Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

The Personhood Proposition

By Eye on Modesto Staff

The voters of Mississippi have just voted down Proposition 26.  Proposition 26 declared “personhood” at the moment of fertilization.  The implications of this were far-reaching.

 Fertilization is when the sperm joins the egg. Conception is considered to be the moment the fertilized egg implants itself into the lining of the uterus.  This might not happen for up to a week after the egg is fertilized.  The concept of declaring personhood from the moment of fertilization would render IUD’s and most birth control pills illegal, as neither method prevents fertilization, but rather prevents the fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus. 

Conceivably, a doctor who prescribes birth control pills or a woman who takes them could be charged with a crime.  Another aspect of Proposition 26 is the treatment of ectopic pregnancies, which happen when the fertilized egg starts to develop in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.  Such pregnancies must be aborted or the fallopian tube will rupture and may cause the death of the mother.  Prop 26 would prevent doctors from performing abortions on these women, condemning a number of them to death.  Prop 26 also banned abortions in the case of incest, rape or even to save the life of the mother. Some women develop medical conditions during pregnancy (extremely high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes) that may result in their death if the fetus is not aborted, but this law would tell those women that they must die.

 Doctors would not want to provide in vitro services as they could be charged with murder if they disposed of unused fertilized eggs, even though medicine defines pregnancy as the implantation of a fertilized egg, not the fertilization of the egg.  If Prop 26 passed, those fertilized eggs in a petri dish would be considered “people”.  A woman who suffered a miscarriage may have had to prove to law enforcement officials that she had done nothing to bring on the miscarriage.  This could certainly discourage women from receiving medical treatment at the first sign of a miscarriage.  Some people have concerns that a woman could be charged with a crime if she engages in activities where she might be injured and that injury could result in a miscarriage.  This could conceivably happen even if it was early in the pregnancy and the woman wasn’t aware that she was pregnant.

Some of the supporters of Prop 26 are Personhood Mississippi, Catholic Social and Community Services, Personhood USA, The American Life League and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.  They are basing their support on their religious beliefs.  While they are certainly free to adhere to their religious beliefs, what they have attempted to do is to force every woman of child-bearing age inMississippito adhere to religious beliefs that they may not agree with.   Even some groups that are very pro-life have taken a step back from this proposition due to the extreme and possibly unforeseen consequences that would come about if it were to pass. 

Mississippi has only one abortion provider in the entire state, and already forces a woman to wait 24 hours after a doctor’s appointment and mandatory “counseling” before they can have an abortion, which causes increased financial hardship on low-income women.  They not only have to travel a good distance, they need a night in a hotel to meet the 24 hour waiting requirement. Mississippiis a very poor state, and has a poor record of helping its low-income families.  Proposition 26 would just make those low-income families even poorer, by removing most forms of birth control and subjecting those women to multiple pregnancies.

PersonhoodUSA is attempting to put similar initiatives on 2012 ballots inFlorida, Montana, Ohioand Oregon.  Voters in Colorado rejected similar proposals in 2008 and 2010.

Be reminded, this is not just an abortion issues although the first goal of these groups is to ban all abortions.  Their long-term goal is to ban all forms of birth control.  If these propositions pass in other states, it will be a step backward of 100 years for women’s rights.

Abortion should always be Safe, Legal and Rare.


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14 thoughts on “The Personhood Proposition

  1. This is a good thing for the world for now the women will have to take responsibility for their actions in not having sex with every guy that catches their eye, or raise and rear a child and learn about morality.

    Anyone one of those children brought to term becuase of this bill could be the next world leader or the next genius to solve the worlds problems through science,innovation ot inventions.

  2. Gaetana on said:

    This is a terrible thing for women and children. First, a large percentage of children in Mississippi live in poverty. This means they go to bed hungry. They never see a doctor. If this had passed, these children would go to bed even hungrier, as their mothers would have many more children. What you don’t understand, Wayne, is that most women try to take responsibility by using birth control. Having sex with your husband is not immoral. You seem to think that any woman who has sex is immoral. And you think it would be appropriate to charge a woman using birth control with a crime? Aren’t we already out of prison space for child molesters, rapists, and murderers? Do you suggest we put women who use the pill in prison?

    And where do men stand in your opinion, Wayne? Shouldn’t they take equal responsibility for using birth control? Vasectomies? Condoms? Do you think men are immoral for sleeping with every woman that “catches their eye”? It’s too bad there’s not a shot available in the U.S. that will render a man sterile until he’s ready to be a responsible parent.

