Monday, November 7, 2011


Mississippi is poised to vote on — and given the make-up of the state’s electorate — probably pass a constitutional amendment that would define a human being as a person at the moment of fertilization.

Aside from the fact that no one can determine to a medical certainty when that happens, it brings up a whole host of issues* that the sponsors probably either never thought about, such as the ramifications of miscarriage or other medical issues that accompany pregnancy, or citizenship rights — can a fetus get a passport? (no, because you need a birth certificate to get one) — and what are the law enforcement ramifications; is the state going to send out the homicide detectives to investigate every miscarriage?

If the proponents of this amendment actually thought about those things, they apparently don’t care about them. After all, the only reason a woman exists is so that she can make babies, and if she doesn’t, she is not fulfilling her God-ordained duties. It doesn’t matter how that egg got fertilized or who did it. (Or what happens to it after it is born. Baby, you’re on your own.)

This view is so far off the charts in terms of right-wing nutsery that even the Catholic Church and the usual choristers of Every Sperm Is Sacred are coming down against the amendment.

In the letter [Jackson Bishop Joseph Latino] called Personhood Mississippi “a noble initiative.” However, he said, “I join with Catholic bishops in several other states in not endorsing personhood petitions to be circulated in our Catholic parishes. We have committed ourselves to working for a federal amendment and feel the push for a state amendment could ultimately harm our efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

What he’s basically saying is that the people behind the personhood amendment are so crazy that they’re driving away the people who would normally be anti-abortion and setting back the drive to repeal Roe v. Wade with their medieval approach to medicine and women’s rights. That may be the one small silver lining to this abomination.

*Other issues include the, um, misconception that “life begins at fertilization.” Since the Mommy Egg and the Daddy Sperm are already living things, the most you can say that happens is that “life changes at fertilization.” Also, it’s more than just a bit ironic that these True Believers are putting their faith, so to speak, in science to make their when-life-begins point. According to them, science is an assault on God since it pretty much disproves their tales from the Book of Genesis, which places the creation of the universe some 6,000 years ago, at about the time civilizations were popping up in Asia and the Middle East. (Maybe that’s where Cain’s wife came from.) There are different branches of science, but alchemy and mythology aren’t among them.

HT to LGF.