Fertilized Eggs Are NOT People!


Originally posted at DailyKos.

On November 8th, the voters of Mississippi will be considering a “Personhood Amendment” (Amendment #26) which would give a fertilized egg more rights than a live born woman, and would outlaw abortion and birth control.  The threatening part about this amendment (and others like it proposed in all the other States) is that it could be a vehicle to be used in the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and thus make abortion and birth control illegal throughout the country.  This High Tech Uterine Occupation should scare every progressive and every woman.  But, the Democratic Party is not working to organize against this dangerous amendment.  The word hasn’t gotten out about how to help fight this.

Eggs Are NOT People.

But, time is running out to fight this, and I’m confident The Great Orange can help reverse the cone of silence around Amendment 26. Mississippi has an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent (9th worse in the nation), consistently ranks in the lowest in education, 17.6 percent of Mississippians have no health insurance, and 21.8 percent of its citizens live below the poverty level.  Yet, these yahoos think it’s important to focus on further degrading women by making it impossible to get an abortion instead of taking real action to improve the living conditions in their state.  This is also the state that has the strictest abortion TRAP laws of any state.  And, this is the state that has only one remaining abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The text of Amendment 26, The Personhood Amendment,  is as follows:

“Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Mississippi: SECTION 1. Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hereby amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ: 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.” This initiative shall not require any additional revenue for implementation.”

This proposed Amendment 26 – The Mississippi Personhood Amendment – will be up for  vote on November 8th.  If this passes, AND IT IS EXPECTED TO PASS, it will be a disaster for women in Mississippi.

In the years ahead, the disaster will spread across the country.  Here’s why: The idea of “personhood” sounds so warm and fuzzy and even reasonable, it’s hard for most people to believe that there might be something nefarious to this campaign. One doesn’t have to do much digging to see that this is an all-out assault on abortion rights.  As Personhood USA says loudly and proudly on their website: “personhood is the key to defeating Roe v. Wade.”  On the first page of their website, they brag that they have “personhood petitions now active in all 50 states.”

This week, the clinic put up a website

Wake Up Mississippi!

and sent out the following plea for support:

Dear Friends,

This is an URGENT MESSAGE FROM MISSISSIPPI!!!!     I am writing to you from the true FRONTLINES of the ABORTION BATTLE!!!  Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the last and only refuge for Mississippi Women seeking abortion.  After the tragic loss of Susan Hill, we scrambled to ensure that the work of this facility did not lapse.  I want to thank you for all your support over the last several years in protecting Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  Mississippi Legislators and anti choice zealots continue every year with their assaults on reproductive healthcare making MS abortion laws the most restrictive in the land.  AND…We are still standing STRONG!  However, on November 8th, the MS ballot will include the Personhood Amendment which will end abortion in MS and will more than likely take Roe-v-Wade to the Supreme Court.  WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN!  And neither can you…

The extremist group – Personhood USA – openly states on their website that “personhood” is the key to overturning Roe V. Wade.  On the front page of their website they brag that they have petitions for similar amendments in ALL 50 STATES!

MS Amendment #26 actually states that a zygote is a person even before it attaches to the uterus!  If passed, Personhood Amendment #26 will not only ban abortion BUT ALSO ban most (if not all) forms of birth control, end in-vitro fertilization, and make stem cell research illegal.  In addition, women who miscarry will be subject to criminal investigation!  THIS MEASURE GOES TOO FAR AND IS A THREAT TO – NOT ONLY WOMEN IN MISSISSIPPI – BUT THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!

If you are thinking to yourself that this amendment is too radical to pass, think again.  The original petition to place this on the ballot had 30,000 MORE SIGNATURES than necessary.  The Democratic candidate for Governor openly supports this amendment as does the current Attorney General, ALSO A DEMOCRAT! 

Jackson Women’s Health Organization is working with grassroots women and men throughout the state to defeat this measure.  Although Planned Parenthood offers some family planning services in Mississippi, they do not offer abortion services and therefore do not endure the harassment our doctors, staff, and patients deal with daily. 
We are the only ones left in the fight and on the ground! 