    • Gaetana on said:

      And you seem to have misunderstood the first sentence, Wayne. The proposition failed by a large majority. Women in this country won’t allow anything like this to happen. We refuse to go back to the days of back alley butchers and wire coat hangers. If you are concerned that a woman may abort your baby, don’t get her pregnant. Can’t be any simpler than that, can it?

  3. What happened to that magic pill that made men sterile? Both the man and the women should use protection and if that protection fails then they both must be responsible in raising the child.

  4. The magic pill isn’t available in the states. FDA is still studying it. I agree that both parents should be responsible. But I also believe that preventing unwanted pregnancies is the best way to eliminate abortions. And the high number of single mothers is because so many men don’t take responsibility.

  5. They can force a person who has unpaid child support to lose his drivers license suspended but they can’t force him to care for the child, then he should lose his license since he cares nothing for the child the same goes for the mother of that child. They should have lessons for those receiving government welfare on how to care for a child and the responsibility if they don’t have it now.

  6. Unfortunately, many men (my ex-brother-in-law, for one) avoid child support deductions by moving from job to job. It takes time for the courts to catch up and find out where a father is working in order to garnish his wages. The point here, is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Declaring that a few cells are a person and outlawing the most common forms of birth control certainly won’t help. I do think that anyone receiving government assistance should not have more children until they are able to support them. However, people are not ready to let the government tell them how many children they can have or when they can have them.

  7. I guess to you life does not begin at conception. I am speaking of human life not an animal. If human life is to be treated the same as animal then it would be part of the animal kingdom and humans are no better than an animal in the wild, I hold all human life as greater than the wild kingdom where life means less and to be hunted down at will by the stronger of beasts, if this is the case then there would be no reason for laws.

  8. I’m not comparing animal and humans, Wayne. I don’t believe life begins at conception. I believe life begins when the fetus can live on it’s own outside the womb, with or without medical assistance. It’s so easy for men to have opinions on this subject when they will never be pregnant. It’s an extreme position to consider a few cells to be a human life. Fortunately the women of this country will not allow themselves to be taken back to the era of dying at the hands of back alley butchers, or to be forced into poverty and watch their children starve because they had more than they could feed. If someone hates women and children, this is the proposition for them. Kind of reminds me of the so-called religious people who think wives should be subservient to their husbands. And doesn’t the Bible say that children who disrespect their parents should be executed? Yeah, those are the people who hate women and children and believe that the male of the species is superior. Those are the people who support this proposition.

  9. No infant can live on it’s own outside the womb, it’s impossible that is why they are called infants meaning they don’t know how to survive. You are the first person I have chatted with that supports killing babies in the third trimester. Have you ever seen a Sonagram, the baby is a human being they didn’t have that technology 5000 years ago but people still knew it was human child.

    Sorry you feel that way.

  10. Wayne, once again, you are misrepresenting what I have said. I have never supported third trimester abortions unless the mother’s life is in danger. And any adult understands that when I say life begins when the fetus can survive on it’s own, I’m not talking about fixing it’s own food or changing it’s own diapers. Don’t be absurd.

    Whether or not abortions are legal, they have always occured and always will. The point is that they should be safe, legal and rare. The GOPs determination to take away birth control rights will only result in a huge increase in the number of abortions. Nobody wants that.

    Perhaps you’d be more understanding if you had a uterus….

  11. Abortions would be rare………if they were so rare how do you explain women killing the babies because that would cramp their lifestyle………..all 40 million American children murdered- infanticide!

    Doesn’t sound rare to me.

  12. Gaetana on said:

    Infanticide is actually the old practice of some civilizations to kill unwanted children after they are born. Get your terminology right. What I said above is that the abortion rate would skyrocket of Republicans have their way and make birth control illegal. The rate of abortions has actually decreased in recent years due to better birth control methods and now the GOP want to take those methods away. And what you fail to understand is that most women don’t choose abortion because pregnancy would “cramp their lifestyle”. That may be your personal experience, but it is not typical. Most women choose abortion because they are very young or very poor.

  13. Infanticide is the killing of babies in or out of the womb, again you fail to recognize a child that is in the womb……..again please look at photos from a sonagram you will see a human being.

    Some women may kill their child out of greed others kill their children so they can go on living a temporary comfortable life. Abortion is murder either way.

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