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Mississippi "personhood" amendment

Poll Results: Would you vote for this ballot initiative (as it is currently written) to amend your state's constitution? "Should the term 'person' be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?"

 
  • 20% (4)
    Yes
  • 80% (16)
    No
20 Total Votes  
post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

DISCLAIMER: My aim in this post is NOT to debate the merits of the US Supreme Court's controversial 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in all states before 24 weeks of pregnancy (while implicitly allowing exceptions and qualifications for certain groups, like minors). My aim is to discuss the ramifications of this Mississippi amendment as it is being voted on today. Thank you!! biggthumpup.gif

 

Okay, here we go:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/31/opinion/mississippis-ambiguous-personhood-amendment.html

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-20126236/debating-mississippis-personhood-amendment/

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/12/supporters-personhood-amendment-make-case-to-mississippi-voters/

 

All 3 of these articles mention the (almost certainly) unintended consequences of this bill: its potential effects on the legality of things such as birth control, in-vitro fertilization, and miscarriages.

 

What are your thoughts? In addition, I will include a poll on how you would vote for this amendment as it is currently written.

post #2 of 15

In my experience, you can almost always tell what bad things have happened in the past, because there are laws about it now.

 

Why would it be illegal to walk your elephant on Main Street?  Or tie your giraffe to a fire hydrant?  Almost every municipality, state, and country has such laws.

 

I personally think that if this proposition is passed, it will probably be modified a lot in coming years, both by the legislature and the courts.  But it does send an important message.

 

Just as an aside, while I think passing laws based on religious beliefs is bad lawmaking (think Sunday blue laws), I also think that most laws are born as an expression of someone's morality.

post #3 of 15

A zygote is not a sentient being able to process even the most basic thought, emotion, and has never experienced any sensory input to have developed a personality.

 

1) "I think therefor I am."   A zygote is lesser than a brain-dead person on life support.

2) "Separation of Church and State."   Enact this and its the Christian equivalent of Sharia Law.

post #4 of 15
I read about this not too long ago, and it just annoys me. I would not vote in favor of it at all. But I'm sure stuff like this will -always- be an ongoing debate/issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post

A zygote is not a sentient being able to process even the most basic thought, emotion, and has never experienced any sensory input to have developed a personality.

1) "I think therefor I am."   A zygote is lesser than a brain-dead person on life support.
2) "Separation of Church and State."   Enact this and its the Christian equivalent of Sharia Law.

I second that post. smile.gif
post #5 of 15

So, if a fertilized egg is to be considered a person, and NOT a medical condition of the mother...does that mean that the mother's chosen medical facility will have to create a medical record for the new "person" separate from the mother's, or do they treat a "person" without maintaining a record of treatment?   That's illegal in many places. agree.gif

post #6 of 15
Mississippi's defeated antiabortion measure may be just the beginning
Quote:
The movement seeks to change state constitutions so that a person's life is legally defined as beginning at the moment of fertilization. The Mississippi initiative would have made such a change and, in so doing, outlawed abortion in all cases, including after rape or incest. But on Tuesday, voters rejected the measure 58% to 42% — a loss in a state that is by some measures the nation's most conservative and religious.

Mississippi isn't the only place where voters have said, "Enough!"
Back to Common Sense at the Polls
Quote:
It might have been “too much too soon,” a chastened Gov. John Kasich of Ohio admitted on Tuesday night, after his state’s voters overwhelmingly rejected his attempt to break public employee unions. He certainly was right about “too much,” an analysis that also applies to other examples of Republican overreach around the country that were kicked into the gutter: an anti-abortion amendment in Mississippi, a voting restriction in Maine, the radical anti-immigrant agenda of a politician in Arizona.
These policies, and similar ones in other states, were passed in an arrogant frenzy by a Tea Party-tide of Republicans elected in 2010. Many of them decided that they had a mandate to dismantle some of the basic protections and restrictions of government. They went too far, and weary voters had to drag them back toward the center.
post #7 of 15

Colorado has rejected this amendment twice.  The legal ramifications are enormous especially when you factor in the life of the mother.  Should the mother be sacrificed for a fetus?  The supporters of this say this is an overreaction, but there are Catholic hospitals that are willing to let a woman die rather than abort a fetus.  They claim the birth control issue isn't real, but there are pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions.  It has so many unintended consequences on laws currently on the books that it would result in all sorts of lawsuits that are frivolous and a waste of time and money.

