Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

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Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:38 pm UTC

Activists in Mississippi wants to define "personhood" as starting from fertilization. They've gathered enough signatures to get the amendment onto the Nov. 8 ballot.

http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.p ... _09122011/
Anti-abortion advocates celebrated a Mississippi Supreme Court ruling last week that OK'd a Nov. 8 ballot initiative asking voters whether the state Constitution should define when life begins, but the battles over the proposed amendment are far from over.
For more than a year, anti-abortion advocates and the organization Personhood Mississippi worked to obtain more than 130,000 signatures for the measure to be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot. The Personhood ballot measure would amend the Mississippi constitution to redefine "person" or "persons" to "include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof."

Plaintiffs took their suit to Hinds County Circuit Court last year, where Judge Malcolm Harrison, appointed by Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, punted the issue to the Mississippi Supreme Court by concluding that Personhood Mississippi had collected enough signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.

On Sept. 8, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that it does not have the authority to determine the constitutionality of the voter initiative, yet, saying that the initiative wasn't "ripe" for review. 

"Ultimately, the judiciary's power is restricted in reviewing the constitutionality of a proposal, regardless of whether that proposal is proffered by a legislator or through a voter initiative. Our law provides that this Court cannot interfere with the legislative act of the people, just as this Court cannot interfere with the attempt of the Legislature to pass a law," the court stated in its Personhood decision.

Within hours of the court's ruling, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant held a press conference with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who was in town for a "Yes on 26" campaign kick-off event that night.

The "Yes on 26" campaign in support of the amendment formed in June and has two full-time staff members and several volunteers. The campaign is funded through private donors and anti-abortion organizations throughout the country.

Organizations such as the ACLU and Planned Parenthood spoke out against the measure, saying it could undermine women's access to birth control, in vitro fertilization and "life-saving medical procedures."

"This measure is harmful to women and has no place on the ballot," Bear Atwood, ACLU legal director said in a statement last week.

Within a day after the ruling, a political action committee called "Mississippians for Healthy Families" set up a Facebook page to oppose the initiative. Atwood said several individuals and organizations have hired lobbyist Stan Flint to run a campaign against the amendment. The Facebook page has more than 200 members, and Mississippians for Healthy Families will soon have campaign gear available to the public. The campaign is meant to be a grass roots effort, Atwood said.

Greg Sanders, deputy director of "Yes on 26," said his organization has support from Personhood USA, Georgia Right to Life, Prolife Mississippi and Personhood Mississippi as well as churches and the American Family Association. The campaign's website lists Bryant at the co-chairman. Sanders said that some of those organizations are funding his campaign, but could not say which ones. The campaign's website has resources for churches and resource packages for supporters that include push cards, T-shirts, stickers and yard signs.

"This is very much grassroots," Sanders said. "We are using media with radio, Facebook and Twitter. We will also have billboards and at some point (will) have television ads."

Sanders said his campaign is focusing on simply defining the word "person" in the Constitution as beginning at fertilization. He said it would not prevent people from using condoms and "certain" birth-control pills. Morning-after pills would be illegal under the provision, he said.

"If we have some sincere questions, we will address that," he said. "We are not afraid in any way to look at unintended consequences."

Sanders would not say if supporters ultimately want the initiative to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to have a shot at overturning Roe vs. Wade.

"Our goal is to pass this on Nov. 8," he said "... What others have in mind, I don't know."

Jackson attorney Rob McDuff, who filed the suit on behalf of two residents, predicted that if the measure passed, he may file another challenge.

"We will see what happens in November and then decide to see if there are any further steps to take," he said. "... One of the problems of this amendment is that it raises a lot of questions that creates confusion for people. If it does pass, it will have a very cumbersome process involved in how this effects the rights of people."

ACLU Communications Manager Shelia Byrd referred all questions about Mississippians for Healthy Families' efforts against the initiative to Flint. Representatives from Planned Parenthood and Flint were not immediately available for comment for this story.



The whole thing goes against science - pregnancy starts at implantation. Also nature - half of zygotes are not implanted and self-abort, so this makes a murderer out of women whose bodies do what bodies normally do. Also human rights - this would outlaw contraceptives and birth control. It will also lead to death and as good as death - women with ectopic pregnancies, tough luck for you! Women whose fetuses are going to kill them, that's life! Women who are raped, well, you shouldn't have been raped!

