Mississippi abortion ballot would be bad news for pro-choice
Published: Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 19:11
On Nov. 8, the residents of Mississippi will vote on a ballot initiative that says, "Every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof" will be defined as a person.
This is, at its core, a vote against abortion.
I am pro-choice. I don't necessarily agree that abortions are right, but I do understand the reality that sometimes they are necessary.
No woman should be made to carry a pregnancy that she knows may kill her, was fathered by an attacker, or for any other reasons that women end their pregnancies.
Women who use this as a form of birth control, even if just once, are haunted much longer by their own guilt than they could ever be by someone shouting rude and horrible things as they enter a constitutionally protected facility for the procedure.
However, the ballot in Mississippi doesn't contain limited language that states boundaries for this referendum, but simply that at the very instance of fertilization the zygote should be given the status of human.
There are a few areas when this definition, other than abortion, will become problematic.
If a mother exerts herself in such a way that a miscarriage may be triggered, she could now be criminally responsible for the murder of a person.
If a fertility clinic harvests eggs from a woman and fertilizes them, implanting just a few and freezing the rest in storage (which is common practice), and those eggs are never used, destroying them may be grounds for murder.
Power outages in these facilities can have similar penalties. Currently, unimplanted eggs are property of the mother, but if that egg is defined as a person would that become slavery or child trafficking if she did anything but give those eggs away freely, no matter if she wants to or at what costs she encountered?
Under this definition, it could be.
That is the inherent problem with the language used. If a mother is rushed into an emergency room and a doctor is faced with the decision of saving her life or the child inside, either way he could be charged with murder.
Roe v. Wade was a constitutional case in which the Supreme Court said that the mother had the choice up until the viability of the embryo, and it was also a defining characteristic used in the decisions made by doctor.
Now it could all change. Activists have been screaming for years that doctors that perform abortions are murderers, but all they have done is filled a need for any woman who didn't want to become a
mother, for whatever reason, safely and within the window decided by the courts.
Abortion is not a new concept. There is evidence of it in numerous civilizations throughout history.
You may sitting there wondering why you should care, this is Mississippi, but the same group that has been spearheading this legislation is coming to Florida next.
What will you do when you, your friend, your partner, your mother, your sister or your daughter have the choice stripped away from them?
You may decide that you sit firmly on your high horse, but believe me, until you are in the situation you have no idea where you will land.
How would you feel toward a child you give birth to that you know is your father's baby? Your brother's baby? The 40 year old man's baby who seduced you when you were barely out of a training bra? The rapist that left you for dead in an alley's baby?
You may think that I am stretching the truth, but I'm not. The decision is made every day.
You may be saying that adoption is always an option, and it may be for some, but the foster care system is overrun, and since Florida doesn't seem to want help with public assistance to the poor and needy as it is, you think they will help a 15-year-old unwed mother give birth to a baby that can have serious genetic issues due to inbreeding or something else just to be placed in a foster system the state pays for and given state sponsored assistance the rest of its life because of the health issues? I mean come on!
Is life sacred? Well, that's a question that you have to ask yourself at the time you find out you are carrying a new one.
I am not going to tell you how you should feel. No one should. I think you should be able to make the
choice, not have it thrust upon you.
You should be able to go someplace safe if you decide it's not time, not fling yourself down the stairs in hopes that it takes care of the problem.
You shouldn't be told that you can't take birth control or morning after pills, because with this definition they will be lethal weapons and may become outlawed.
Pay close attention to what the result of the Mississippi vote is, and be weary.
You may end up losing more rights than you ever imagined.
Mandie is a junior majoring in secondary social science education. She is married with two children and serves on the Board of Directors of C.A.R.E.S. Suicide Prevention.