Then They Came for Your Birth Control

Karla - posted on 10/26/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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From Mother Jones Magazine:
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/miss...

The "personhood" amendment on the Mississippi ballot next week doesn't just ban all abortions—an issue that my colleague Tim Murphy has covered quite well. It would also likely outlaw several types of birth control and possibly make all forms of hormonal contraception illegal in the state.

Mississippi anti-abortion activists wants to define personhood as starting when a sperm fertilizes an egg. In that case, it would likely make intrauterine devices (IUDs) , which can prevent pregnancy by blocking the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, illegal. (IUDs can also prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg in the first place, and IUDs with hormones also operate much like regular old birth control pills, but that doesn't seem to matter to anti-abortion activists.)

The measure would also almost certainly make Plan B, also known as emergency contraception or the "morning after" pill, illegal. This high dose of hormones is used to prevent a woman from ovulating, but anti-abortion groups also insist that it can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting (despite the fact that the scientists say that's not the case ). Needless to say, anti-abortion groups don't like Plan B very much, either.

But the law could also introduce the possibility of banning any form of hormonal birth control. Generally, "the pill" (as well as the shot, the patch, and the ring) work by stopping ovulation . But some anti-abortion groups argue that there can be failures on that front, and the doses of hormone could possibly also work by stopping implantation should an egg and sperm still manage to meet up.

Irin Carmon has an excellent piece on the implications over at Salon:

If this initiative passes, and fertilized eggs on their own have full legal rights, anything that could potentially block that implantation—something a woman's body does naturally all the time—could be considered murder. Scientists say hormonal birth-control pills and the morning-after pill work primarily by preventing fertilization in the first place, but the outside possibility, never documented, that an egg could be fertilized anyway and blocked is enough for some pro-lifers. Indeed, at least one pro-Personhood doctor in Mississippi, Beverly McMillan, refused to prescribe the pill before retiring last year, writing, "I painfully agree that birth control pills do in fact cause abortions."

This kind of slippery slope reasoning has long been a favorite rhetorical strategy of anti-abortion groups, and the personhood measure fits into the strategy they've been using around the country for years. And as Carmon highlights, this isn't an "unintended consequence" of a vague ballot measure—it's part of the goal of extreme anti-abortion activists in the state.

Kate Sheppard covers energy and environmental politics in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. For more of her stories, click here. She Tweets here . Get Kate Sheppard's RSS feed.


I'm getting sick of dumb junk like this, here are some of my thoughts:
‎* Dark Ages II here we come.
* It seem like the drug companies would be lobbying against this, unless they think it doesn't have a chance in hell of passing.
* The 14th Amendment and Roe vs. Wade addressed this issue a long time ago.
* If this passes on the ballot, then it's more evidence as to why we cannot be a straight democracy. People vote for their own self interests and not for the society as a whole, and not for the minority.

When is this right wing-nut extreme governing going too far? Today.
Come on now conservatives, defend this or fight for woman's rights.

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Johnny - posted on 10/26/2011

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They believe all women should pay for Eve's sin. Women are dirty and bad unless they are virgins or marry one man and obey him for all their days. I for one am really sick of people pushing their archaic beliefs founded in ancient and disproved texts on everybody else. You believe it, fine, follow it. Go nuts! I'm not going to make anyone have sex, use birth control, or have an abortion. Not at all. But if I wish to screw the football team and use an IUD avoid having a baby (probably really the least of my concerns if I screw the football team), then that's my business. And if, FSM forbid, I need an abortion, I expect to have access to it. I don't answer to their ridiculous notions any more than they should answer to mine. Faith-based morality should not be involved in legislation EVER!

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Control people's sexuality and you can get them to do any number of things. Convince them that sex is bad unless done a very specific way with a very specific purpose and you've just told them to basically shut off a primary human impulse. My goodness, think of where we could be is sex, virginity, fertility and pregnancy weren't under some bizarre nonsensical religious code! Honor killings would be a lot harder to defend by apologists (of all stripes, not just Muslims)

Lacye - posted on 11/08/2011

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I live in Mississippi and today was the day to vote. Amendment 26 (Personhood Amendment) was rejected.