Another gem from the article, the "Yes on 26" campaign also has "resources for churches and resource packages for supporters that include push cards, T-shirts, stickers and yard signs."

The same churches get tax breaks, so they can go campaign to use the government to destroy women's lives. Classy, folks.

Edit: What can someone who doesn't live in Mississippi do about this?
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
noun
a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Angua » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:17 pm UTC

Sometimes, I'm really, really glad I chose to live in the UK.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Jessica » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Edit: What can someone who doesn't live in Mississippi do about this?
Spread the information so that more people understand what is happening. Donate to causes which oppose legislation like this.

re amendment: That is fucking stupid. But, it's just another way that the religious right are trying to invade on the rights of anyone who disagrees with them. Because equal rights, only applies to their group.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby morriswalters » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Like it or not this is the way things work in the US. These people have a right to their point of view. Politics is never about what is the "correct" way forward, it's about what people believe is the correct way.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Angua » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:36 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Like it or not this is the way things work in the US. These people have a right to their point of view. Politics is never about what is the "correct" way forward, it's about what people believe is the correct way.
Did anyone say otherwise? Or are you just being high and mighty about the wonders of democracy. Asking if there is a way to stop this is just as valid - people against this also have a right to be heard. I was saying I'm glad I'm in England where this sort of thing is rare, and so wouldn't have a chance of being passed. No one so far has said they didn't have the right to their point of view.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby pollywog » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:39 pm UTC

Ugh, this is repugnant. It's a matter of health and wellbeing for a large proportion of society (just over 50% isn't it?) and should not be able to be dicked around by popular vote.

morriswalters wrote:Like it or not this is the way things work in the US. These people have a right to their point of view. Politics is never about what is the "correct" way forward, it's about what people believe is the correct way.
I know you're right, in the whole "this is the way things are" sense. But I think it's just a hideous waste of time and effort to force someone else to follow your beliefs. It's not right.
podbaydoor wrote:It will also lead to death and as good as death - women with ectopic pregnancies, tough luck for you! Women whose fetuses are going to kill them, that's life! Women who are raped, well, you shouldn't have been raped!
Yeah, if that gets in, will all abortion be illegal? Under any circumstances? I assume they could travel interstate to get an abortion, but would that then be classified in the same way as people taking their aging parents to Switzerland or wherever to get euthanised? Also, this is repugnant.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Diadem » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:42 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Activists in Mississippi wants to define "personhood" as starting from fertilization. They've gathered enough signatures to get the amendment onto the Nov. 8 ballot.

http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.p ... _09122011/
Sanders said his campaign is focusing on simply defining the word "person" in the Constitution as beginning at fertilization. He said it would not prevent people from using condoms and "certain" birth-control pills. Morning-after pills would be illegal under the provision, he said.

What the ...

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Diadem » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:48 pm UTC

Sorry, offtopic, but:
pollywog wrote:Yeah, if that gets in, will all abortion be illegal? Under any circumstances? I assume they could travel interstate to get an abortion, but would that then be classified in the same way as people taking their aging parents to Switzerland or wherever to get euthanised?

Euthanasia is only legal in the Benelux. Switzerland (as well as 3 US states (Washington, Oregon and Montana)) allow assisted suicide, but not active euthanasia.

But why would taking your parents on a trip to Switzerland or the Benelux for euthanasia be illegal under US law? How can you even make a law against that?
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby johnny_7713 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:01 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Sorry, offtopic, but:
pollywog wrote:Yeah, if that gets in, will all abortion be illegal? Under any circumstances? I assume they could travel interstate to get an abortion, but would that then be classified in the same way as people taking their aging parents to Switzerland or wherever to get euthanised?

Euthanasia is only legal in the Benelux. Switzerland (as well as 3 US states (Washington, Oregon and Montana)) allow assisted suicide, but not active euthanasia.

But why would taking your parents on a trip to Switzerland or the Benelux for euthanasia be illegal under US law? How can you even make a law against that?


I believe it might qualify as 'assisting a suicide' or something like that. I remember some discussion in the UK about people accompanying their parents to Switzerland and how that was technically illegal, though AFAIK no one has been arrested for it so far.

