"Then They Came for Your Birth-Control"

Karla - posted on 10/26/2011 ( 17 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.

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Leeann - posted on 10/29/2011

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I was speaking to my husband about, he is pro-life (not an extremist) and so am I, but we also believe that for some the choices we make are not what they would and thats okay. So anyway I told him about this bill and at first he was like what's the big deal, just another anti-abortion plan. I then hist him with the bc stuff how it would be taken away and things like the IUD (something I have) would be made illegal. he was appalled, totally disgusted that our government would even allow such a bill, not only the more dangerous side effects that could come with it.

So here is my humble opinion, my dad fought for this country, he got ptsd for this country and he had three strokes because of this country. This is not what my father fought for. he did not fight so women could lose their rights, to basically care for themselves. We are heading back to the dark ages and frankly it scares the tar out of me.

Sara - posted on 10/26/2011

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You know what kills me about most of the people who support legislation like this? They claim to support smaller government and less government intervention in our lives. Makes no sense.

Tara - posted on 10/26/2011

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When are they going to start doing important things down there?
Good God their economy is crumbling, their people are angry, their environment is messy, their programs need reform and this is what they quibble about?
What a waste of f'ing time.

[deleted account]

I'm reading a book right now called "Amalia's Tale". I think it should be required reading for everyone in the pro-life movement. Basically, it's discussing a lawsuit from a wet nurse who was given a baby with syphillis to nurse, resulting in her contracting syphillis, giving it to her daughter (who died), her son (who died) and her other son (who died). As part of the setting for the book, they discuss the history of foundling hospitals -- basically, hospitals created to deal with the number of unwanted children in Italy and Europe. Basically, the Pope got sick of seeing all the dead bodies of newborns floating in the river in Rome and founded the Foundling Hospitals. Because that was what mothers did with their unwanted babies back in the day -- threw them in the river or abandoned them in the street, where they would starve or be eaten by the dogs. Because that's better than an abortion, right? Newborn baby corpses floating in rivers? I wish people would wake up and realize that banning abortion will not make it go away -- it will still happen whether it's banned or not.

Krista - posted on 10/27/2011

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FFS. So if a woman has a miscarriage, are they going to bring her up on charges of involuntary manslaughter?

I swear, the fundies are just so hung up on the fetus, and they don't give a FUCK about them after they're born. So it makes me think that they really don't care about kids -- they care about making sure that there's no way that a single woman can actually have sex without suffering consequences/punishment for it.

They're SO obsessed with sex. It's really kind of weird.

17 Comments

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Janice - posted on 10/27/2011

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Wow, just wow! This is appalling! I can't believe their is even enough pro-lifers this extreme to make this bill possibly pass.

[deleted account]

I honestly don't even know what I can add to this.... its appalling on so many levels. I can say that I am terrified of the kind of world my son and daughters are growing up in.

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...

[deleted account]

If only that were true Kate. Unfortunately, we are letting real freedoms for women erode everyday and this is just one issue. What frightens me are the women who support this. Religion has such a horrible obsession with sex and its' all about contol.

Kate CP - posted on 10/26/2011

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I see a mass exodus from Mississippi in the near future should this bill pass...

Sara - posted on 10/26/2011

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It's also my understanding that Mississippi is one of the worst states when it comes to children living in poverty. Apparently, they don't mind a few thousand more. They are totally screwed up down there!

Iris - posted on 10/26/2011

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This is one one things that really gets on my nerves. How can a doctors personal opinion overwrite your requests? This absolutely makes me furious. Is she going to pay the bills for the children these women will have?
And to try to make birth control illegal, dear me... The land of the free?? Sounds more like "The home of the breed machines" if you ask me... Thank goodness this is only happening in one State, but that is one State too many if you ask me.

Becky - posted on 10/26/2011

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Wow, that is certainly taking things to the extreme! It would seem to me that if you want to make abortion illegal - or better, make it unnecessary - the first step would be to increase access to and education around birth control, not ban it!! You really don't have to be very intelligent to become a politician, do you???

Iris - posted on 10/26/2011

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No it makes no sense Sara. No more than you go to the doctor and ask for certain basic things like a birth control for YOUR body, and your doctor can actually tell you "no". It's an approved drug, the ONLY reason your doctor should be able to deny you is if it was of medical concern.

Iris - posted on 10/26/2011

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I have no words at the moment... And there even is a doctor down there that refuses to give out a birth control pill? Is that legal?? How silly of me of course it is, you just have to get a new doctor I guess..

[deleted account]

Even if it passes, it will just be overturned in the courts. There must be a reason why certain groups/lawmakers want to waste time and resources on bad laws that never happen in reality, but I haven't figured it out yet.



Red meat for the base?



To keep moving ideas more and more to the right?



To provide cover for other, less outrageous but still damaging laws?

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