Nel's New Day

January 25, 2012

Ask “Personhood” Advocates These Questions

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 6:21 PM

“Personhood” of fertilized eggs is going to be a big issue throughout the coming year. The Colorado organization Personhood USA plans to push state constitutional amendments defining life as beginning at fertilization—thus making not only abortion but also birth control illegal—across the country from Oregon through the Midwest states of Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma to Florida.

For most of the 99% of the women who have used contraception, the concept is insane. But a letter from Doris M. Williams in Eugene (OR) to The Register-Guard brings up many more issues:

  • How would the gestational status of the entire population of women of reproductive age be monitored? Would massive invasive screening programs be needed to identify every newly fertilized egg so that the rights and protections of personhood can be guaranteed?
  • Would child abuse laws be applied to protect the fertilized egg? Given the research showing fetal damage from tobacco smoke and alcohol, use of such toxic substances by pregnant women could be deemed child abuse. Would pregnant women who abuse their fertilized eggs  be arrested and perhaps incarcerated to prevent them from abusing their fertilized eggs?
  • If the fertilized egg becomes a tax deduction within its family unit, how much would that reduce government tax revenue?
  • Would declaring fertilized eggs persons have effects on programs such as welfare payments based on number of children? Are we prepared to increase welfare payments from the moment a pregnancy is documented rather than wait until birth?
  • What effect would declaring fertilized eggs persons (thereby adding eight or nine months to a person’s age) have on qualifying for age-based rights and benefits such as voting, drivers’ licenses, and Social Security?

I would add two more questions:

  • If child abuse laws are carried out, then would everyone who smokes be considered liable under the law because of the dangers of second-hand smoke?
  • Would the care of fertilized eggs then largely be ignored as this country ignores the needs of millions of children after birth?

Every time you hear people say that they would vote for a “personhood” constitution, ask them these questions. And ask them how much money they are willing to pay to keep the millions of women who violate the “personhood” mandate in prison.

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