumb.

    • katwa

       

      What does having a brain have to do with being a person?

       

      Hahahahahaha are you for real?

  • bei1052

    It’s beginning to look like what the religious right calls “basic dignity and respect” is as empty and meaningless as what they call “compassion”

     

    Yes, because that tourist from Belgium visiting Disney is a citizen of the United States. Oh, wait…

  • bei1052
  • amyc

    That doesn’t even make sense. She specifically pointed out that there are four basic types of people in the US: Citizens, legal aliens, tourists, and illegal aliens. She didn’t say anything about a tourist being a citizen. She simply asked the question of whether or not (under this kind of law) a zygote would be considered a US citizen. I don’t know where you got your comment from.

  • bei1052

    You do realize my comment was to colleen (whom I quoted), not to crowepps (whom I didn’t quote), who was responding to what arex wrote, correct?

  • crowepps

    Well, obviously someone here on a tourism visa would remain a citizen of their own country. My speculation was, if zygotes are ‘persons’ under U.S. law, and that Belgian tourist gets pregnant at Disneyworld before going home, does the zygote get dual citizenship?

     

    And believe me, absolutely NOTHING in my speculations is anywhere near as extreme as what some clever lawyer will think up for those future zygotal ‘persons’ if he sees a buck in it for him somewhere.

  • crowepps

    …any law that prevents the  “young uns’” from getting more action than he gets is fine by him.

    And here, I think, is the underlying emotion that inspires many of the crotchety old geezers to protest contraception — no fun for the young –

  • crowepps

    Perhaps, and then again maybe they are part of the 35% of Americans who think the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights “go too far” and that government ought to have more control. On the brighter side, due to years of heavy promotion by First Freedom Foundation and the ACLU, more than half of Americans now RECOGNIZE the Bill of Rights when they hear it.

     

    It helps to remember when discussing these issues that fundamentalists have the belief that ‘tolerating immorality’ will enrage their God who will then smite the innocent – Fred Phelps promotes this view in his own slimy way – and from that arises their insistence that ‘we’ collectively must monitor and regulate even the most private of behavior and even THOUGHTS as a form of self-protection.

     

    Personally I think this delusion arises from the fallacy that the universe and all of Nature is ‘all about us’, a fallacy that mentally healthy children are encouraged to put behind them around age 8, but it’s important to recognize THEY believe it.

  • invalid-0

    I’m not sure why we have to think up anything.  First off, I’m not quite sure that the crowepps “four categories of a person” is an established doctrine.  Definitely never heard that in any legal text I’ve ever read.  I wonder how foreign prisoners of war feel about those classifications.

     

    “Person” is a designation afforded to members of a class in the Constitution that are afforded basic human rights.  Citizenry is a special “raised” status afforded to those born or naturalized in the United States.  There is no moral bond to the question of who should be considered a citizen other than the mandate of the people.  For instance, if the US suddenly decided that citizenship should be afforded only to landowners, or to a certain income class, that is there prerogative.  But that is not a violation of human rights afforded to all “persons”.  Think of it like the “platinum club”.  There are certain advantages that we may limit only to citizens, but the right to life is not one of them.

     

    There are citizen and non-citizen persons.  Just because you made up three categories of non-citizens doesn’t mean there aren’t others.  

    • squirrely-girl

      I wonder how foreign prisoners of war feel about those classifications.

       

      There have been years worth of court cases debating just this issue (POW vs. enemy combatant). At any rate, in wartime situations the Geneva Code takes precedent over all other written materials. Last time I checked, the Geneva Code doesn’t address ZBEFs. 

  • crowepps

    So are you proposing that fetuses would become a new category of persons but only in the less protected, non-citizen class, and not part of the ‘platinum club’? Golly, wait till the ACLU hears about this!

     

    I didn’t ‘make up’ categories. Persons in the United States are either citizens, here illegally and subject to deportation, or qualified to be here under one of the various types of non-citizen legal status as described here:
    http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html

  • crowepps

    Last time I checked, the Geneva Code doesn’t address ZBEFs.

    I guess there’s going to be a LOT of law that needs to be updated as soon as ZBEF’s are ‘persons’!

  • bei1052

    1.) So, let’s make sure I understand this correctly. The problem with defining the unborn as persons is that they can’t be persons until they’re born, even though defining the unborn are persons would mean that you can be a person before you’re born? Say what…? You cannot say that something can not be defined as the very thing you’re changing the definition to, instead relying on the old definition that is being changed. That’s illogical. And very much so.