We are creating home-made signs and leaflets to distribute everywhere/ anywhere we go.  Mississippi Pro-Choice Activists are popping up in towns across the state and asking for resources to spread the word on this dangerous Amendment.  We have never seen anything like it before!  We need your help!  We must expand our outreach immediately to radio, billboards, and TV.  Please send a donation to support this “on the ground” movement to protect the rights of Mississippi Women.  We must thwart this MIS-INFORMATION campaign that Personhood USA is spreading and educate our voters about the dangers of Amendment #26! 

We ask you to put your money where the real battle is being fought…not in a corporate board room, but in the halls of the clinics and the houses of the organizers who are volunteering their time and efforts.  We don’t have time for polling or committee or subcommittee meetings with less than a month left before the vote.  http://www.WakeUpMississippi.org/ is already on the ground running.  We don’t have the luxury of a built in donor list and the name recognition of the abortion corporations.  PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.  Please put your money where it will do the most good: on the front lines in Mississippi. 

Please support this organic movement and show that America cares about Mississippi Women and their Families!  Your response is required immediately! 

Sincerely,

Diane Derzis
Owner and Reproductive Freedom Fighter
Jackson Women’s Health Organization
Jackson, MS

PS  Please send whatever you can NOW to stop Amendment #26 in Mississippi!  Use this link to our organization for Paypal payments:
http://www.WakeUpMississippi.org/

Or mail checks to:
WakeUpMississippi.org
2903 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216

Thus, this initiative is the first step in a plan by Personhood USA to overturn Roe V Wade and end all abortion in this country.  The impact goes further than shutting down clinics. This amendment could literally imprison women in addition to imprisoning women in their own bodies. 

Here are some examples that come to mind of the possible impacts this amendment would have.  Add your own insane scenarios in the comments section:

1.  A pregnant woman who goes out to dinner with family and friends and accidentally picks up the wrong glass and has a swig of rum and coke can be charged for child abuse.

2.  What about pregnant illegal immigrants?  The right wing is pretty hot on getting them out of the country as fast as possible. Well, this is going to be a big problem when the pregnant immigrant is actually two people…one who is legal (the fertilized egg) and the other who is not (the living, breathing woman).  I guess at this point most folks trying to avoid deportation should get pregnant and move to Mississippi and have their “legal” zygote/fetus/child apply for welfare and medicaid. 

3.  Women who are found to have birth control pills could be prosecuted for attempted murder. 

4.  If a pregnant woman wearing 2″ heels trips and falls, subsequently having a miscarriage, she could be prosecuted for manslaughter. 

5.  When a woman has a life threatening ectopic pregnancy, who decides which “person” gets to live and which “person” gets to die?

6.  Will an ultrasound picture be an acceptable form of ID for the fetus/person to be able to travel out of the country?  Will “don’t know yet” be acceptable as a category for gender? 

7. How will any future candidate for President prove that they were conceived/born in the United States?

It’s almost a relief to think about how idiotic this amendment is.  Most rational people think that it is SO crazy that there is no way it can stand legally.

But, before those of you who are not from Mississippi try to make yourselves feel safe by thinking that these folks are from a different world and that nothing like this could ever happen in the state YOU live in, take a look at what CNN recently reported:

“Mississippi is the only state with a “personhood” initiative on the ballot this year. Similar measures are being planned for next year in Florida, Montana and Ohio, say supporters. Efforts in at least five other states are in the planning stages.”

Don’t think for a second that this amendment will not pass.  It will.  Even the Democrats of Mississippi have jumped on board the “personhood” bandwagon.  Laura Bassett of HuffingtonPost.com says:

“The personhood measure actually has a fair amount of support from Mississippi Democrats. Jim Hood, the Democratic Attorney General, endorsed the amendment in a statement and said he would defend it if it were challenged. A spokesperson for Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, the Democratic candidate for governor, told HuffPost that that he supports the amendment as well, despite his ‘concerns about some of the ramifications’.”

Sid Salter, columnist for The Mississippi Press and journalist-in-residence at Mississippi State University, writes that this amendment is expected to pass with overwhelming support in November. 

“Conservatives expect a nearly uncontested passage of the “personhood” amendment in Mississippi…….Regardless of the legal challenges, expect Mississippi voters to pass the personhood amendment with strong backing from many of the state’s churches.”

