Personhood USA is a group that is trying to get abortions banned by passing state constitutional amendments that declare a fertilized egg is legally a person. Such an amendment was on the ballot in Colorado yesterday. It was defeated by a 3-to-1 margin, getting only 28% of the vote. How bad does an anti-abortion law have to be to only get 28% of the vote in a fundamentalist stronghold like Colorado?

What would the ramifications be if such an amendment were passed? What would happen to IVF clinics that destroy tens of thousands of fertilized eggs every year? Would every miscarriage be treated like the death of a child is now treated?

If one really wants to stop abortions, then prevent unwanted pregnancies. Safe, cheap, and available contraception, especially Plan B, would drastically reduce the number of abortions performed each year. They claim that abortion is such a horrible crime against humanity yet don’t endorse an effective measure that would substantially reduce such a horror.

This is not about abortion. It is about a cause that will motivate people to send money to Personhood USA so that the organizers can support a life style without having to do any real work. The Donate button is front and center on their website. That’s what Personhood USA is all about, a scheme to perpetuate itself.

H/T Talk to Action

-David Drumm (Nal)

15 thoughts on “Personhood”

  1. Aw, this became a really nice post. In idea I have to put in writing like that additionally slacking and actual effort to make a great article but what / things I only say! I procrastinate alot and through no means apparently get something done.

  2. I do hope you guys aren’t talking about the late SF writer Theodore Sturgeon.

    His stories were awesome, but I bet he tastes terrible.

    Especially after all this time.

  3. It takes two to tango. If a woman can be imprisoned because of such a law, so should the man who got her pregnant. Fair is fair.

  4. Culheath,

    Now that’s not true Sturgeon and Chicken eggs grow into something that is much tastier (and in the case of Sturgeon fewer) than human eggs.

  5. In the same way that Al Capone went to jail for tax evasion, the “fetal personhood” issue, to me, seems to obviously hang up on things like income taxes and ability to own property. Could a recently conceived fetus be named on the title to real estate? At what point could one, acting in good faith, count the fetus for a dependent tax deduction? Would one have to refund the deduction to the government if one mis-carrys?

    I suspect that supporters of “fetal personhood” all clearly believe that in criminal cases the law would be very cut and dried – kidnapping a pregnant woman would be two counts of kidnapping. But do they feel the same way about financial law?

  6. This sort of reasoning is just a continuance of the folly that is human exceptionalism or concepts like manifest destiny; all being products of the mother of all rationalities: divinity.

    A fertilized human egg is no more important than a fertilized chicken or sturgeon egg.

    And personhood only come into play once there is self awareness…which is also why corporations are not people.

  7. Could it be that folks who are unable to decently control their own lives, and who are in desperate need of some sort of sense of control, attempt to indecently control the lives of others, in a vain and self-defeating hope of learning some sort of self-control, no matter how self-sabotaging such vainly attempted control may be?

  8. Most all the anti-choice protesters do NOT support widespread availability of effective birth control. Apparently, they need abortion clinics to give their life a sense of purpose.

  9. SwM and Gyges,

    I was also going to come to Colorado’s defense … you gotta feel sorry for them stuck out there with Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, and Kansas.

    “This is not about abortion. It is about a cause that will motivate people to send money to Personhood USA so that the organizers can support a life style without having to do any real work.”(Nal)

    Yep, it’s a disease also afflicting most politicians

  10. SM,

    Thank you, you beat me to the punch. NOBODY expected the amendment to do anything but fail spectacularly. It was a throw-away amendment trying to get the social-conservative base out.


    Yup, and that was mentioned in the Voters’ guide.

  11. The best conjecture (based on my personal understanding of biology) I have found has it that more than 60 percent of human products of conception experience a terminal life event within 3 months of becoming a diploid life form. My immediate reference, found on Wikipedia, is

    Edmonds DK, Lindsay KS, Miller JF, Williamson E, Wood PJ (1982). “Early embryonic mortality in women”. Fertil. Steril. 38 (4): 447–453.

    During the twenty-some years during which I was a government employee at Cook County Children’s Hospital, in Chicago, I observed many deaths of very young children. This saddened me so much that I set out to make scientific sense of it, only from within a biological-social-psychological framework. It finally occurred to me that, from one framing paradigm, every person is in one way much the same as everyone else.

    When the dispositional/situational attribution thing is decently sorted out, my hunch is that everyone is, in one particular way, effectively the same as everyone else. When every factor which affects a person’s life is taken into sufficiently accurate account, every person does exactly everything possible with the life the person is actually able to live. Yes, I am aware that almost the whole of human social tradition contains a dichotomously contrary assertion.

    In diploid critters, methinks the one and only real cause of biological death is conception. Using the reactionary method of extensio ad absurdum, until someone lives, in the biological-physical sense, for more than forever, every set of biological parents is inextricably guilty of murder, because, by conceiving a child, their action condemns the child to death.

    It gets better. By intending to make a child, the parents are engaged in a conspiracy to commit murder. Even if no child is conceived… Remenber Clarence Darrow, candy, one boy steals candy, two boys talk about stealing candy and choose to not steal it, and the two boys committed the greater crime?

    Ever read, partly or fully, Patrick J. Gallo, “The American Paradox: Politics and Justice” and Sam Smith, “Why Bother?”???

    From Gallo, op.cit., page 111, “The principal argument for the law against conspiracy is that it allows intervention before something harmful actually occurs.” To which I ask, what if the intervention is vastly more harmful than what would happen without the intervention? What if this is the central nature of the Tea Party belief schema?

  12. I think every discussion about these personhood amendments should include what the criminal charge for miscarriages would be, and how women who have miscarriages should be punished. And also how each miscarriage should be investigated by the police.

  13. I don’t think Colorado is a fundamentalist stronghold any longer. They have medical marijuana there. Sure there are pockets but their governor and two US senators are strongly pro-choice. Now in Texas, it probably could pass.

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