We don’t live in a “Catholic country,” but we do live in a country, one of six including Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Vatican City and the small island nations of Nauru, Palau, Tonga, that won’t ratify CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), where an entire political party wants to extend 14th amendment rights to fertilized eggs, and where U.S. Catholic Bishops are adamant in their refusal to comply with the law.
How ‘Personhood for Zygote’ laws endanger all women
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.