 

What is interesting is the number of conservative groups who also think this is a wrong thing to do.  They think given the current make up of the court, this challenge could end up making it even harder to overturn Roe v Wade.  The challenge they fear will also undo all of the other measures such as the restrictions of federal funding and so called "partial birth" ban.

 

http://www.eagleforum.org/topics/life/personhood.html

Quote:

The "personhood" initiative lost by a landslide of 73% to 27% in Colorado in 2008, and its unpopular coattails hurt good pro-life candidates there. This poorly designed initiative would not prevent a single abortion even it if became law, and its vague language would enable more mischief by judges.

Now its organizers, who provide little information about themselves or their funding, spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana. This hurtful effort misleads pro-lifers with the false hope that a referendum can overturn Roe v. Wade, when only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that. This enriches pro-abortion groups with a fundraising issue as they claim to preserve abortion by suing to stop this initiative, and they have already filed several lawsuits.

 

Florida's Catholic Bishops recently banned the collection of any signatures for this ill-advised initiative at churches there, and most pro-life groups also oppose this initiative. We encourage support of pro-life candidates, and oppose hurtful gimmicks like the personhood initiative.

 

 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I can all but guarantee you the current US Supreme Court will not overturn Roe v. Wade.

Anthony Kennedy, the associate justice who is considered the "swing vote" on the bench, has voted in favor of abortion rights numerous times. See his opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) if you don't believe me.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post

Colorado has rejected this amendment twice.  The legal ramifications are enormous especially when you factor in the life of the mother.  Should the mother be sacrificed for a fetus?  The supporters of this say this is an overreaction, but there are Catholic hospitals that are willing to let a woman die rather than abort a fetus.  They claim the birth control issue isn't real, but there are pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions.  It has so many unintended consequences on laws currently on the books that it would result in all sorts of lawsuits that are frivolous and a waste of time and money.

What is interesting is the number of conservative groups who also think this is a wrong thing to do.  They think given the current make up of the court, this challenge could end up making it even harder to overturn Roe v Wade.  The challenge they fear will also undo all of the other measures such as the restrictions of federal funding and so called "partial birth" ban.

http://www.eagleforum.org/topics/life/personhood.html
Quote:
The "personhood" initiative lost by a landslide of 73% to 27% in Colorado in 2008, and its unpopular coattails hurt good pro-life candidates there. This poorly designed initiative would not prevent a single abortion even it if became law, and its vague language would enable more mischief by judges.
Now its organizers, who provide little information about themselves or their funding, spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana. This hurtful effort misleads pro-lifers with the false hope that a referendum can overturn Roe v. Wade, when only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that. This enriches pro-abortion groups with a fundraising issue as they claim to preserve abortion by suing to stop this initiative, and they have already filed several lawsuits.

Florida's Catholic Bishops recently banned the collection of any signatures for this ill-advised initiative at churches there, and most pro-life groups also oppose this initiative. We encourage support of pro-life candidates, and oppose hurtful gimmicks like the personhood initiative.


The fact that you got that from the Eagle Forum is most telling of how many conservatives are against it (albeit for the wrong reasons)... it's headed by Phyllis Schlafly, aka the anti-feminist of the century.
post #10 of 15

The legislatures in both Oklahoma and Virginia are now slated to pass Personhood legislation.  We may soon see if it is just abortion they are trying to outlaw or most forms of contraception.

post #11 of 15
If I lived in a state with this law, I wonder what the hospital could have done for me the time I had an ectopic pregnancy, and the choice was to remove the fetus or let me die? I know my cats wouldn't have liked it all that much..........
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post

If I lived in a state with this law, I wonder what the hospital could have done for me the time I had an ectopic pregnancy, and the choice was to remove the fetus or let me die? I know my cats wouldn't have liked it all that much..........


