Sunday, October 30, 2011

Subtlety isn't my strong suit.....

Initiative # 26

“Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Mississippi:

SECTION 1. Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hearby (sic) 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.”


“The Primary Mission of Personhood USA is to serve Jesus by being an Advocate for those who can not speak for themselves, the pre-born child. We serve by starting/coordinating efforts to establish legal “personhood” for pre-born children through peaceful activism, legislative efforts and ballot-access petition initiatives.”

- quote from Personhood USA website

''I view it as transformative,'' says Brad Prewitt, a lawyer and executive director of the Yes on 26 campaign, which is named for the Mississippi proposition. ''Personhood is bigger than just shutting abortion clinics; it's an opportunity for people to say that we're made in the image of God.''

- Eric Eckholm - Sydney Morning Herald – Oct. 29, 2011

Supporters of the "Personhood" movement, as it is called, believe that life begins at the moment of fertilization and that destruction of fertilized eggs should be outlawed. That would mean banning certain birth-control methods such as intrauterine devices, which allow fertilization but prevent embryo attachment to the uterine wall. Personhood advocates also oppose the morning-after pill and destruction of any in vitro-fertilized eggs.

- Cameron McWhirter - Wall Street Journal – Oct. 29, 2011


 I’m writing this because it seems that reason and logic have no local voice today.  Wherever you go, you see “Yes to 26.”  Church fronts, yards, street corners; all are littered with these signs.  I have yet to see a “No to 26.”  I believe this is due to a fear that publicly opposing the initiative means supporting abortion.  And unfortunately, for many people, that is exactly the message it will convey.  Your grandmothers, your preachers, your PTA members, your coffee shop drinkers: many will take it as just that.  I promise I’m not going to cast blame on the populace, refer to them as sheep, or insinuate that the majority of people are idiots.  Even if they are.  Which they aren’t.  Maybe. 

This is an attempt to clarify the issue.  Whether you view abortion as a crime, sin, necessary evil or otherwise, THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE.  Sorry to go all caps on you there, but it’s basically the theme.  Here, I’m gonna do it again, watch:


Every human being on Earth is entitled to hold an opinion (unless you’re an idiot; in which case, stop talking).  Opinions are important.  They differentiate one person from another; they promote discourse.  I have mine (obviously), and you have yours.  But that isn’t what this diatribe is focused on. 

Let’s state some facts.

1.  Personhood USA (to be referred to as P-USA.  No pun intended.  For real.) is a religious organization based in Colorado whose sole purpose is to promote the concept of “personhood from the time of conception.”

2.  P-USA first tried to pass the “fertilized egg as personhood” initiative in their home state.  It failed.

3.  P-USA is the driving force behind Mississippi’s Proposition 26.

4.  Proposition 26 would extend the title of “personhood” to fertilized eggs at the moment of conception.

5.  If a fertilized egg is considered a “person,” that would make many forms of birth control, including early term abortions, IUD’s and the morning after pill, technically murder. 

Now here are some judgmental, biased opinions that I hold.

1.  P-USA sucks.

2.  Likely overheard monologue from deep within the offices of P-USA:
“Well damn.  Our initiative got shot down here at home in Colorado.  We gotta keep this thing going man.  I mean with all the donations we’ve got coming in from other religious groups, our stacks are looking fat!  Look at all that black on the books!  It’s awesome!  Now, we can’t quit, because the money would stop coming in; it failed in our state, because I guess people thought about it for a minute instead of having a gut reaction like we wanted; so what now?  Let’s see……I know!  Let’s look down a list of the most overzealous religious states, cross reference that with a list of states with known educational deficiencies and a history of conservative political victories and see what we come up with!  Great, now……got it.  Mississippi.  Wow, that was quick.”
3.  By coming to Mississippi with this bill, that tells me they think we are so close-minded and subjective that we won’t bother to look at this thing from both sides and determine what the best outcome would be for ourselves.

Another quick fact.

6.  This pisses me off.

Back to the opinions.

3.  Sheeple are to blame, they’re idiots and this thing will probably pass.  Allah/Jesus/Jehovah save us all.

Well that promise didn’t last long did it?  But I only say this because I seriously think this initiative has a good chance of passing here.  Which means that fertility clinics are going to be hanging in the wind. 

“Huh?  Fertility clinics?”

Quick lesson:  when a couple has problems conceiving, they sometimes go to a fertility clinic.  One option often presented is artificial insemination.  The couple provides the husband’s sperm and the wife’s eggs and the lab technicians try to fertilize said eggs in a dish.  See how I said eggs?  Plural?  (Hang on to that for later, it’s important.)  They try to fertilize more than one egg at a time because guess what?  Conception, much like Inception, can be a very tricky process.  Now, sometimes, more than one egg becomes fertilized as a result of the process.  This is known colloquially in the medical community as a “good thing.”  The technicians can then choose the fertilized egg which shows the best signs of growing into a healthy embryo.  That egg is then implanted into the mother’s uterus and away we go. 

Now.  What happens to the other fertilized eggs?  If the couple plans to have more children, they can be frozen and stored for a later date.  If not, the eggs are thrown away.  This is the part where Prop. 26 could really, really screw things up.  If the bill passes, those eggs are people.  I don’t agree, but that’s not important (“But Adam, if it’s not important then why are you including it in the first place?” ”……..Shut up.”).  To the people who believe in this idea, a lab technician throwing away an unused fertilized egg is the same thing as taking your fifth grader out behind the woodshed and putting him down like Ol’ Yeller.  If you agree with that, vote yes.

Aside from fertility clinics, Prop. 26 also puts at risk a group of “contraceptives” like Plan B, which are designed to stop a fertilized egg from implanting.  Whatever your feelings may be about that particular group of products and their use, consider this:  a rape victim reports to a hospital.  After a rape kit is administered, she is given Plan B.  If she was carrying a fertilized egg, then Prop. 26 says that is murder.  If you agree with that, vote yes.

Now as much as it infuriates me that some religious lobbyist group from Colorado can decide to base a national campaign for an issue I don’t support using my home state as a springboard, we have to focus on the immediate issue at hand.  Personally, I don’t care about abortion.  You want to have one?  Go for it.  I’m not going to tell you you’re a bad person.  Think abortion is murder and can’t stand the thought of it?  Ok.  But isn’t that an issue more deserving of regulation than abolishment?  What if a pregnancy is determined to be life-threatening to both the mother and child, such as tubal implantation?  What if a woman decides an intra-uterine device is more suited for her than taking a birth control pill every day?  What about the fertility clinics and the rape victims?  If this bill passes, then these are all questions that will be answered immediately with a resounding “Tough shit.”

Please, people.  Think about this.  I know plenty of you try to allow your religion to determine the choices you make each day.  And that’s great, really.  Religion keeps a lot of people honest and provides a moral structure from within which you live your life to the fullest as you see fit.  But voting this measure in would be amputating your arm after smashing your thumb with a hammer. 

“Damnit that hurts! Ugh, god this sucks so bad right now! You know what? Just take the arm. DO IT NOW!........Well that’s better, and these pain meds are nice. Wait, what do you mean I can’t drive a stick anymore? I’m a trucker, how am I supposed to take care of my family?” (This goes on for hours in my head, but I’ll spare you.  You’re welcome.)


  1. Friend of Adam Walker. Referred me to this article. BRILLIANT. Can I link this article on my Facebook?

  2. Followed Ian's link. I agree, agree, agree.

    There are in fact "No on 26" signs, but the Healthy Families people only ordered them a couple of weeks ago and there weren't many. Definitely not enough to make it to North MS.