Something similar might well apply to this abortion law (and otherwise the people behind it are sure to think of something). Conspiracy to commit murder perhaps? Isn't there also some federal legislation about taking someone (or perhaps specifically a woman) across state lines for immoral purposes? I'm sure someone would try to twist that into applying to accompanying someone to an abortion clinic in a different state.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby pollywog » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:04 pm UTC

Whoops, my bad. It was UK law, and after reading about it seems that the person in charge of deciding whether it is legal or not to transport someone to help them die, the Director of Public Prosecutions, is refusing to decide. And yes, I got euthanasia and assisted suicide mixed up. It seems that it is illegal, but any person assisting a person to commit suicide in any country won't be prosecuted in the UK.

But yeah, off topic, and really not something to get into here. Sorry I mentioned it, and then fucked it up.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby folkhero » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:07 am UTC

So what would happen to fertility clinics who have bunches of fertilized embryos in storage? Do the embryos have to be held onto and protected forever? If the power goes out and the embryos die, is it negligent homicide for not having a backup generator?
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:31 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:The whole thing goes against science - pregnancy starts at implantation. Also nature - half of zygotes are not implanted and self-abort, so this makes a murderer out of women whose bodies do what bodies normally do. Also human rights - this would outlaw contraceptives and birth control. It will also lead to death and as good as death - women with ectopic pregnancies, tough luck for you! Women whose fetuses are going to kill them, that's life! Women who are raped, well, you shouldn't have been raped!
So every time a woman has sex and doesn't get pregnant they have grounds to investigate a possible homicide.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby yurell » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:58 am UTC

This is ... insane.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby iop » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:10 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:The whole thing goes against science - pregnancy starts at implantation. Also nature - half of zygotes are not implanted and self-abort, so this makes a murderer out of women whose bodies do what bodies normally do. Also human rights - this would outlaw contraceptives and birth control. It will also lead to death and as good as death - women with ectopic pregnancies, tough luck for you! Women whose fetuses are going to kill them, that's life!

There are many problems with this amendment, but there's a few problems with your arguments.
- Science: Pregnancy does indeed start at implantation; but so what? If life starts at fertilization, then life can start before pregnancy, including in a petri dish.
- Nature: At least for now, women who bring a severely disabled child to term aren't guilty of child abuse, even though the child may be living a short life full of suffering. Thus spontaneous abortions are unlikely to become illegal.
- Human rights: The article specifically indicates that most form of birth control are still allowed - just not those that act *after* fertilization has happened.
- Death from ectopic pregnancies: Here, abortion could be considered legitimate self-defense. A person installed itself in the womb and is slowly killing the woman, so the woman might even be allowed to shoot the intruder in some states.

Now to the problems: (1) How does the government ensure it knows about the persons it is supposed to protect? Would there be mandatory pregnancy tests to ensure that both women and law enforcement are aware of the persons that have to be protected? (2) How are we to draw the line between involuntary/natural abortions and abortions due to reckless behavior of the woman? Would pregnant women be automatically sent on preventive medical leave once they're pregnant? (3) How would Child Protection Services acutally protect unborn children? They can't take them away from an "abusive" mother, who, for example, drinks alcohol. Would the woman have to be taken into a birthing prison? (4) What is endangerment of the unborn child? Drinking alcohol? Eating shellfish? Would a waiter have to ask women whether they're pregnant before pouring wine? Which brings us back to (1) - will there be "not-pregnant" licenses that are to be renewed monthly and that allow women to do what they want?

In sum, there are serious implementation issues with this law, so I seriously doubt that it's going to fly.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Me321 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:12 am UTC

I don't even know where to start with you guys, really.
So I will start with one question.

When does life start?
It seems you have 2 clear choices
1. Birth
2. Conception

Now if you choose birth then what happens 1 second before birth? Is the child not alive?

Obviously when the life of the mother is in jeopardy then choices have to be made, but you must not forget that the child is a life just like the mother.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Velict » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:16 am UTC

My home state of Colorado had a personhood amendment on the ballot in 2010, and there was some talk among Republicans in the state that the ballot measure was in part supported by liberal groups who figured it would get liberal voters (who utterly oppose the idea of "personhood") to go out and vote in greater numbers. Even though the amendment was voted on, it was defeated by around a 40 point margin.

Now, Mississippi's a more conservative state than Colorado is, but I still have to wonder...

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Elvish Pillager » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:17 am UTC

Me321:

Technically speaking, life starts when the first primitive bacteria form from the primordial goo. When a person becomes pregnant and then gives birth, there is no new life, just a coincidental redistribution of existing life.

