Despite Defeat, “Personhood” Comes Back Again and Again

Mississippi is perhaps one of the most conservative, anti-abortion states in the country, yet the proponents of the so-called “Personhood amendment,” a constitutional change that would have granted legal rights and protection to fertilized eggs, were unable to win anything even close to a majority during the election.

You would think that would send a message, especially after two failed attempts in Colorado to pass the same amendment.  But instead, the advocates say that means they need to hit more states.

In Florida, the state is putting off their 2012 plans for a ballot initiative, but say they are regrouping to make it happen in 2014 instead.   An accountant in Oklahoma is beginning his own push for a ballot initiative, saying his version would not effect birth control that would prevent fertilization, but would still ban methods like an IUD, which impedes implantation.  It would also allow no exception for rape, incest, or mother’s health or life, stating “We would hope that science and medicine would do its best to save both.”

In other words, once again there would be no treatment for ectopic pregnancies until after the woman’s tube ruptures and she endangers both her future fertility and her own life.

Even Colorado is making a third attempt at a Personhood measure, despite having it overwhelmingly voted down both in 2008 and 2010.  Organizer Leslie Hanks admits that the push has less to do with the belief that they will win, and more to do with providing a platform to publicize their beliefs on the immorality of abortion and birth control, as well as create conflict between themselves and the rest of the community.   “When we do these initiatives we are educating, evangelizing, and we are increasing social tension because people have to say they’re either for it or against it.”


Mark Stevenson
Mark S.5 years ago

I'm sorry. You are not a person (remember the word "personality" ?) until you have awareness. Fertilized eggs cannot have awareness, because there is no brain yet!!!!!!! These people fighting for this law are complete idiotic morons.
Maybe they don't have brains either.

Marie W.
Marie W.5 years ago

US Taliban at work. Scares me.

Janna O.
Janna O.5 years ago

This is a clear sign of a dysfunctional government.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

Apparently Republicans who have these "beliefs" have taken over our government, that's why
they are shoving this down our throats. Remember the anti-bullying law in MI where they
put on a rider to make gay bashing legal if you have a "religious excuse"? Several of these
Republican fundamentalist extremist lunatics are running for President. They are trying to take over. We are supposed to have separation of church and state but I don't see it.

lizzie vierra
lizzie vierra5 years ago

I don't understand why they feel they have the right to impose their "beliefs" not facts on the lives of those that don't share those beliefs. Go Terrorize people in your own cult. Leave the rest of us alone. You all can punish each other with your "beliefs" we are entitled to a life of freedom from this type of harassment ~ the constitution guarantees it!

Marianne C.
Marianne C.5 years ago

Carla G:

It took some reading to get to your message. You have some real misinformation going on, there.

First, the Holocaust killed actualized, differentiated individuals, not just Jewish zygotes. Hitler was not pro-choice. He took all of the choices away from all of the women, requiring German women to have children whether or not they wanted to, and requiring non-German to have abortions. Or alternately, to be used in one of Dr. Mengle’s fertility experiments. Or to be one of the fortunate women who were allowed to remain pregnant because Mengle wanted to see what happened when a woman in labor had her legs strapped together.

Secondly, it’s an absolute fantasy that every fertilized egg will become a human being. We’ve known for decades that between 50 and 80% of fertilized eggs are simply expelled from women’s bodies with their next menstrual period. Clearly Nature doesn’t value those eggs as much as anti-choice does, and since Nature is only has the will God gave it, that must be God’s will. Of eggs that implant, about 30% end in miscarriages. Repeat of the Nature-will-God statement.

If every fertilized egg since biological Eve had become a person, overpopulation would have already destroyed the human race and rendered the surface of this planet barren about half a million years ago.

Marianne C.
Marianne C.5 years ago

Finishing that thought:

"If we demanded as much honesty from the right as we demand of used car salesmen, most of their arguments would evaporate, anyway."

Marianne C.
Marianne C.5 years ago


Absolutely correct. The anti-choice movement is famous for not thinking things through to the logical outcome. We already KNOW the outcome of making birth control, and abortion illegal. We saw it in this country for the entire 110 years abortion was illegal and birth control virtually so. And we have Ceausescu's Romania as a modern reminder. You'd think the bullet-riddled corpse of the tyrant who rendered such insufferable laws -- and that of his supportive wife -- would be a decidedly unsubtle hint, but no.

Their fertility cult theology isn't supported by the Bible, no matter what they claim -- the Bible is actually pretty unsympathetic to fetuses. And until it was selectively edited into English, it told you that when a man lies with a maiden not his intended, if there's something left "enclosed" due to the sex, "thou shalt not suffer it to quicken of come to life."

There's nothing pro-choice in that, of course, but there's certainly nothing pro-fetus. Just a flat "thou shalt not" allow it to be born.

The selective editing I mentioned includes the verse from which I just quoted being smugly translated to: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Which has nothing to do with sex, but a helluva lot to do with gender. And how many women have suffered and died because some half-wit decided it was law and lit a bonfire?

Fight the creeping scourge of fundamentalism wherever you find it. If we demanded as much honesty from the right as we demand of used car sa

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

Karen, a thousand stars to you!!! Great post!!

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

If a woman miscarries they can put "God" in jail. Almighty, All Knowing God murders the baby
when a woman miscarries, the woman doesn't.