Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I don't even know where to start.

Feministing drew my attention to an effort by the forced-birth crowd in Colorado (and evidently in several other states, as well) to add an amendment to their state constitution that says the following:
As used in sections 3, 6 and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the term "Person" or "Persons" shall include any human from the time of fertilization.
That right there is a pretty powerful little sentence. In less than 30 words, it gives a fertilized egg inside of a woman's body the same inalienable rights that every other citizen of Colorado has, including the right to due process under law, and access to the courts. But what does it really do?

-If you want to have an abortion, you will need the permission of the court, AND of the counsel appointed to represent your fertilized egg. Can you imagine being the attorney who makes a practice out of representing single cell beings? If a woman has an ectopic pregnancy, she will have to go to court to get an abortion that will save her life. And if the courts are busy, she could very easily die waiting.

-If a woman has a miscarriage, it could be considered manslaughter. And if the miscarriage is because the woman drank or smoked prior to it happening, she could be guilty of criminally negligent homicide.

-And what about embryos created during In Vitro Fertilization? If they're not fully brought to term, then what? Is it cruel and unusual punishment to keep an embryo in suspended animation?

Then there's practical considerations- does a woman get an additional dependent credit for being pregnant during a tax year? Does a woman have to notify the town clerk every time she becomes pregnant, and get a birth certificate for her embryo? And a death certificate if something goes wrong, or if she discovers she wasn't actually pregnant? Can you imagine the nightmare for municipal employees?

This is the bottom line for the forced-birthers- they set their sights on tricky new ways to keep women from having abortions, and they fail to see the ripple effect of their actions. If they spent as much time and effort on preventing pregnancy in the first place as they do on this crap, the abortion rate would go down dramatically on its own. Forest for the trees...

Honestly, I'd laugh at it all if it wasn't so bloody possible. Nicaragua has given us a lovely roadmap of where we're heading. All these laws will do is paralyze doctors, just as they've done in Nicaragua, into inaction. I don't ever want a doctor pausing before treating me or someone I love. And I'll be damned if I'm going to let some idiot religious nutjob make that happen.


Cycho Librarian said...

"If you want to have an abortion, you will need the permission of the court, AND of the counsel appointed to represent your fertilized egg."

Wait a minute, this undermines parental rights as well. This essentially says that a medical procedure is child abuse! Forget about the Florida life support case, this could mean that anytime parents decide on a course of medical action that may bring harm to the child the courts could get involved.

"And a death certificate if something goes wrong... Can you imagine the nightmare for municipal employees?"

Forget about the municipal employees. Here you have a woman who's gone through what is likely the worst experience of her life and she has to fill out paperwork? Sheesh!

That reminds me of another thing that pisses me off about the forced-birth crowd. They seem to think that abortion is easy. There is no way that any thinking, feeling human being can find that choice easy. Which is why, as a person who can never become pregnant, I stay the hell away from passing judgment on those who make that choice and thank Bog that the only thing I'd ever have to do is support the choice that was made.

stegan said...

Wingnuts care about two things- making sure every zygote is born and eliminating all forms of taxation. I think you're asking a bit much for them to think about these "feelings" you speak of...