Amendment 26 (Personhood Amendment.)

Lacye - posted on 11/02/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Since the Pill hit the U.S. market in 1960, millions of women have been prescribed this method of birth control, and more than 12 million American women are currently taking it.

These women are both young and old, single and married. Though they may be from different backgrounds, every woman who has taken the Pill has one thing in common: She is taking a rational and responsible approach to her sexual health and family planning.

But on Nov. 8, birth control could become illegal in the state of Mississippi; yet another unintended consequence of Initiative 26. This so-called “Personhood Amendment” will change the legal definition of the word “person” in Article 111 of the state constitution to include “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”

Personhood USA, the main force backing the movement, was first attempted in Colorado in 2008. After two failed attempts at amending the Colorado constitution in both 2008 and in 2010, the organization set its sights on Mississippi. While Initiative 26 would achieve the organization’s agenda of illegalizing abortion in the state, the proponents continually fail to address the drastic and sweeping consequences that will arise with the very vague language of the proposed amendment.

When addressing sensitive topics like abortion, I choose to present only the facts. Whether you are anti-abortion or not, religious or not, your vote should be “no” on Nov. 8, and here is why.

Unlike other anti-abortion movements that are solely about abortion, Personhood USA’s tactics overshoot its goal, raising far more questions than it answers. For example, defining “personhood” at conception would allow for the criminal prosecution of women who miscarry. An estimated 15 percent of all pregnancies end in a natural miscarriage. Would that mean a woman could be charged with involuntary manslaughter? Murder?

Would law enforcement be obligated to open and investigate a case with every miscarriage? Amendment 26 fails to address these implications.

Amendment 26 would effectively outlaw birth control, and this is why. In addition to blocking egg fertilization, most brands of the birth control pill thin the lining of the uterine wall. This thinning means that on the off-chance that an egg is fertilized, it is prevented from attaching to the uterus altogether, and the woman essentially “miscarries.”

This secondary mechanism helps to make the birth control pill 99.9 percent effective, but is also what would call its legality into question should Amendment 26 pass in November.

Abortion is a complex, sensitive and difficult issue to address. Whereas many anti-abortion activists would permit exceptions to women who were victims of incest or rape, or in the case of a pregnancy endangering the life of the mother, the Personhood Amendment makes no room for such provisions. A woman is compelled to carry the child to term no matter the circumstances, even if her life is at risk.

Amendment 26 could illegalize clinically assisted fertility techniques like in vitro fertilization. The procedure involves implanting zygotes that are fertilized outside of the body back into a woman’s uterus, and many do not survive this process. Since the Personhood Amendment would define each fertilized egg as a person, both the mother and the doctor conducting the procedure would face legal repercussions.

Amendment 26 will deny essential health and reproductive options and services to all women living in the state of Mississippi, not only Mississippi residents. There are thousands of out-of-state women at Ole Miss alone (myself included), and the university accepted an unprecedented number of out-of-state students in this year’s freshman class. Each and every one of those women will be affected by this amendment. Does this mean that we would have to get our prescriptions filled in Memphis? Could we have it sent to us? Or would it be treated as “controlled substance”, illegal to have at all?

This is just another example of where Amendment 26 raises more questions than it answers.

Mississippi finds itself in a dire situation when it comes to teen pregnancy and sexual health. According to Mississippi First, the teen birth rate is the highest in the nation, at 64.1 births for every 1,000 teenage (15- to 19-year-old) girls. Mississippi also leads the nation in teen infection rates for several sexually transmitted diseases. In a state where the lack of sex education has perpetuated the cycle of teen pregnancy, limiting women’s access to methods of contraception can only worsen the situation.

It is crucial that Mississippi citizens of all ages, genders, religions and political affiliations realize that this initiative to give legal status to an embryo from the time of fertilization will mandate unprecedented government intrusion into the very personal medical decisions of women and their families.

It still surprises me how few Mississippians know Initiative 26 even exists, and fewer still understand just how far-reaching the implications really are. The representatives of Personhood USA are trying to paint the issue as an abortion debate, when the true nature of the amendment is beyond that — it’s about the reproductive health and freedom of women in the state of Mississippi.