As to when personhood begins, I'd say that's significantly after birth, because at birth, you're pretty much non-sentient. That said, banning infanticide doesn't violate anyone's right to bodily autonomy, so I'm okay with infanticide being illegal.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:18 am UTC

Me321 wrote:I don't even know where to start with you guys, really.
So I will start with one question.

When does life start?
It seems you have 2 clear choices
1. Birth
2. Conception
3. heartbeat
4. brain waves
5. viability outside the body


Now if you choose birth then what happens 1 second before birth? Is the child not alive?

Obviously when the life of the mother is in jeopardy then choices have to be made, but you must not forget that the child is a life just like the mother.


I'm not proposing any of those as my opinion; but I don't see how they aren't equally "obvious"
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby iop » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:22 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:I'm not proposing any of those as my opinion; but I don't see how they aren't equally "obvious"

That's the US, dude. In that country, there is only glorious goodness, or unspeakable evil. Nothing exists in between.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Thesh » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:23 am UTC

Me321 wrote:I don't even know where to start with you guys, really.
So I will start with one question.

When does life start?
It seems you have 2 clear choices
1. Birth
2. Conception

Now if you choose birth then what happens 1 second before birth? Is the child not alive?

Obviously when the life of the mother is in jeopardy then choices have to be made, but you must not forget that the child is a life just like the mother.


Cows, flies, trees, and rats are all alive as well. The question is why is an embryo any more important than a tapeworm?
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Me321 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:24 am UTC

Elvish Pillager:

That’s one argument I have never heard before, but if you want to talk about "right to bodily autonomy" then I will say this, there is a way to prevent a person from becoming pregnant, so given this, why should we allow a person who chose to become pregnant to then kill that child?
Last edited by Me321 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:27 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Velict » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:25 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:Me321:

Technically speaking, life starts when the first primitive bacteria form from the primordial goo. When a person becomes pregnant and then gives birth, there is no new life, just a coincidental redistribution of existing life.

As to when personhood begins, I'd say that's significantly after birth, because at birth, you're pretty much non-sentient. That said, banning infanticide doesn't violate anyone's right to bodily autonomy, so I'm okay with infanticide being illegal.

There's pretty clearly a value judgment involved, and as such, it's not possible to make any sort of objective statement about where personhood begins. "Person" isn't (to my knowledge) a term used in biology to describe a species. The word itself implies subjectivity; the word comes from persona - meaning mask - which is itself a reference to the classical tradition of actors wearing masks on stage. It's a term found extensively in philosophy, law, religion, and other fields, but not so much in natural sciences.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Elvish Pillager » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:35 am UTC

Me321 wrote:Elvish Pillager:

That’s one argument I have never heard before, but if you want to talk about "right to bodily autonomy" then I will say this, there is a way to prevent a person from becoming pregnant, so given this, why should we allow a person who chose to become pregnant to then kill that child?

- Because a fetus has no rights
- Because some people become pregnant through rape or because they're misinformed, and it's beyond the state's ability to distinguish (with 100% reliability) those cases from cases of "choice" to become pregnant
- On a similar note, because it's much cheaper, in cases where it becomes clear later on that the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother, to always allow abortions than to have beaurocratic overhead where a doctor has to sign off on that
- Because, even if the pregnancy was a specific bad decision on the part of the person who has it, there's no reason to force them to suffer for the mistakes of their former self

I could probably come up with a few more, too, but that's probably far more than enough for now.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby morriswalters » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:39 am UTC

Angua wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Like it or not this is the way things work in the US. These people have a right to their point of view. Politics is never about what is the "correct" way forward, it's about what people believe is the correct way.
Did anyone say otherwise? Or are you just being high and mighty about the wonders of democracy. Asking if there is a way to stop this is just as valid - people against this also have a right to be heard. I was saying I'm glad I'm in England where this sort of thing is rare, and so wouldn't have a chance of being passed. No one so far has said they didn't have the right to their point of view.