ME - posted on 11/04/2011

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I am horrified by all the attacks on women's reproductive rights going on in our country right now...I just don't know what people are thinking!

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Pamela - posted on 11/12/2011

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This is simply about control - particularly over women. I'm telling you ladies, they'll be going after our right to vote and they'll have conservative women singing the tune in harmony before this is over. It's interesting but most women do tend to vote...wait for it...here it comes...PROGRESSIVE. Why? Because progressives tend to stand up for issues in regards to what's good for children, families, and for women. Most women vote in their self interest (most, not all). I believe that's why they're attacking our reproductive rights - but this will not end there. Mark my words.

Richard - posted on 11/08/2011

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I had a great aunt who fought in the voting wars in England a 100 years ago. She was a terror. She was young, swift, and deadly. She would march in her old lady look while waiting for the males on the sidewalks to attack the women marchers. She carry a cane and hobble down the street, when those males attack her, she attack them. Took a few or a lot of men out. She carry a cane that had a brass ball on one end and a brass point on the other. The brass ball could break a knee cap and the point would stab a male in the leg, the point cover with horse poop. The male either hobble for the rest of his life or the leg came off. Coal oil bombs toss into Pubs at night. Cops and Johns attack on the street. Politicans had arm guards escort them around. The House of Lords had all of its windows smash. The Church of England was attack with priests having themselves turn into eunuch. Their churches burn down.
It was a time that women carry hat pins and my aunt used them with an effect that for a time they were ban on the London streets.
I wonder how a law is going to tell a women who was in Iraq that she can not do anything. Since the US military have some of the most fear highly train bitches in it. Fish in a barrel.
If you women are interest. Try Paladin Press. They have some great Information books, just for you.

Karla - posted on 10/27/2011

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We are farther down the slippery slope than I thought:

Bush Signs Law Granting Personhood to Fetuses

by Jessica Greenfield, Communications Intern

On April 1, 2004, George W. Bush added his signature to yet another piece of deceptive legislation designed to weaken women's reproductive freedom. Now a federal law, the so-called Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA) establishes a fetus or embryo from the moment of conception as a separate victim in federal crimes, for the purpose of granting legal personhood to the fetus and setting up an eventual conflict with Roe v. Wade.

"The sponsors of this cynical bill are trying to redefine the Fourteenth Amendment to U.S. Constitution, which guarantees equal protection of the law to 'persons,'" said NOW President Kim Gandy, "a constitutional protection which has never been defined to include fetuses." This law, while ostensibly including an exception for legal abortion, nonetheless sets a collision course with Roe, the 1973 case in which the Supreme Court held that a fetus is not in the legal sense a "person" within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Sponsors of the legislation claim that increased penalties for these violent crimes will protect more battered pregnant women from abuse and even death. But these claims proved hollow when UVVA supporters in both the House and Senate voted to defeat amendments proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., that would have increased the penalty for a crime committed against a pregnant woman but would exclude from the text the language that establishes the fetus as an "unborn child."

"If our government wants to address the pervasive problem of violence against pregnant women, they need to pass increased funding for education and for enforcement," said Gandy. "Any injury inflicted on a woman, pregnant or not, should be prosecuted as a crime against the woman."

Although supporters of this bill have attempted to conceal the obvious ramifications for Roe v. Wade, President Bush made clear at the signing that this legislation is part of his effort to build a "culture of life" (as he defines it) in the United States. Feminists know that the culture Bush seeks does not include reproductive freedom and access to a full range of health services for women.

In a speech on the anniversary of Roe, Gandy said: "Conservative forces have been chipping away at the rights guaranteed in Roe v. Wade for more than two decades. The most vulnerable women among us—young women, poor women, rural women—have suffered the brunt of these attacks. During the last three years, the war against women's reproductive freedom has been stepped up dramatically. Now George W. Bush and the right-wing led Congress are literally signing away women's reproductive rights."

http://www.now.org/nnt/spring-2004/perso...

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