So spread the word. Talk to your friends, family and community. Get involved with organizations like Mississippians for Healthy Families. Take a stand. Come Nov. 8 — each and every vote will count.

http://thedmonline.com/article/facts-abo...

I realize what kind of post I'm taking on here but to be honest, this really upsets me. I fully believe in life begins at fertilization, but to punish people for having natural miscarriages or telling them that they can't have this type of birth control is going way too far for me! I like my birth control. If this passes, which I pray it doesn't, I will lose said birth control. That causes problems for me since I can't take the pill or the depo shot.

Do you think this amendment is constitutional? Is it fair to make these kind of choices for women? Please keep in mind that this will not only affect women that live in the state of Mississippi, but also any woman who goes to college in Mississippi. That includes women who come from different states. They will also be subject to this law.

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Barbara - posted on 11/03/2011

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I believe life absolutely starts at conception. However, just because something is "alive" does not mean that it is a person. Far from it. If I ordered fried chicken in a restaurant and they brought me a fried egg saying "chickenhood starts at conception" I would most certainly not be paying that bill. I'm not going to go buy a ball of yarn and stick it on my head and walk around asking people how they like my new hat because "hathood starts at conception." My 3 year old son could grow up to be a doctor, but I'm not going to let him take out my appendix right now because COULD BE and IS are two totally different things! The whole thing would be pretty funny if it weren't in danger of coming to be. Yikes.

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Monique -- you are dead wrong on your claim that "with the pill you still get pregnant but the pill makes you get rid of the fetus." Wrong, wrong, wrong. The pill prevents you from ovulating. The secondary effect is to make the cervical fluid thick and impenetrable to sperm. The third effect, which only comes into play if one and two fail (unlikely if taken properly), is to limit the development of the uterine lining, thereby rendering it unhospitable to a fertilized egg and difficult for the embryo to attach and thrive. So generally, you don't still get pregnant and then get rid of the fetus (it's not called a fetus until after the 12th week anyway, but I digress).

Johnny - posted on 11/03/2011

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Lacye, this bill takes away a woman's choice about her own body, even before a potential pregnancy, to an extent which is totally oppressive. Who cares who thought of it first. It is an law that subjugates women as reproductive slaves and takes women's rights back 40 years at least. From looking at the statistics on Mississippi in regards to health care, education, poverty, and human rights, it is the bottom of the barrel in the US. It may not be.Afghanistan for you, but for a poor uneducated woman who is at the mercy of a controlling spouse, it might as well be.

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Brittany - posted on 11/09/2011

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I do not think that any state has the right to tell their residents or non-residents that they can not have birth control. Birth control is used for a lot more then just keeping someone from getting knocked up.

I use birth control becuase, I do not want a nother child right now and I am Pro-Life (not bashing anyone).

Thank you Joy for the update! Good to hear.

JL - posted on 11/09/2011

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The Bill DID NOT PASS!!!! The people of Mississippi made the right choice. Now we need to watch the 6 other states the people behind this bill are focusing on.

Lacye - posted on 11/08/2011

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Just an update on this:

Today was the voting for the Amendment 26 and the answer was NO! For once Mississippi citizens made the right choice.

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The people who are pushing this do NOT CARE about children after they are born. I say this because they are the same people who want to drastically cut Medicaid. They do not care. I frankly don't think they care about the unborn either but they know it makes them look good to protect them in the eyes of very loud constituents.

User - posted on 11/08/2011

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Consider what that State pays out in welfare each year. Are the people crazy. Welfare would go though the roof. You have to pay it out. These mothers who do not want these children would give them up to the State and within a short time that State would look like an Eastern Soviet Bloc nation.
When I hear people talk about God belief I say to them God also believes in Small Pox. Created by God Small Pox control the human population. Maybe these people in the State House should understand that an increase in the population with the world having problems feeding itself, any mass increase could put it over the edge.
I wonder how many of these men in the State House is willing to put their manhood on line to make the Pill illegal. I know of Dykes that would have little problem of snapping off that manhood.

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This legislation could easily stop people from terminating ectopic pregnancies just like they do in El Salvador. It's ridiculously stupid and I fervently hope it does not pass. It means a lot of very very bad things.