I'm not a bit high and mighty about anything, I just don't feel any sense of outrage. It's pointless. Outrage begets anger and overall that's a useless response. In terms of what you can do to stop it, start by moving to Mississippi so you can participate directly, otherwise you are confined to dipping into your wallet to support those organizations that oppose it. However this was what I was responding to.

podbaydoor wrote:The whole thing goes against science - pregnancy starts at implantation. Also nature - half of zygotes are not implanted and self-abort, so this makes a murderer out of women whose bodies do what bodies normally do. Also human rights - this would outlaw contraceptives and birth control. It will also lead to death and as good as death - women with ectopic pregnancies, tough luck for you! Women whose fetuses are going to kill them, that's life! Women who are raped, well, you shouldn't have been raped!

corrected incorrect attrtibution
Last edited by morriswalters on Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:42 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:24 am UTC

Well, yet more reason why we should just stop pretending parts of the U.S. are not rather equivalent of third world nations.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby nitePhyyre » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:34 am UTC

There's no way this can be constitutional. It clearly violates the rights of corporations. They are people to, don't cha know.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Soralin » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:37 am UTC

Me321 wrote:Elvish Pillager:

That’s one argument I have never heard before, but if you want to talk about "right to bodily autonomy" then I will say this, there is a way to prevent a person from becoming pregnant, so given this, why should we allow a person who chose to become pregnant to then kill that child?

Simple: Because life isn't what matters, that's just a red herring, bacteria are life, plants are life, skin cells are life, etc. What matters are minds, the person who is pregnant has one, the embryo or fetus inside them does not.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Diadem » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:47 am UTC

Me321 wrote:When does life start?
It seems you have 2 clear choices
1. Birth
2. Conception

You should really stop and think about your own questions before answering them.

The obvious answer is 'neither'. An unfertilized egg is most definitely alive. So is a sperm cel. Like someone else in this thread said: Life started a long time ago (about 4.3 billion years) and has been going steady ever since. We didn't start life, we can't start life. We just pass it on in ever changing configurations.

And all that is entirely irrelevant for the debate. The admendment, and the discussion, is not about life but personhood. Personhood probably begins somehwere around the age of 2. But there is no clear boundary. Some parts start much earlier, the earliest traces even start before birth. But some aspects don't fully mature until somewhere around the age of 21. That's why there's a lot of things we don't allow children to do.

There's no clear point when someone becomes a person, but you have to draw the legal line somewhere. Birth is a pretty good spot, because after birth there are many additional options to take care of a child. Though it's not perfect. A baby is not a person yet, and some important decisions will have to be made for it. I'm generally in favour of allowing infant ethanasia for example, in cases such as hydrocephalus. Luckily I live in the only country in the world that agrees with me.

Placing personhood before birth is utterly ridiculous though. A fetus is not a person. No fetus is a person. And while for infants you at least have a lot of practical legal reasons to place the border there, no such considerations exists for infants. The only reason, I repeat, the only reason, to consider fetusses persons is to fuck women.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:50 am UTC

iop wrote:- Death from ectopic pregnancies: Here, abortion could be considered legitimate self-defense. A person installed itself in the womb and is slowly killing the woman, so the woman might even be allowed to shoot the intruder in some states.


Actually, this is pretty much the game right here. If you are prepared to accept that the fetus/zygote/whatever is an unwelcome intruder, then the woman is allowed to kill/forcibly evict it regardless of whether or not it is threatening her life (castle doctrine does not require that the intruder be intent on killing you). If castle doctrine applies to a house or a car, why wouldn't it apply to your own body? The fetus/zygote/whatever is literally parasitic--it takes energy that is supposed to be supply to your body, and uses it for its own purposes, while providing nothing in return--indeed, induces numerous unpleasant side effects including: exhaustion, nausea and vomiting, heartburn and indigestion, lower sex drive, constipation, bloating, swelling, fluid retention, hemorrhoids, cramps, yeast infections, back pain, headaches, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, hair loss, immune suppression, mood swings, and of course, extreme pain upon delivery--and these are just the side effects you'd expect from a normal, everyday pregnancy. I think forcing someone to undergo these sorts of side effects when they really, really don't want to is downright cruel.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:55 am UTC

Me321 wrote:why should we allow a person who chose to become pregnant to then kill that child?

I know you didn't just lump rape victims in with the group of "choosing" to become pregnant.

And you know what, fuck you. Guess why I had an abortion? Because I didn't choose to become pregnant.

This entire amendment is basically telling a woman: the single cell doesn't have a brain, but it's still allowed to ruin your health, your body, and your life because you committed the sin of having a uterus. It is saying that an autonomous sentient being with thoughts and memories is equivalent to a single cell, and in fact is inferior to that single cell because that single cell takes precedence over the autonomous sentient being.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
noun
a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Garm » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:57 am UTC

Velict wrote:My home state of Colorado had a personhood amendment on the ballot in 2010, and there was some talk among Republicans in the state that the ballot measure was in part supported by liberal groups who figured it would get liberal voters (who utterly oppose the idea of "personhood") to go out and vote in greater numbers. Even though the amendment was voted on, it was defeated by around a 40 point margin.