     

    2.) And that matters, how…? That’s right. It doesn’t. You asked how you attribute “personhood” to a fetus developing without a brain. I pointed out to you that having a brain doesn’t matter. Long story short, you need to find a better argument ‘cuz you obviously don’t need a brain to be a person. What say you about that? Well, nothing, ‘cuz you don’t like it. And before labeling something as ironic, at least learn what irony means.

     

    3.) Oh, it would? Actually no, it wouldn’t. Fearmongering sucks. A lot. But it’s a useful tool, so it doesn’t surprise me that you’d constantly use it. At any rate, why shouldn’t cardiovascular disease be treated as suicide? Well, aside from the fact that it’s not, because people tend not to plan on killing themselves via poor eating habits.

     

    PS> And your hamster proves why it is, indeed, retarded :)

  • crowepps

    This may explain why the ProLife/Republican government thinks that corporations can’t be allowed to ‘die’ in bankruptcy and instead deserve life support funded by the taxpayers.

  • ahunt

    The problem with defining the unborn as persons is that they can’t be persons until they’re born, even though defining the unborn are persons would mean that you can be a person before you’re born?

     

    Okay Bei…how do you envision a society that has granted the BZEF that status of “person.” IOWs, what rights would you extend to the BZEF?

  • bei1052

    The right to not be killed without due process. That’s a good start.

  • bei1052

    This may explain why the ProLife/Republican government thinks that corporations can’t be allowed to ‘die’ in bankruptcy and instead deserve life support funded by the taxpayers.

     

    Which is why the biggest supporters of the bailouts have been Republicans.

     

    …Oh wait…

  • ahunt

    So what else?

  • arekushieru

    Which still means that abortion would still happen.   Unless feoti were given FAR more protection than ANYone born.

  • katwa

    The right to not be killed without due process.

     

    So… you could still get an abortion but you’d have to go to court first? 

    All this would do is delay the process needlessly. I mean, the fetus couldn’t testify, and surely it would always be a case of self defense, no one has the right to invade another body without consent, right? Unless you think it should have more rights than even a dead corpse does!

  • arekushieru

    And, of course, logic fails for Bei, once again.  She explained why groups without brains can’t be considered persons.   Because they ignored all case law and constitutional definition (which is where case law is decided) of personhood. Why did you completely ignore that?  This would also explain the lack of logic behind your first point, as well.  So easy.

    <<Oh, it would? Actually no, it wouldn’t. Fearmongering sucks. A lot. But it’s a useful tool, so it doesn’t surprise me that you’d constantly use it. At any rate, why shouldn’t cardiovascular disease be treated as suicide? Well, aside from the fact that it’s not, because people tend not to plan on killing themselves via poor eating habits.>>

    And that was her POINT.  Durrrr….

     

     

  • eternalskeptic

    By way of correction, the Roberts court was UPHOLDING (unjustly, in my view) corporate personhood laws that were first established under Santa Clara County v. Souther Pacific Railroad (1886).  Nothing to do with anything, but I’m a stickler for the details… ;-)

  • arekushieru

    Were the corporate personhood laws upheld by the Constitution?  If not, my point stands.

  • crowepps

    Just what, exactly, do you conceptualize as a way to provide that “due process”?

     

    Does she call the cops and report any unwanted fetus as a trespasser?

     

    Do the cops aim a bullhorn at her uterus while they read the ‘intruder’ the Miranda warning?

     

    How can they ‘arrest’ the alleged ‘criminal’ without also taking the ‘victim’ into custody?  Wouldn’t that require an abortion right then?

     

    If there is an evidentiary hearing over the eviction would a taxpayer funded public defender represent the zygote?

     

    Does the biological father get to participate as well, with his lawyer?  Would evidence of his failure to use his own birth control method make him an accessory to the trespass?  Could he ‘cure’ the ‘unclean hands’ thereby created by having the placenta and its associated structures moved into HIS abdomen?

     

    If the court agrees with the biological father that his interest in ‘his’ embryo is compelling and no abortion can be permitted, wouldn’t he have to pay ‘rent’ for the use of her uterus (and the rest of her organs involved in handling the biological load during gestation)?

     

    If so, who sets the standard rental amount?  I’d say if she’s totally unwilling it would be only fair to set it at the high-end cost for an American surrogate, about $50,000 plus all medical expenses.

     

    If the ‘person’ with the interest in the survival of the embryo is society, and society NEEDS that embryo, why should it expect her to do all the ‘work’ of gestating it for nothing?  Wouldn’t it be more logical to consider an unwilling participation in the  process of gestation ‘a sole-source government contractor in a life-threatening environment’?  Say $100,000 grand a year like the contractors in Iraq?