Lacye - posted on 11/03/2011

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Johnny, I have basically said the same thing that you have. Not on my last post but on some before that particular one as well as when I have been talking to my sisters and nieces. I know the statistics on MS because I see it everyday when I walk outside my apartment. But IMO, it is hard to compare the extremeness of a place like Afghanistan to MS simply because the two are not comparable by any means. But if people want to compare the two then they might as well bring in the state that first introduced the bill to begin with. That is all I'm saying.

This "amendment" disgusts me. I do believe that life begins at conception but that is a personal opinion and one that I would not force on another person. I would not tell another woman that she can't use this type of abortion or what type of birth control she can or can't use because it's different for each woman. As I have said many times on here, I really don't see the bill passing because with all of the people I have talked with, I have found nobody that agrees with what is said in the amendment. They agree on the personhood part yes but not on the abortion or the birth control part. We see everyday young girls getting pregnant at such a young age and this is one of the things that is at least keeping it from getting worse. What we really need is sex ed available in high schools but even now that is still a taboo subject.

Lacye - posted on 11/03/2011

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Jakki, I hate to inform you but Mississippi is nothing like Afghanistan. The women over there are repressed, forced to hide themselves from the world because of controlling men.Mississippi is far from that. I am from Mississippi, which was part of the reason why I originally brought this up. It is possible that some other states could try to have this brought up and people need to know. I'm assuming, since MS is being compared to Afghanistan, that Nebraska is also Afghanistan made over since they were the first ones to bring it up. The bill will more than likely not pass, but it is something that needs to be brought up and discussed.



Edit to post: It was Colorado that brought it up first, not Nebraska. It is commented on in the original post I wrote. :D

Katie - posted on 11/03/2011

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It makes me so sad that there are people in the world who would want this ridiculous bill to be passed. When I was 22 weeks pregnant with my youngest I went into premature labour...I was lucky and little Myles managed to make it to 35 1/5 weeks before he decided to join us in the outside world. Could I have been prosecuted for manslaughter if he had been still born at 22 weeks? After hours and hours of terror and pain and doctors insisting that I decide if I wanted to hold his little body once he was born, to think that I could have been accused of a crime is absolutely ridiculous.

The abortion/personhood debate seems like one that will go on and on, and I respect that everyone deserves an opinion...Having said that my personal opinion is that the people who came up with this bill are dimwitted assholes and the world would be no worse off if they all disappeared without a trace...Just my opinion though.

Kate CP - posted on 11/03/2011

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No, the feds can't. However, a law can be brought before the US supreme court and they can deem it unconstitutional, but that's a long process. Federal law cannot infringe upon states' rights.

Jurnee - posted on 11/02/2011

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I have heard about this bill and it opens a can off worms. What about a pregan woman drivng , speeding , 5 miles over, gets in an accident, child dies, are they going to prsecute fro manslaughter, child neglect. What if you dont take all your prenatal vitamins, or you exercise too much not enough, miss an ob/gyn appt, and miscarry. can they charge you with manslaughter, child neglect,? This bill can be used in way too many scenarios, that have nothing to do with abortion. The less governent interference with my body, the bettter

Ez - posted on 11/02/2011

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What. The. Fuck.

I live in hope that this abortion issue will one day become less controversial. Because it does my head in.

Some people are against abortion because they believe life starts at conception blah blah blah. Fine. Don't have one. But don't assume those beliefs apply to the millions of other women in the state. Don't be so arrogant as to tell another woman what to do with her uterus. And DON'T try and legislate a woman's reproductive choices.

What do these genius' plan to do with all the extra babies that would result from a ban on bc and abortions? Are they going to pay for them? Look after them? Build more schools to educate them? FFS.

Johnny - posted on 11/02/2011

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I find this bill morally repugnant.

Rebecca, I hope you will re-post your comments on Amalia's Tale from the other thread on this topic. I think they spoke very well on why and how this amendment is so very wrong.

Katherine - posted on 11/02/2011

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There was another bill passed, don't quote me but it had something to do with no abortions. Bible Belt somewhere. I think the bill got passed too.

