Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Not to Get All Political, But...

This has been on my mind a lot lately and is frankly terrifying.  The "Personhood" movement in Colorado is trying to ban ALL methods of birth control aside from the condom and the oh-so-reliable rhythm method.  They say that's not true, however if you look at their reasoning they change the modern meaning of the word to fit their needs.  I won't get into how contradictory their talking points are, and how little sense they make, even if you don't want to get into separation of church and state (whoops, they forgot about that part).  They contend that every unfertilized ovum should have a chance for life and that preventing fertilization is a form of murder.  Really????  Murder????  So I should go to jail if I have a period?  Girls should start having sex at 13 or whenever it is they start menstruating?  Everyone should be concerned that this group is taken seriously at all, and especially that they are gaining momentum.

 At the same time, Utah and Kentucky want to charge women with murder for having a miscarriage.  In Utah it stems from a case in which a woman paid someone to beat her in order to cause a miscarriage.  Horrible, yes, but for the vast majority of women, a miscarriage is an awful experience. To go through that and to then go through a court case because they didn't take all possible steps to protect the pregnancy?  The law (which has actually passed the Utah state legislature and is with the governor) allows for life in prison for intentional, knowing or reckless act that leads to a miscarriage.  Wow, how vague is that?  Could a woman get life for having a glass of wine?  Not wearing a seat belt?  Fall down the stairs?  What if she had to overexert herself to save her living child?

Regardless of your stance on abortion, both of these movements seem not only ridiculous, unconstitutional, and totally impractical, but also extremely anti-woman.


Kerri said...

I wish these groups would switch focus from trying to outlaw abortions to preventing people from needing/wanting one in the first place. First they need to promote an EFFECTIVE form of birth control. I imagine that would quite dramatically decrease abortions all on its own. Second they need to provide more support to help expectant mothers carry to term in a healthy manner and then decide whether to keep the baby or give up the baby for adoption. I suspect such a two pronged shift of focus would virtually eliminate abortions and everyone would be happy.

Their talking point regarding "snowflake" babies is just ridiculous. Do they have any idea how many times a fertilized egg fails to grow? Some doctors estimate the rate of early miscarriage is as high as 75%, but you never know because the miscarriage is usually even before your first missed period. You bleed as normal and never know you were pregnant. To term these cells as human goes too far in my book. And if you do decide they are human what does that mean for IVF? It is already a risky game of statistics figuring how many eggs to harvest, fertilize, implant, and how much you can afford. Now you have to worry about having leftovers "humans" at the end where you can be charged with murder?

The fact that legislation is even being considered concerning miscarriage is just disgusting. After a miscarriage you are already devastated and questioning EVERYTHING you did or didn't do wondering if it is your fault. To have to submit to an exam or questioning because circumstances are deemed "suspicious" would be intolerable.

Jaimee said...

Kerri, I agree, why not focus on effective sex education and effective means of birth control. No doubt it would certainly help reduce the rate of abortions. Some statistics I've read say something greater than 50% of women seeking abortion have used some form of contraceptive that failed. So would it eliminate abortion, I don't think so, but I think it would certainly make huge strides in reducing the number of them. Countries that have good sex educations programs have a smaller rate of abortion and unwanted pregnancy. It's not a huge leap to say abstinance only education isn't going to do anything except increase the rate of teen pregnancy.

Agreed on the snowflake baby point. It's just an excuse to put pictures and names of particular babies in their movement. I doesn't relate to their mission well and along with your points it's a ridiculous talking point.

I couldn't agree with you more on the miscarriage issue. I've never been through something like that, but I imagine that the vast majority women that knowingly suffer a miscarriage want their babies and have already been through an incredibly difficult time. To put them through questioning and a possible trial after that is reprehensible. Apparently it's happening in Iowa as well. http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2010/03/02/woman-in-iowa-arrested-for-falling-down-the-stairs-while-pregnant


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