  • ahunt

    Perhaps we should let Bei flesh out his? concept.

    Ban abortion? Check

     

    What else?

  • bei1052

    And, of course, logic fails for Bei, once again.  She explained why groups without brains can’t be considered persons.   Because they ignored all case law and constitutional definition (which is where case law is decided) of personhood. Why did you completely ignore that?  This would also explain the lack of logic behind your first point, as well.  So easy.

     

    If you can’t be a person without a brain, then why are corporations considered to be persons under the 14th Amendment? Since corporations are considered to be persons under the 14th Amendment, yet they don’t have brains, the statement that you have to have a brain to be a person is false. Unless, of course, you’re injecting your own definition of what it means to be a person into the discussion ;)

     

    Logic ftw!

     

    And that was her POINT.  Durrrr….

     

    Oh, really…?

  • bei1052

    100%. I mean, you’re welcome to prove me wrong. In fact, I wholeheartedly want you to do so.

  • bei1052

    The women in question would have to prove that she has sufficient enough reason to end the life of another, otherwise she couldn’t have an abortion. Which, ugh, is the exact same protections afforded to anyone else when someone wants to kill them. And we’d hold her to the same reasons that we hold to someone else when it comes to ending the life of another.

     

    Wow. Now how simple was that? Very simple. And I even did it without humoring 99.89% of the above.

  • bei1052

    So… you could still get an abortion but you’d have to go to court first?

     

    Sounds good enough to me (even though you wouldn’t need to).

     

    …Also, barring rape, one chooses to engage in an action which leads to pregnant. Seems a bit dishonest to try to divorce choosing to engage in an action with explicit consequences from an acceptable of those consequences. That’s like me playing football, and suing the other guy when he hits me and breaks my arm.

  • bei1052

    Nothing else?

  • ahunt

    No…the correct comparison would be whether you were able to obtain medical treatment to “fix” your arm.

  • colleen

    That’s like me playing football, and suing the other guy when he hits me and breaks my arm.

    Right, because sex is just like football and pregnancy is like a broken arm.
    Now, please go find another blog

  • squirrely-girl

    So who gets to decide whether a woman’s reasons are “sufficient?” A judge? Jury? You? Who?! 

    Which, ugh, is the exact same protections afforded to anyone else when someone wants to kill them.

    I’m not really sure how this example is even logical… are you referencing murder trials? Or is there a system for letting people kill other people I don’t know about?  If I can randomly come up with sufficient cause to kill a person (outside of a murder trial) should a judge or jury be required to listen to my arguments? If they’re convincing enough should I get to kill that person? Or were you thinking of the legal system for prosecuting CRIMES… for which abortion is NOT included???

     

    As with previous topics and discussions, you aren’t likely to cede anytime soon anymore than I will. You, for whatever reason(s) you’ve created in your mind (misogyny, religion, a desire to be contrary, etc.), wish to assign a sense of “full personhood” to a developing organism… while I (and science… and the law… and logic…) woefully disagree. You are making arguments for an illogical position and thus your arguments, by necessary extension, are logically flawed. 

  • bei1052

    No…the correct comparison would be whether you were able to obtain medical treatment to “fix” your arm.

     

    Not at the expense of the guy who hit me. See how that works?

  • bei1052

    Right, because sex is just like football and pregnancy is like a broken arm. Now, please go find another blog.

     

    No. Just showing how the whole “explicit consent” thing is utterly non-sensical (plus half applied).

  • ahunt

    How is the guy who tackled you impacted by you obtaining medical attention?

  • squirrely-girl

    Actually, I’m pretty sure you just wholeheartedly want to argue (in circles) a couple of key “debate points” you’ve read up on enough to sound semi-informed. When it comes to topics like abortion there can be no absolutes… this isn’t a geometry proof… it’s inextractable from human beings themselves… in all of their natural variation and flawed beauty.

     

    However, with this topic, like others we’ve “debated,” I think you lack a true intellectual position/life philosophy/moral compass/philosophy of mind from which to base your arguments. You argue top-down rather than bottom up. You argue specific points without concern for the underlying guiding principles. 

     

    Do you passionately believe what you write? I know this isn’t “scientific” but it just doesn’t feel that way when reading it… your words often feel empty and angry. Your arguments suffer because of this. 

  • bei1052

    So who gets to decide whether a woman’s reasons are “sufficient?” A judge? Jury? You? Who?!

     

    Laws either written by the state legislature or voted on via referendum (though the referendum process is flawed and needs to be done away with).

