Voting on Conception as the Legal Start of Life

A constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder.

With this far-reaching anti-abortion strategy, the proponents of what they call personhood amendments hope to reshape the national debate.

“I view it as transformative,” said Brad Prewitt, a lawyer and executive director of the Yes on 26 campaign, which is named for the Mississippi proposition. “Personhood is bigger than just shutting abortion clinics; it’s an opportunity for people to say that we’re made in the image of God.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Politics in General, State Government

4 comments on “Voting on Conception as the Legal Start of Life

  1. Capt. Father Warren says:

    It is interesting that the amendment is called “extreme”, but 50 million abortions since Roe v Wade is, well, “okay”?

    Some Roman Catholic bishops are not supporting the amendment as they believe the court battles to follow will undermine other efforts to overturn Roe v Wade.

    Interestingly, the Episcopal Bishop of Mississippi has come out against it because it may have so many “unintended consequences”.

    Abortions have intended consequences; perhaps a few unintended consequences could be tolerated for a while in order to protect the weakest of the weak. It seems to be a Gospel imperative. Not a time for hand wringing.

  2. GrandpaDino says:

    Jessica Valenti, in today’s Washington Post, is quite concerned that women could get hurt if those ‘zygotes’ were to be protected:

    My, oh my!

  3. Capt. Father Warren says:

    In all the hysteria that Prop 26 builds up including that from a group called “Mississippians for healthy families”, it is a known fact that Prop 26 will have no effect whatsoever on abstinence, which works every time it is tried.

  4. clayton says:

    Fertilized eggs may be the weakest of the weak – but sometimes they are simply too damaged to live, or they get stuck in the wrong place, or their host-bodies are unable to maintain them. Not every fertilized egg is up to the task of personhood, and ignoring that fact makes the whole idea extremely unfair to women – it requires them to be responsible for this “person” to make it to birth, and a large part of that is totally out of the control of any individual woman.

    My sister had an ectopic pregnancy earlier this year. She and her husband were thrilled to be pregnant, but the whole thing ended at 12 weeks with some pretty significant surgical intervention and physical damage. Obviously, the baby didn’t make it, but she did. What role does the state – much less the criminal justice system – have in this tragedy? Should someone really be able to paw through the tatters of their story to see if there was something she could have done better? She did everything “right” and the baby still did not survive. I can’t imagine even having the threat of investigation or punishment for her.