Nancy Kohsin-Kintigh, Programs Director of ACLU of Mississippi  writes:

”Mississippi extremists want to take away the right to abortion and birth control by passing the “so called” Personhood Ballot Initiative #26.  It is dangerous and is an all-out assault on women and their families. If passed, this amendment would not only ban abortion but also birth control and many assisted reproductive healthcare procedures which include in-vitro fertilization.  The initiative will insert government control over our wombs, our ability to choose when and how many children we have, and we will be criminally investigated when we have a miscarriage.”

If you haven’t heard very much or even anything about this amendment, don’t feel bad.  It’s not your fault.  There has been a total lack of publicity, education, and action from notable groups who are dedicated defenders of choice.

This of course results in a total lack of coverage from the nation’s media outlets.  This is because the unspoken word is that Mississippi has always been “a hopeless case” in our country when it comes to abortion rights. The women and families of Mississippi have had to suffer the injustice of being undefended because of the need to focus where progress can be made.

This won’t work anymore.

All it takes is for one “personhood” amendment from one state to reach the Supreme Court of the United States and be upheld to end abortion and birth control access in this country. 

We can’t let this happen.  Our opposition is determined, invigorated, well organized, and well funded. 

Mike Huckabee recently spoke at a fundraiser banquet  for “Personhood Mississippi.”  In his speech, he warned the audience that they had “no idea how many millions of dollars are likely to be poured into your state” to fight Amendment 26.

Sadly and shamefully, this is not the case.  While the right wing is holding fundraisers and bringing in right-wing brand names, there’s not a single billboard in the state of Mississippi warning of the impact of this amendment.  There hasn’t been a public rally or outcry of any kind.  And the clock is ticking.

Here’s our to do list:

  • Contact the Democratic National Committee at their website, or call them at 202-863-8000. Since Mississippi’s Democrats aren’t speaking out against Amendment 26, the National Democrats must do so. 
  • The focal point of this effort is WakeUpMississippi.org. Organizers there say they are trying to organize demonstrations and rallies and educate the people of Mississippi on the dangers of this amendment.  To make a donation or to get involved go to http://www.wakeupmississippi.org. 
  • LIKE the WakeUpMississippi FaceBook Page and spread the word throughout your network.
  • Send E-Mails about this effort to your family and friends.

The Facts About Amendment 26

Remember:  

“Fertilized Eggs Are NOT People”


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  • williamwilberforce

    Lies, lies, and more lies. Recognizing preborn babies as people does not take away any rights from women. Just like recognizing African Americans as full people didn’t take away any rights from white people.
    It’s time to end the bigotry.

  • ahunt

    So if I am employed in an occupation that poses potential risks to the BZEF, do I still have the right to that employment if I am pregnant? Just wondering.

  • ahunt

    What about my caffeine intake? My diet in general? My exercise regimen? My hobbies? Do I still have rights to my own life post moment of conception?

  • purplemistydez

    Stop with the slavery comparision.  I am an AA and that is totally offensive.  In no way is the oppression and forced slavery of actual people in anyway comparable to abortion.  My ancestors where forced from their homes to a new country, beat, raped, and sold as property.  A fetus will never know the hell of slavery.

  • freetobe

    time to end the bigotry, YOUR bigotry!

    You obvioulsy do not understand laws. This article is right. Women will lose their rights as human beings but why should you worry right it is not your problem right? This just adds red tape to already fenced in and tied up issue that really should not be one in the first place.

    Women are here first period.

  • crowepps

    Since the person in this equation most likely to be beaten, raped, and forced to “labor” for others is the woman involved.

  • jennifer-starr

    Wrong, it takes away many rights from women because it essentially puts us in the role of walking incubators with no rights or choices regarding what goes on inside our own bodies.  No rights to use contraception–and how will that be enforced, exactly?  Will there be uterus police assigned to to watch us once a pregnancy occurs to make sure we don’t do anything to damage the oh-so-precious ZBEF?  Will police be sent out to confiscate contraband birth control? Will a post-mortem accompany every miscarriage to make sure there is no foul play?  You may think I’m being facetious, but I don’t think the ‘pro-life’ faction has realized how very intrusive this law could become.  And you are the guys who claim to want small limited government. Please. 

  • crowepps

    Don’t worry, after women’s legal status has been downgraded to uterine support system/fetal nutrition provider, you will be monitored for the fetus’ good, and will no longer have the opportunity to make choices about caffeine, diet, exercise — or life.

