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New stories this week:
So. Can we talk about SPERM yet?
And so….we are electing people inclined to penalize women for the outcomes of their pregnancies. An entire political party has a state-by-state “personhood for fetuses” agenda.
If a man over 35 has unprotected sex that results in a pregnancy with a much higher chance of spontaneous miscarriage, should society question his intent like Iowa did Christine Taylor’s when she slipped down her stairs and was arrested, investigated and imprisoned for attempted feticide?
Men over 35 having unprotected sex resulting in pregnancy significantly increase costs to society. Is it morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund organizations through tax breaks and religious exceptions that provide support for men who use Viagra and procreate after 35? Or, instead, are we all supposed to pay in obscene “disabled children are punishment for sins" manner espoused in 2010 by yet another ”sorry I misspoke” Republican state legislator?
Well, what about criminalizing harmful insemination with malice of forethought? Or, forcibly stopping older men from reproducing? South Dakota’s 2011 House Bill 1171 proposed making homicide justifiable if the person committing it does so to stop any attempted harm to an unborn fetus.
For ten years, Rep. Bobby Franklin, a Republican state legislator in Georgia proposed a bill that would would make all abortions, described as “prenatal murder,” illegal and would make it necessary for women to prove that their miscarriages were entirely “natural” and did not include “any human involvement whatsoever.” “Anyone,” meaning “ANYWOMAN,” convicted would face the death penalty or life behind bars by the terms of his bill. What if that human involvement was sex with a 55-year old man? A woman in Georgia might have to think seriously hard about prison fashion before having sex with an older man.
Miscarriage, autism, schizophrenia and more are what conservative personhood-crazy legislators call “bad pregnancy outcomes.” According to personhood logic (oxymoronic to be sure), fetuses die because older men selfishly have sex without thinking of the consequences of their actions. The illogical, philosophically, scientifically, ethically and bioethically spurious personhood agenda leads to this conclusion: men over 35 should not be having children. So, will conservative legislators, at least 87% if whom are men, most over 35, turn on themselves to legislate against fetal harm?
People really have to stop thinking of girls and women’s bodies as public resources and treating them like production facilities.
Complete article and three critical videos here: Please share regarding the dangers to women of ‘personhood for zygote’ bills. Lots of people are unaware of the ramifications of these bills and laws.
Most women (and their spouses), whether personally comfortable with abortion or not, don’t automatically think about whether or not they might end up in jail, arrested while in labor or strapped to a hospital bed to undergo a forced Caesarian when they get pregnant.Laura Pemberton certainly didn’t before it happened to her. And what happened to her could just as easily happen to you or a girl or woman you know as a result of the insidious expansion of the “personhood" for zygote movement.
In December of last year, while you were working or food shopping or working out or reading to your kids, Republican presidential candidates quietly signed Personhood USA’s Personhood Pledge promising to pursue an amendment to the Constitution that would protect the full inalienable “personhood” rights of zygotes by extending the protections of the 14th Amendment to fetuses from the moment of conception and outlawing any medical technology or practices that inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg.
In addition to creating a petri dish for criminalizing pregnant women, personhood legislation, both overt or disguised, bans most forms of birth control (including pills and IUDs) and in vitro fertilization. Yes, many of these bills outlaw birth control and shut down fertility clinics. The treatment of dangerous ectopic pregnancies becomes a matter of possible imprisonment for doctors and life or death for women experiencing them.
By signing this agreement, these presidential candidates, and those who support the extreme and unprecedented personhood-for-zygotes-based bills in state legislatures, are pledging to do the following:
1. Give the government the right to seize a woman’s body to protect a fetus
2. Empower hospitals and doctors, with government support, to force a woman to bear a child and/or have a cesarean or other medical procedures against her will
3. Criminalize abortion (including all circumstances: rape, incest, life-threatening pregnancy, severe fetal deformity) and certain miscarriages
4. Criminalize stillbirths in some situations (who decides which?)
5. Treat all women of reproductive age as potentially pregnant with related consequences
And, although Mitt Romney did not sign the pledge, when specifically asked during a television interview if he supported its measures his answer was “Absolutely.” (This link, by the way, is also a useful video for illustrating the effects of his ringing endorsement.)
Most people are simply too busy with daily life to pay attention to what radical, personhood-based ideas mean if applied to either themselves or their female partners when they get pregnant. Two weeks ago, after a related post about the ongoing assault on women’s rights, I realized how many people had questions about how the “personhood for zygotes” movement could be real and growing in the United States. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, and you don’t have time to read this post — take time to watch these three videos. Put aside culture war language that deliberately and superficially pits ‘religious’ and ‘non-religious’ people against one another and consider the following: The women and families in these videos, many of whom oppose or opposed abortion, came, too sadly, to understand through horrific personal experience why “choice” is actually about freedom.