     

    I’m not really sure how this example is even logical… are you referencing murder trials? Or is there a system for letting people kill other people I don’t know about?  If I can randomly come up with sufficient cause to kill a person (outside of a murder trial) should a judge or jury be required to listen to my arguments? If they’re convincing enough should I get to kill that person? Or were you thinking of the legal system for prosecuting CRIMES… for which abortion is NOT included???

     

    If I’m about do to you serious and immediate harm, you can kill me. And we won’t need a judge, jury or trial of any sort to allow you to do it.

     

    As with previous topics and discussions, you aren’t likely to cede anytime soon anymore than I will. You, for whatever reason(s) you’ve created in your mind (misogyny, religion, a desire to be contrary, etc.), wish to assign a sense of “full personhood” to a developing organism… while I (and science… and the law… and logic…) woefully disagree. You are making arguments for an illogical position and thus your arguments, by necessary extension, are logically flawed.

     

    How you claim your argument is based on science, the law and logic while making the above post I’ll never know.

     

    1.) Contrary to whatever you believe, humans don’t stop developing once they’re born. Development is a continual process that we can say ends (even though it really doesn’t) once someone reaches their early to mid-20′s. Therefore, following your logic, no one save for adults are persons because everyone else is a developing organism. I’m sure you’d agree with that, correct? …No? Oops! Logic and science fail.

     

    2.) You just told me earlier that, to be a person, you have to have a brain. Corporations are deemed persons under the 14th Amendment, yet they have no brain. You, apparently, don’t like the law, either, ‘cuz you’re not arguing it, but rather your own personal beliefs imposed upon the law. Go figure, right?

     

  • bei1052

    How is the guy who tackled you impacted by you obtaining medical attention?

     

    By suing him for my medical fees.

  • ahunt

    Why would one do that? The comparison is not valid.

     

  • bei1052

    Because he broke your arm whilst playing football. Keep up.

  • arekushieru

    Uh, yeah, do try to keep up, Bei.  The guy already reCEIVED medical treatment.  And anyone can sue, Bei.  Whether or not you receive any monies from it is entirely different from your ‘explicit consent/consequences’ argument, as you applied it only to whether one can sue.  Besides, it’s ‘tort law’, look it up.  And why are you comparing consent to financial claims with consent to medical treatment, again?  Two comPLETEly different things, as we have told you, before. 

  • squirrely-girl


     

    1. I find your snarkiness somewhat amusing, if only because I’ve posted here previously that I’m finshing a PhD and teach Developmental Psychology. But if you really want to “school me” on human development, please feel free to continue to amuse me (and make an ass out of yourself). Yes, I can fully appreciate that development continues after birth and I lean toward the lifespan perspective with death as the final “development.” However - I, like the overwhelming majority of developmental psychologists, tend to view development as a DISCONTINUOUS process as opposed to continuous. What does this mean you ask? It means I view development as a near constant process involving DISTINCT stages which are characterized by qualitative differences in not only physical development, but psychological, intellectual, and emotional development as well. Plain English – development isn’t this neat and tidy thing you want to make it out to be… there ARE lines/stages/steps in development that are PROFOUNDLY different from one another. Ignoring these differences is ignorant… either due to lack of information/education or purposefully so. Again, the reason people KEEP using examples like the acorn/oak and cocoon/butterfly is because THAT’S WHAT DEVELOPMENT IS. ZBEFs aren’t fully developed humans anymore than nuts are trees and snotty wads are monarchs. Try picking leaves from that nut. Or throw a cocoon and see if it flies. Or see how long that early term pregnancy lasts outside of the uterus. Seriously

     

    Now, like most science, I understand this doesn’t necessarily sit well with the pro-life crowd. It’s seemingly hard enough to make them stop using BLATANTLY FALSE (and borderline retarded – used purely in the clinical sense of course) “itty, bitty, mini-babies that are fully developed and just getting bigger” dolls to “showcase” embryonic and fetal development. So yes, I can appreciate that this whole “science mumbo jumbo” might rock your world. It might even be a little scary! And yes, I can appreciate that sometimes people engage in any number of defense mechanisms (denial, projection, splitting, reaction formation, etc.) in an effort to avoid accommodating or assimilating new information into their existing schemas… although, developmentally speaking, this is something even 3 year olds can do. Just saying.

     

    2. I humbly apologize (not really) that my reply took longer than you wished… do you often find yourself becoming frustrated when people don’t do what you want? At any rate, I occasionally do like to think about people’s commentaries before I write responses… that whole critical reasoning/writing thingy. 

