Monday, July 14, 2008

Colorado "Personhood" Amendment

As much as I would love to be back in Colorado right now, getting my degree, something is happening there that makes me just want to pull a "Hulk Smash!" I wonder how much of this Tancredo pushed for?

In November, Coloradans will vote on an amendment to the state constitution granting "personhood" to "any human being from the moment of fertilization." The ultimate goal being to stop any and all abortions and overturn Roe v. Wade.

Some of my problems with this proposal:
1. A zygote or embryo cannot live outside the womb. Until the third trimester a fetus cannot live outside the womb. Yes, there have been very rare cases of a twenty-week fetus surviving but as I said, they are very rare and most doctors and medical professionals consider the third trimester to be the viable stage. Even early third trimester, premature births need a lot of TLC to make it with reasonable health. My personal opinion is that until viability is reached, said fetus is not a person. Sorry to sound harsh.
2. If a miscarriage (medical term: spontaneous abortion) happens and some yahoo says the pregnant woman did something to cause it like drink or smoke, this could open her up for criminal negligence charges. Please, if she intended to keep the baby and deliver it, she'll already be torn up by the loss. Charging her afterward is like twisting the knife and pouring salt in the wound at the same time. Women are already being charged under child abuse laws if they drink alcohol or do drugs while pregnant, even if nothing bad happens to the child.
3. If there is a medically necessary procedure that will harm the fetus to save the mother, whose rights are paramount?
4. The old stand-by of rape and incest. What do you do? Using the much-to-often-repeated standard "It's not the child's fault" doesn't negate the irreparable harm a pregnancy carried to term could do to the real victim of such crimes, the woman. Again, until viability, not a child. Would this give the rapist a chance to say he demanded the "child" be born, thus compounding and extending his rape for at least nine months. What a power trip. This amendment would hand him the perfect weapon over his victim - one he could wield continuously for at least nine months. Maybe more. As if having to face him in trial isn't bad enough.
5. Who the hell gave some state or government the right to tell me what to do with my own body? Not me. My body, my choice. Stay the hell out of my uterus.
6. I also object to it because it can ultimately be used to halt vital stem cell research into diseases like Parkinson's and spinal cord injuries (to name the most famous). Now, I do think that if using adult stem cells could yield positive results, we should study that, as well. Whatever works the best.
7. What would happen in the case of in vitro fertilized eggs that haven't been implanted and are slated to be destroyed? Do they automatically have to be implanted and given a chance to develop into infants? Who has to carry or pay for them? Honestly, frozen eggs are enough of a pitfall, shall we add more to an already dodgy subject?
8. Do we really want to return (as if we've really left) to the back-alley, coat hanger abortion days? This would simply serve to drive women with no other option to it. Septicemia, bleeding out, permanent injury? Yeah, we really look forward to this type of thing again.

Dianne N. Irving says some interesting things about the proposed amendment, actually. Worth a read.
Also, read this .pdf by JAMA bout fetal pain.

*sigh* There is so much more that's wrong with this asinine attempt to control women's bodies and minds.


Tamora said...

I think this is well and clearly said. It sums up all the problems with a measure that is meant to take away an individual's right to control over her own body and give it to someone with an agenda. Your point about giving a rapist a nine-month extension particularly made me cringe.

How far will our culture go to allow government to dictate each jot and tittle of our private lives? It's starting to scare me.

Shadowspun said...

Thank you. I honestly think that's one of the things that drives me the most crazy about the Anti-Choice jokers, too. Rape is all about power. To be hurt over and over again, reliving the rape every day simply by looking in the mirror at a changing body you have NO control over? Yeah, that's a truly "moral" result. There are reasons why suicide and depression are prevalent in people who have been sexually assaulted, male and female.

Bah! Give me ethics over morality any day.

Okay, I'm getting off my soap box for the day before I get annoyed. :)

ComicBookGoddess said...

And, hello, what the HELL does that mean for ectopic pregnancies and the "morning after pill" hormone solution?

Jezus, how do you even pinpoint the moment of conception?