Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mississippi's Personhood Bill is Terrifying

This is another political-esque post. Again, I don't usually turn to politics here unless I think it's really warranted. Actually, it's just as much woman's rights as it is politics. Today's topic of rage debate is Mississippi's personhood initiative. 

First thing's first. I am staunchly pro-choice. I am pro-women's rights and pro-health. If your eye is twitching already, stop reading now.

If you're not familiar with the personhood bill, a group of radical pro-lifers are attempting to change state laws to define anything from a fertilized egg on as a "person," making any sort of abortion (and several types of birth control) an act of homicide (but this is not CSI, so everyone chill out). This issue has been all over the news, but this particular Seattle Times article does an pretty good job of showing how frightening and dangerous this proposed bill is. So here's my own list of reasons why this bill makes me cringe.

1. Les Riley, the founder of Personhood Mississippi says: 

"We're just going to the heart of the matter, which is: Is this a person or not? God says it is, and science has confirmed it." 

Well, if I'm correct, the US constitution speaks about the separation of church and state. As in, keep your God out of my government. Passing this bill would effectively impose a certain groups religious beliefs upon an entire state. And the first amendment says: 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

So yes, I'm pro-free speech. Everyone is entitled to their opinions (even if it makes them sound like a blathering toad). I'm not pro-God-in-my-government.

Also, this is on the Personhood Mississippi homepage. FIRST AMENDMENT.
2. Many of the bill's backers believe that abortion is immoral in all cases, meaning that not even rape or incest would justify a pregnancy termination. Oh, and they wouldn't allow abortions to women in serious medical conditions, because a tiny bean sprout with nothing more than an appropriate number of chromosomes is more important than a deathly ill woman in the prime of her life, eh? Oh, and it would bar pregnant cancer patients from being able to undergo chemotherapy treatments, because that would make her a murderer. 

Take me with you.
3. They think that this bill would save lots o' lives. Let's break it down. An abortion in a sterile operating room terminates a fetus. An XY bean sprout that doesn't know...anything. A pointy coat hanger in the corner of a dark alley (or another similarly sketch locale) will terminate both the fetus and in a whole lot of cases, the mother too. Check my math, but I believe that two deaths is one more death death. But I'm not a math major, so let me get my calculator. Okay, I was right.

4. I'm not entirely clear on what gives a state government absolute rights over a woman's uterus. And if they get the uterus, what will they try to take next? Are we seeing the slippery slope?

5. According to the 2010 Guttmacher Institute's study of teen pregnancy, Mississippi had the 5th highest rate of teen pregnancy (it's both sad and interesting that the top 4 are also states with very large Native populations, but I could very literally write an entire blog, not post, on health issues in Indian country). But keep teaching abstinence, Mississippi, because birth control is the tic-tacs of sinners, and you don't want your kiddies to end up in hell for not getting pregnant before they're ready.

But birth control is bad. Very bad. Like, sinner bad.
Whether or not you would have an abortion in whatever circumstance is your prerogative (and yes, that word is spelled correctly). Do what you will with your own body. But don't expect other women to sacrifice their livelihoods (if not lives) to your government and beliefs. This is not an "anti-babies" thing. It's a woman's rights and health issue.

The entire initiative gives me the willies. The logical response is "if you don't like it, don't live there." However, if you give these radicals an inch, they will take a mile. As in, they will try to make it federal law. And I really don't want to have to move to Canada just to protect my rights as a woman. Frankly, the fact that they've gotten so far with this bill is terrifying in itself. And when males start to champion this initiative, I don't even want to bother to argue. It's not that I don't understand the logic behind this bill. I simply think that it's utter bullshit and frankly, it's rather misogynistic. 

Actually, it's really misogynistic. Don't make me burn my bra.

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