  • crowepps

    It seems to me the simplest way to facilitate this would be for every man in the country to deposit some nice healthy sperm at about the age of 15 and then receive a vasectomy.  Everybody could have all the sex they want and there would NEVER be an accidental pregnancy!

    When couples wanted to have children, the woman could get herself in tiptop physical health and then they could go down to the sperm depository and she could register as a “potential fetal carrier” and be inseminated.  She would agree to a long list of restrictive rules based on whatever they are guessing is “best for baby” THIS week and the man would agree to pay to support her during the pregnancy, since being off work to avoid stress would undoubtedly be part of the recommended regimen.

    I wonder if childhood really would be as blissful as all the myths pretend it is if all parents actually WANTED to have children?

  • ahunt

    Silly Crowepps…once the status of women is UPGRADED to uterine support system/fetal nutrition provider, every neo-maternal comfort and every educational and employment and nutritional and medical and financial, and emotional  need will be provided, courtesy of the multitudes of pro-life fairies who will flock to care for unwillingly pregnant women EVERYWHERE!

     

    Pro-life fairies ROCK!

  • johann7

    This will never hold up in this US Supreme Court, since it restricts the definition of “person” to entities with human DNA, excluding the legal fiction of corporations. There’s no way the same court that decided Citizens United in favor of corporate personhood is going to let it be dismantled on the state level, especially with the established ruling on Roe.

  • colleen

    Don’t think for a second that this amendment will not pass.  It will. 

    What evidence do you have that this will pass in Mississippi? Even in North Dakota it got about 30% of the vote (if memory serves) and it certaionly hasn’t come anywhere near close to passing anywhere else.

    Of course the blue dogs who misrepresent themselves as ‘Democrats’ will vote for it. It’s not as if either political party carries the burden of actually representing the interests of women in the poorest state in the union but I would like to see some ppolling indicating that this absurd thing will pass. Do you have any links?

     

     

  • forced-birth-rape

     

    “Anders Behring Breivik christian terrorist, pro-forced-birther.

    What he thinks about womens rights, women need to breed, breed, breed.

    He has the same ideas for women as republicans, conservatives, and pro-lifers.

     

    1. Limit the distribution of birth-control pills (contraceptive pills): Discourage the use of and prevent liberal distribution of contraceptive pills or equivalent prevention methods. The goal should be to make it considerably more difficult to obtain. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points but would degrade women’s rights.

    2. Reform sex education: Reform the current sex education in our school institutions. This may involve limiting it or at least delaying sex education to a later age and discourage casual sex. Sex should only be encouraged within the boundaries of marriage. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points.

    3. Making abortion illegal: A re-introduction of the ban on abortion should result in an increased fertility rate of approximately 0,1-0,2 points but would strip women of basic rights.

    4. Women and education: Discourage women in general to strive for full time careers. This will involve certain sexist and discriminating policies but should increase the fertility rate by up to 0,1-0,2 points.

    Women should not be encouraged by society/media to take anything above a bachelor’s degree but should not be prevented from taking a master or PhD. Males on the other hand should obviously continue to be encouraged to take higher education – bachelor, master and PhD.” 

     

    Self-Described ‘Christian Counterpart To Osama Bin Laden’ Arrested In Plot To Bomb Abortion Clinic 

    Justin Carl Moose describe “himself” as the Christian counterpart to Osama bin Laden. Moose wrote: “I have learned a lot from the muslim terrorists and have no problem using their tactics.” ”

     

     

     “St. Augustine said, “Any woman who acts in such a way that she cannot give birth to as many children as she is capable of, makes herself guilty of that many murders.”

    Martin Luther wrote: “God created Adam lord of all living creatures, but Eve spoiled it all. Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear children. And if a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing; she is there to do it.”

  • robynmarigny

    As soon as Citizen Egg pays for its own health insurance and compensation for the woman’s lost income, health risks and  fertilization-to-birth welfare support, then we’ll entertain the notion of ‘personhood.’   Of course, first they have to present their photo ID.

  • colleen

    One thing about social conservatives and especially the religious right, they are consistently cheap, greedy and  dishonest. They’re fundamentally opposed to being held financially or morally responsible for ANYTHING much less the inevitable results of their punitive and cruel ‘principles’ . They blame women (entirely) for all pregnancies and the poor for every social ill.