Lacye - posted on 11/02/2011

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Kelly you would be surprised. Mississippi is part of the Bible Belt. Severely religious people support this bill and want it to be passed. It's insane to want something like this and most of the people I have talked to don't want it to come into play but there are still plenty that do want it. It's sad to say but in some ways, we are still left behind in the stone age. :(

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I do understand the consequences of the bill being passed--birth control being outlawed and a huge burden on the criminal system opening cases to investigate miscarriages, but the part I don't understand is why anyone would WANT those things to happen. I took those consequences to be side effects of an ill thought out bill that was meant to serve a more positive purpose.

If the proponents of the bill are actually wanting it passed in order to ban birth control, press charges against moms who miscarry, and restrict IVF, I highly doubt the bill could get enough support to pass. I just assumed that there was SOME positive reason people would want this bill and was wondering what it was.

Monique - posted on 11/02/2011

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If someone doesn't want a child or is not ready but still does want to be sexually activate it's their their right to plan ahead using these methods. If they stop ppl from having them than their will be more dangers ieg: back ally abortions, more unwanted children in group homes and foster homes more bad things can cone about this than good!!

Minnie - posted on 11/02/2011

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They probably should criminalize ecological breastfeeding mothers- I didn't get my period back until Adelaide was 20 months old. During that time, due to the specific nature of how we breastfed and our near-constant close proximity to one another, the lining of my uterus was naturally kept thin- which may have been too thin for a fertilized embryo to implant in to.



Do those who are pro life (read anti-choice to be clear) deny the basic nature of reproduction and biology- the nature of it that prefers the health of the current nursling to the personhood of the conceived embryo?

Monique - posted on 11/02/2011

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Yes 100% I agree with birth control but I am pointing it out that the pill doesn't doesn't stop you from getting pregnant it kills the fetus without u ever knowing! My point is people should have a choice to have an abortion, be on the birth control pill or have other things that percent u having a child for example an IUD ect:

Lacye - posted on 11/02/2011

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Kelly, the purpose of this bill is to determine personhood and if this bill is passed, personhood begins at conception. That would mean abortion would be outlawed, if a person went and had in vetro fertilization, the person and the doctor could possibly face legal charges if every single implanted egg doesn't make it. If a woman has a miscarriage naturally, she could possibly have to face legal actions for murdering her baby even though it was through natural causes. Some birth control would be illegal because it thins the lining of the uterine wall and if you had a fertilized egg inside of you, the egg would be passed through and it would be considered murder.

Monique, I am pro life, and I do use birth control for the simple fact, I don't want to have another child at this present time. There are many reasons why people take birth control. It's being responsible with your sexual health.

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I do not understand the purpose of this bill. What are the proponents of it trying to accomplish?



Honestly, whether a person believes life begins at conception, fertilization, or birth and how they use those beliefs to make their own decisions is up to them.



LEGALLY speaking, though, I do not see a need to define the point where life begins as anything before 20 or 24 weeks (whichever one of those is the cut off for a medically safe abortion, sorry, I'm groggy).

I understand the purpose of establishing that a fetus is a person AFTER the deadline for abortion is passed so that a person inflicting harm to an unborn fetus can be charged--such as cases where a mother to be is beaten resulting in the death of an unborn child---because after the cut off for an abortion it can be assumed that the child was "wanted" and would become a person.



So, why do they want the life legally recognized so early? We NEED birth control--our population is out of control already. Yes, most of that is our choice and a result of longer life spans and planned births, but if birth control were taken off the table, imagine what would happen. Resources, not only natural resources, but civic resources, would run out.

Monique - posted on 11/02/2011

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Bring a child in the world? Women no matter their situation should have a choice!!

Monique - posted on 11/02/2011

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I find it interesting that people are pro life but still take birth control pill! With the pill you still get pregnant but the pill makes you get rid of the fetus. In my opinion I'm pro choice and pro life. I don't think women should use an abortion for a plan B every couple months, but I don't believe a women should take care of a child for the rest of their lives if the baby was created under rape/ incest/ abuse/drug addicted ect. A women should have a right to be on birth control it's their body. I personally do not take the pill but I like feeling that I have a right and a choice in this country ( Canada/ Toronto Ontario) I feel women should learn more about sexual health a this generation is being intamite at earlier stages. Its important young women understand types of birth control, sex by them selves and with their partner, safe sex, and how to deal with pregnancy and un wanted pregnancy. Again I wouldn't have an abortion but I haven't been raped in an ally and if I did would I want to br

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