Now, Mississippi's a more conservative state than Colorado is, but I still have to wonder...


Yeah, we bitchslapped that thing back to where it belonged. I was happy with my fellow Coloradans that election day.

Don't forget that Mississippi was the last state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment... In 1995.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Diadem » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:02 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Actually, this is pretty much the game right here. If you are prepared to accept that the fetus/zygote/whatever is an unwelcome intruder, then the woman is allowed to kill/forcibly evict it regardless of whether or not it is threatening her life (castle doctrine does not require that the intruder be intent on killing you). If castle doctrine applies to a house or a car, why wouldn't it apply to your own body?

Except that, you know, castle doctrine is utter BS.

Luckily we don't need it.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Sunshine! » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:21 am UTC

Me321 wrote:Elvish Pillager:

That’s one argument I have never heard before, but if you want to talk about "right to bodily autonomy" then I will say this, there is a way to prevent a person from becoming pregnant, so given this, why should we allow a person who chose to become pregnant to then kill that child?


There is no way to prevent a person from getting pregnant other than moving their reproductive organs. There are ways to mitigate the probability of becoming pregnant, but those can and do fail. Even if you double, or triple up on protection, there is always a small chance of failure. People can, and do, get pregnant even when they are both properly using the pill and their partner is properly using a condom, for example.

Trigger warning:
Spoiler:
Additionally, you cannot prevent pregnancy from rape, unless your rapist as the decency to wear a condom while he's violating you.


When it comes to abortions, I'm willing to bet it's almost never a case of someone choosing to become pregnant and then deciding to "kill the child" (more accurately: remove the zygote or fetus).

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:24 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Actually, this is pretty much the game right here. If you are prepared to accept that the fetus/zygote/whatever is an unwelcome intruder, then the woman is allowed to kill/forcibly evict it regardless of whether or not it is threatening her life (castle doctrine does not require that the intruder be intent on killing you). If castle doctrine applies to a house or a car, why wouldn't it apply to your own body?


Except that, you know, castle doctrine is utter BS.

Luckily we don't need it.


I (mostly) agree that castle doctrine is utter BS. However, it is also law in Mississippi, so it is somewhat relevant. This is probably better treated as self-defense rather than castle doctrine anyway.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:59 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Diadem wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Actually, this is pretty much the game right here. If you are prepared to accept that the fetus/zygote/whatever is an unwelcome intruder, then the woman is allowed to kill/forcibly evict it regardless of whether or not it is threatening her life (castle doctrine does not require that the intruder be intent on killing you). If castle doctrine applies to a house or a car, why wouldn't it apply to your own body?


Except that, you know, castle doctrine is utter BS.

Luckily we don't need it.


I (mostly) agree that castle doctrine is utter BS. However, it is also law in Mississippi, so it is somewhat relevant. This is probably better treated as self-defense rather than castle doctrine anyway.

So in Mississippi the man owns both his house and his wife's body? Since those laws seem to always be rather couched in patriarchy.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Angua » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:16 am UTC

Now, I remember us being taught the possibility of hormonal birth control having the secondary effect of stopping pregnancy by making the endometrium less susceptible to implantation, so, with the controversy in mind, let's look at the birth control women may no longer be able to use (from wikipedia:

Speculation about post-fertilization mechanisms is widespread, even appearing on patient information inserts for hormonal contraception, but there is no clinical support. One small study, using fourteen women, might be considered as providing evidence of such an effect for IUDs[20] and a study of the combined oral contraceptive pill has been proposed.[21]
Possibly affected methods

