'Personhood' proposal splits Mississippi religious leaders

The state’s largest religious group, the Mississippi Baptist Convention, supports the proposal, as does the Tupelo-based American Family Association.

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, the Rt. Rev. Duncan Gray III, says he is “gravely concerned about the unintended consequences” of the initiative.

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5 comments on “'Personhood' proposal splits Mississippi religious leaders

  1. Statmann says:

    What does +Gray think that an unborrn baby is? And who is this lukewarm whimp posing as a catholic bishop? I seem to recall that Jesus had a rather low opinion of lukewarm. Statmann

  2. Capt. Father Warren says:

    The bishop is a decent man trying to be a good Episcopalian bishop in a bad situation, eg, TEC.

    Specific to all the hand-wringing about Prop 26, this from a Mississippi lawyer;

    Amendment 26, if passed, will give pre-natal life the same right to equal protection under the law that you and I enjoy. In layman’s terms, this means that laws which currently protect those who are born will also protect those who are unborn, regardless of their stage of development.

    In light of this, opponents of Amendment 26 argue that if a zygote (i.e., an unborn child at the moment of conception) is granted equal protection under the law, then methods of abortifacient birth control, such as various types of birth control pills and IUD’s, would be prohibited because they may cause the uterus to expel the zygote.

    Not quite. Amendment 26, in and of itself, will not ban any particular method of birth control. There is nothing in the express language of the measure that would ban any medical procedure, device or drug. Such a ban would first require legislation passed by the House and the Senate and signed into law by the Governor. Unless and until the Legislature and the Governor do this, no method of birth control will be banned by the passage of Amendment 26 alone.

    Why am I so certain of this fact?

    Under the concept of due process, the government cannot take a property right from someone (such as the right to use a particular drug) without first giving such person ample notice in the law. Unless the law clearly states that doing “X” is wrong, or that the possession of “Y” is a crime, then the State cannot prevent a person from doing “X” or possessing “Y”. Notice is a critical function of what we lawyers call “due process.”

    Amendment 26 makes absolutely no reference to birth control methods. Therefore, if critics are correct about the ramifications of Amendment 26, then any prohibition of a particular method of birth control would have to be implied by the language of the Amendment. Even then, that implication would have to be crystal clear to a person of average intelligence; otherwise, due process would be violated. For unless the State makes it perfectly clear to the average Mississippian that using birth control is illegal, the State simply cannot prosecute violations of said use.

  3. Ad Orientem says:

    Unless my memory fails me, The Episcopal Organization is officially pro-abortion. Their opposition to this measure therefor comes as no surprise.

  4. Capt. Father Warren says:

    Oh yes, a big partner with The Center for Reproductive Rights. After all, the Dean of EDS has called abortion “a blessing”, The Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale.

  5. Creedal Episcopalian says:

    Unintended consequences my foot. Unrestricted abortion has no real reason for existing other than protection from the consequences of lasciviousness. Bishop Gray would do well to examine how the “unintended consequences” of his church’s institutional catering to the lusts of his flock has bolstered the health of his denomination.