I Want to make Government as Inconsequential in your Life as Possible…Except in your UterusPosted: October 28, 2011
I was looking through the New York Times (Yes I do read an actual newspaper, you know with ink and paper) yesterday after doing the daily Ken-Ken in said newspaper when I found an interesting article. So interesting that it caused me to change my original plans on what my first true topic of my blog was going to be. I had been planning to do a long post about the Occupy Wall Street Movement, which made sense because my name is a reference to that movement. But that will have to wait till likely Monday. What article you say would cause me to drop my original plan without even a second thought? Well it was the “Push for ‘Personhood’ Amendment Represents New Tack in Abortion Fight” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/us/politics/personhood-amendments-would-ban-nearly-all-abortions.html?_r=2&hp&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1319646379-3y6oLIus%2Fxda4DQGObKCfg if you want to read the article yourself.).
The basic story of the article goes like this: In Mississippi on November 8th, proposition 26 is coming to a vote. This proposition would declare that any fertilized egg would be a “person” and would have the right to live. It is an anti-abortion bill and also could prevent the use of certain birth control methods (IUDs and The Morning After Pill to be precise). The first thing I want to bring up is what actually is a “person?” according to dictionary.com it is “a Human Being, whether Man, Woman or Child.” That definition is very ambiguous because it doesn’t tell you when a child becomes a child. I prefer the more philosophical definition “a self-conscious or rational being.” Form my experience in science, a fertilized cell is not even close to being self-conscious. Also a fertilized egg does not meet the medical definition of life, which one of the keys of life that it is viable on its own. A fertilized egg cannot survive on its own and grow into a child unless it is in the womb. And finally, the majority of fertilized eggs don’t even implant into the uterus! So based on the definition of person and medical science alone, this law is ridiculous in calling a fertilized egg a “person”. When the Catholic Church says you are going to far, then you are going way to far in terms of anti-abortion laws.
Next I want to bring up a scenario that under this proposal would screw over doctors. Imagine you’re an emergency room doctor in Mississippi. You have a pregnant woman who comes in with a troubling pregnancy that is starting to kill her (yes this does happen). The child would not survive yet if delivered for another 3 weeks but the mother won’t survive another week without ending the pregnancy. The common sense thing would be to abort the pregnancy and save the mother. Under this proposal though, this becomes a lot more complicated. A fetus would have human rights and therefore cannot be aborted unless your willing to go to jail for murder of a person. But if you don’t do the abortion, the mother will die as well as the fetus. If you do nothing to save the mother, you will get charged with medical neglect, have your licence removed, and basically not have a job. What the fuck do you do in this instance? The law wouldn’t allow you to do anything, you can’t abort the unborn child. This law would lead to woman dying because they would not be able to receive the medical care they needed to survive.
This law would also prohibit certain birth control medications as well. IUDs (Intrauterine Devices) are basically implants, traditionally made out of copper but now are made out of plastic usually, that are placed in the uterus. These implants prevent fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterus. These would become illegal because IUDs would prevent the “person” that is the fertilized egg to grow. The Morning After Pill does the same thing, instead through changing the hormones of the woman so that her uterus is not receptive to implantation of the egg. IUDs are not very common any more but the Morning After Pill is still very popular. It is useful in the prevention of pregnancies after a condom breaks or after sexual assault and rape. This would lead to unintended pregnancies that could have been prevented using these contraceptives. That’s strike three, and this law should be history.
Unfortunately, this proposal will likely get passed by the people of Mississippi. This proposal will likely be shot down by a federal appeals court as being unconstitutional for a state law cannot overrule a federal law, and the federal law states that abortions can happen during the first trimester. This ruling will likely get appealed as well, leading to a Supreme Court battle and a re-do of Roe vs. Wade over 30 years later. All this doesn’t really matter though. What does matter is that this proposal basically blows up women’s reproductive rights in a state and it is an hypocrisy of the conservative element of the Republican party. I will admit, I am pro-life personally (shock, a liberal who actually is against abortion, but they do exist) except in the case of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life depends on it. I don’t like the idea of killing any Potential life (I do not think a fertilized egg is self-conscious yet and therfore not a person and since it is not viable without the mother, not living either) that could become the next great thinker or person in this world. But politically I’m pro-choice. I have no right to tell a woman what to do with her body, and as my girlfriend would attest to, any decisions with her body and pregnancy are up to her with an unplanned pregnancy. This proposal would strip the woman’s right to control her own body. We would put the rights of an unborn tiny ball of cells over the rights of a fully functional adult! That just sounds ridiculous! And yet that is what is going to happen in Mississippi for a short time at least, if not for a very long time if the courts uphold the law.
Also, aren’t the conservatives the one that want less and less government. I know in Washington, these are the folks who want to end any semblance of unemployment benefits (Bachman, Meet the Candidates series on Meet the Press), gut Medicare and Medicaid, want the “shackles” of regulation taken off of businesses, cut taxes to the rich, and basically keep the budget to 18% of the GDP (which is honestly way to low to even allow a functional government that can take care of the people). They want liberal economics (different from liberal politics, liberal economics is pretty much no regulations, every man for himself idea of economics. It is also known as pure capitalism), the end of any welfare, and the role of government to shrink so it is only involved in foreign policy and the bare minimal of domestic policy…except in reproductive rights. In this case, the conservatives want to run the show! They want to dictate to the woman what she can and cannot do like she is five years old. I have a serious question to ask any serious Republican Candidate. How do you reconcile this want to limit government with this want to control reproductive rights of women. My answer is you can’t. This is hypocrisy at its worse. It shows the true face of the conservatives. It shows that they could care less about woman and about the poor. Only wealthy men matter to them, and that these wealthy men should be protected. What happen to Lincoln’s party, the party that freed the slaves? It’s not his party anymore, it is a counter-revolutionary party wanting to bring us back to the glory days of the gilded age.