* Hormonal contraception, including emergency contraception, are known to be effective at preventing ovulation. Some scientists believe hormonal methods may have a secondary effect of interfering with implantation of embryos.[citation needed]
* Intrauterine devices (IUDs) have been proven to have strong spermicidal and ovicidal effects;[22][23] the current medical consensus is that this is the only way in which they work.[24] Still, a few physicians have suggested they may have a secondary effect of interfering with the development of pre-implanted embryos;[20] this secondary effect is considered more plausible when the IUD is used as emergency contraception.[25]
* The lactational amenorrhea method works primarily by preventing ovulation, but is also known to cause luteal phase defect (LPD). LPD is believed to interfere with the implantation of embryos.[26]
* Fertility awareness methods are known to work by preventing fertilization. It has been speculated they have a secondary effect of creating embryos incapable of implanting (due to aged gametes at the time of fertilization),[27] although this is disputed [28]. The age of gametes at the time of fertilization has been shown to have no effect on miscarriage rates in most cases, but is a significant risk factor where there is history of miscarriage.[29] Age of gametes at the time of fertilization has been shown to have no effect on low birth weight or preterm delivery.[30]
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Torchship » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:43 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Placing personhood before birth is utterly ridiculous though. A fetus is not a person. No fetus is a person. And while for infants you at least have a lot of practical legal reasons to place the border there, no such considerations exists for infants. The only reason, I repeat, the only reason, to consider fetusses persons is to fuck women.


I really don't feel that demonising the opposition (that is, anti-abortionists) in such a way is really a productive way forward. Don't get me wrong, I'm as pro-abortion as they come, but declaring that your opposition is 'only in it to fuck [over] women' is an absurd mischaracterisation of a huge number of viewpoints and moral stances. If you believe that personhood begins at conception (a perfectly consistent belief, albeit one that I strongly disagree with. You have merely stated that it is absurd and given a rather circular circular argument as to why, which is not at all convincing), then you oppose abortion on the grounds that it's murder (and that murder is a larger wrong than the alternative, which is violation of female reproductive rights), not that you're out to fuck over women for the lulz. There certainly exist anti-abortionists who hate women and don't particularly care about foetuses, but they are a firm minority and the group as a whole should not be tarred with the same brush.
Would you believe it to be legitimate if an anti-abortionist said that pro-abortionists are "only in it to kill babies"? This is essentially the same thing; some proportion of pro-abortionists undoubtedly support abortion because they hate foetuses or to lower population growth (probably an absolutely tiny minority, but almost certainly existent), but they are absolutely non-representative of the group as a whole (who, as far as I'm aware, generally support it from a women's rights perspective).

It's going to be a long time until the issue of abortion and women's rights is decided conclusively in the US, but demonising the opposition through strawmen such as these is not going to accelerate the procedure.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Qaanol » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:16 am UTC

Torchship wrote:
Diadem wrote:Placing personhood before birth is utterly ridiculous though. A fetus is not a person. No fetus is a person. And while for infants you at least have a lot of practical legal reasons to place the border there, no such considerations exists for infants. The only reason, I repeat, the only reason, to consider fetusses persons is to fuck women.


I really don't feel that demonising the opposition (that is, anti-abortionists) in such a way is really a productive way forward. Don't get me wrong, I'm as pro-abortion as they come, but declaring that your opposition is 'only in it to fuck [over] women' is an absurd mischaracterisation of a huge number of viewpoints and moral stances. If you believe that personhood begins at conception (a perfectly consistent belief, albeit one that I strongly disagree with. You have merely stated that it is absurd and given a rather circular circular argument as to why, which is not at all convincing), then you oppose abortion on the grounds that it's murder (and that murder is a larger wrong than the alternative, which is violation of female reproductive rights), not that you're out to fuck over women for the lulz. There certainly exist anti-abortionists who hate women and don't particularly care about foetuses, but they are a firm minority and the group as a whole should not be tarred with the same brush.

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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby Adam H » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:09 pm UTC

First of all, I disagree that personhood begins at conception. FWIW, only about 20% of fertalized eggs survive to birth (according to my first year med-school wife... couldn't find a citation online). My opinion is that since we do not and cannot know that abortion is "wrong", we should do whatever we think is right, on a case-by-case basis.

Second of all, I think that it is not necessarily a bad thing for a state to decide in writing exactly which globs of cells are "persons" and which are not.

Third of all, I think that Mississippi can do whatever they want. Everyone who agrees with their laws can go to Mississippi and everyone who disagrees can leave. Obviously this only applies to amoral or morally grey laws - please don't retort with "Oh me yarm, human rights, you dumbass!" Yes, hardly anyone thinks abortion is morally grey, but when you have a controversial issue with about a 50/50 split opinion even after decades/centuries of arguments, then I think the best thing to do is live and let live.
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Re: Mississippi's Personhood Amendment

Postby yurell » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:12 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:everyone who disagrees can leave.


No they can't There are people who would disagree but may not have the capital to leave.
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