Don’t kid yourself that this is “just” Mississippi. The Christian right is going after birth control in every state:
Mississippi voters will be allowed to decide on a ballot measure that defines “personhood” from the moment of fertilization, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled last week. The measure could potentially outlaw abortions, birth control, in vitro fertilization and stem cell research across the state.
Measure 26, which will bypass the legislature and go straight to a popular ballot vote, redefines the term “person” as it appears throughout Mississippi’s Bill of Rights to include “all human beings from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit against the proposal earlier this year, not based on its content or constitutionality, but because Mississippi state law says a ballot initiative cannot be used to change the Bill of Rights.
The Mississippi Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit in a 7-2 ruling, saying that it had no power to review any ballot initiative before the actual vote takes place.
Let’s look at some of the interesting legal ramifications. If you go through in-vitro fertilization, and it doesn’t work, you’d have to report that as a death. (Same thing would go for very early miscarriages. How do we know you didn’t try to abort your pregnancy? Women would have to prove they didn’t murder their blastocyst/ zygote/ embryo/ fetus.)
Your blastocyst/ zygote/ embryo/ fetus would have the right to inherit, naturally, so if you have a miscarriage, that could certainly tie up some estates — not to mention that Social Security would be paying survivors benefit if you’re pregnant and your spouse dies. Could be a little more costly!
And if people get illegal abortions, as people will when you make them impossible to get, that means the woman and her doctor can be charged with homicide. Of course, having a drink or a smoke during pregnancy is contributing to the delinquency of a minor. (Geeze, I just thought of something else — if you have sex while you’re pregnant, is that child sexual abuse?)
The mind reels at the possibilities!
And remember, kids: It’s not about abortion, it’s about sex.