It opens up a legal quagmire for the medical profession.  A decision to not remove the fetus would cause a malpractice suit based on your death and if he makes the decision to save your life, there would be some "pro-life" activist suing because he didn't believe the doctor did enough to save the fetus.  The backers say this wouldn't happen, but I still could see suits like this clog the system and waste time.  There are many out there who believe that the fate of the pregnant woman is in God's hand and that the medical profession shouldn't interfere.

 

Also, by defining a fetus as a "person", means that all laws that reference person would most likely apply. It is going to complicate many legal areas.  I can easily imagine a scenario where a man dies without a will.  His live-in girlfriend is pregnant but miscarries after his death.  It could be argued that a) the the fetus is a person so inherits the estate and b) the live-in girlfriend inherits from the fetus.  Can you imagine the legal battle between the parents and the girlfriend?

 

Quote from Virginia Personhood Bill:
The laws of this Commonwealth shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this Commonwealth, subject only to the Constitution of the United States and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States Supreme Court and specific provisions to the contrary in the statutes and constitution of this Commonwealth.

 

 

Quote Virginia law for instestate:
When any person having title to any real estate of inheritance shall die intestate as to such estate, it shall descend and pass in parcenary to such of his kindred, male and female, in the following course:

First. To the surviving spouse of the intestate, unless the intestate is survived by children or their descendants, one or more of whom are not children or their descendants of the surviving spouse, in which case two-thirds of such estate shall pass to all the intestate's children and their descendants and the remaining one-third of such estate shall pass to the intestate's surviving spouse.

Second. If there be no surviving spouse, then the whole shall go to all the intestate's children and their descendants.
Third. If there be none such, then to his or her father and mother or the survivor.

 

Fourth. If there be none such, then to his or her brothers and sisters, and their descendants.

Fifth. If there be none such, then one moiety shall go to the paternal, the other to the maternal kindred, of the intestate, in the following course:

Sixth. First to the grandfather and grandmother or the survivor.

Seventh. If there be none, then to the uncles and aunts, and their descendants.

Eighth. If there be none such, then to the great grandfathers or great grandfather, and great grandmothers or great grandmother.

Ninth. If there be none, then to the brothers and sisters of the grandfathers and grandmothers, and their descendants.

 

Tenth. And so on, in other cases, without end, passing to the nearest lineal ancestors, and the descendants of such ancestors.

 

Eleventh. If there be no paternal kindred the whole shall go to the maternal kindred; and if there be no maternal kindred, the whole shall go to the paternal kindred. If there be neither maternal nor paternal kindred, the whole shall go to the kindred of the husband or wife, in the like course as if such husband or wife had died entitled to the estate.

 

post #13 of 15

I think these personhood amendments are rediculous. I don't like abortion especially when it is the result of very irresponsible people using it as birth control but many necessary decisions in life are messy and are the lesser of two evils. Irresponsible people also make irresponsible parents and society has to deal with the results of their poor parenting. I also don't think that a woman should have to carry a severely deformed fetus to term only to have it die shortly after birth.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post



It opens up a legal quagmire for the medical profession.  A decision to not remove the fetus would cause a malpractice suit based on your death and if he makes the decision to save your life, there would be some "pro-life" activist suing because he didn't believe the doctor did enough to save the fetus.  The backers say this wouldn't happen, but I still could see suits like this clog the system and waste time.  There are many out there who believe that the fate of the pregnant woman is in God's hand and that the medical profession shouldn't interfere.
And if I died, the fetus died with me. Besides, there is no medical intervention that would have saved a 6 week old fetus growing outside of a woman's womb.

If the fate of a pregnant woman is in God's hands, lets ban male ED treatments, as GOD decided that he shouldn't procreate. Oh, and let the child with cancer die because God decided the child should have a terminal illness. Oh heck, lets just do away with all medical treatment - it might reduce the deficit if we didn't have to dole out medicare for our seniors.

Where does it end?
post #15 of 15

I agree that personally, if it was my child, it would be a person long before it leaves my body. I would treat it as such. But, I am completely against making this the law!!! I think, while a fetus is inside a woman, it should be still a medical condition in legal terms, not a separate person.....

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