    Ultimately even a corporation consists of a group of fully developed, living, breathing, sentient (already been born) PERSONS (who have several brains actually)… not ZBEFs. And I just don’t see the relevance of legal decisions protecting/facilitating the financial interests of a group of (already been born) people to the argument for giving legal rights to a potential person over that of a REAL PERSON. Seriously. Do you just not see where I (and more than a few other people) have been going with this??? ßTo answer my own question, I think you do. You’re well-written enough to suggest at least (dare I say more than) a fair amount of educational and/or intellectual ability. But alas, not all ignorance is from lack of education or cognitive ability… some ignorance is willful. Kind of like how ostriches bury their heads in the dirt.

     

    Any position that doesn’t see where the real and actual privacy and bodily interests and rights of a living, breathing, sentient (already been born) person would (naturally and logically) trump any perceived or theoretical interests and/or rights of a non-sentient, non-breathing, potential being at any number of profoundly distinct stages of development, is just ignorantly and stubbornly ignoring ALL logical indications to its contrary. In all of your posturing you have YET to present any reasonable, logical, and/or scientific argument for denying the rights of an ACTUAL PERSON in order to give rights to something that may or may not (and in some cases will not) someday become a person. I almost can’t comprehend how illogical this argument really is… 

     

    Assigning “personhood” to ZBEFs would also open the field widely to allow men to declare “parental rights” in utero because now, “legally”, a person… their child… now “exists.” It’s not difficult to extrapolate to scenarios easily allowing men to pursue civil or criminal charges if the woman isn’t gestating the way he wants her to. Any of your little “court decision/approval” scenarios would necessarily have to take into “consideration” the rights of the other parent. I mean, hell, if the woman’s rights don’t trump a blob, then why should they trump the man’s? (I think I just vomited a little in my mouth). For that matter, if you’re asserting that the one person who SHOULD have a voice actually doesn’t… then why shouldn’t anybody and everybody get to have a say here?

     

    In case you haven’t picked up on this yet, people keep referencing giving rights to sperm and eggs because if you keep “going back” that’s where you end up… Although, I think to be “truly logical”, you’d have to go all the way back to all females from birth (women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have – men don’t start producing sperm until puberty)… I mean, we can’t be absolutely sure who will or won’t (be able to) procreate later on and if we’re REALLY concerned about ZBEFs we should just have absolute control over reproduction to ensure an “appropriate environment” for all of these potential persons. We’ll need absolute control over the health of women because we can’t have teh ignorant slutty womenz destroying or not properly caring for all the future ZBEF homes. In addition to substance abuse and addiction while pregnant, we should probably punish STDs/STIs with some kind of “future ZBEF endangerment” as these can be passed during childbirth. We can go back to banishing women to the edge of town during their menses (they should be shamed for not properly using what God gave them) and we might want to consider implementing some kind of registration system (so we know when girls are fertile). For that matter, why are we leaving things to chance? Maybe we need to consider impregnating, forcibly if need be, all girls as soon as they enter puberty. If we REALLY cared about the potential ZBEF we should REALLY consider just sterilizing the undesirables too… right?

     

    If you’re thinking I’m crazy and out in left field with the “slippery slope” I think you really need to question your own understanding of human behavior and motivation. It’s really not hard to come up with these scenarios because THESE NUTJOBS ALREADY EXIST AND WOULD DO THESE THINGS IF THEY COULD. Actually, every few years we get to read about one of those nutjobs that kept a girl in a dungeon or started a cult to do just these sorts of things. Honestly, do you really just not think too far down the road with your arguments and position?! If you don’t… you might want to start doing so… particularly before continuing to post on a site like this. But if you do… and these are scenarios you envision and are seemingly okay with… well… I think you could benefit from talking to somebody professionally about the way you think. Such an intense desire to control others… or we can keep pretending it’s about “other people” controlling others… IS NOT, in any way, PSYCHOLOGICALLY HEALTHY. And if you want to argue “purely logic” – the desire and belief that society and humans can be controlled in such a manner is delusional.

     

  • tony

    Are these egg-people proponents completely idiotic?  Of course you still have to try to gather the signatures.  What did they think was going to happen if they won— the signatures would have still been due on the same date.

     

    And thanks for the link to the documents, which show that no one was enjoined from circulating petitions.  

  • crowepps

    It is very expensive to gather signatures, since most groups now pay someone to do so, and since the whole point of all these attempts is to try to get a case up to the Supreme Court it probably seemed like a waste of money.  After all, the whole point is to be able to send out letters urging sympathizes to ‘save the babies’, complaining about ‘activist judges’ and soliciting donations.

     

    As most of us are aware, when somebody says “it’s not about the money, it’s about the PRINCIPLE of the thing” is usually turns out actually to be about the money.