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Vote No on 26, Mississippi – Here is why

Now that the Personhood for Zygotes Amendment has been defeated in Mississippi, I would like to remind people that most of the things posted here will also relate to any time Full “Person” Rights are given to a fertilized egg.  Please, be ever vigilant to Protect Democracy, Protect Women and Protect Life. Vote NO to any “Personhood for Zygotes” attempt.

 On November 8th, 2011 in the General Election for Mississippi, there will be three Ballot Initiatives to vote on. 26 – to redefine “person” in our constitution, 27 – to require voter ID (ie disenfranchise voters) and 31 – to restrict the use of eminent domain. The full, actual text of 26 is below. Vote No on 26, Mississippi!

I’ve put a lot of thought into this initiative. I’ve tried to keep this
updated with the most recent developments.  There is a lot of
information, so please bear with me and read this through.  Where I have
supporting documentation, there are links within the text that are blue and underlined.

First, a video.

A Conversation on Mississippi Initiative 26

by: bobbykearan
at the website XtraNormal

The “Personhood” initiative only defines the word “person” in the Mississippi constitution as “every human being from the moment of fertilization.” That is before a woman is actually pregnant! If you think this is an anti-abortion bill, think again.  It says nothing about outlawing abortion. It says nothing about outlawing the morning after pill. It says nothing about anything else. All results of the bill will have to be figured out by the police arresting people and the courts deciding what the change to the definition of person means. It might not even outlaw abortion. It might have lots of other, perhaps unintended, consequences.

For instance :

Birth control pills and IUD pregnancy prevention methods would be outlawed by the ‘personhood amendment’ (because they prevent a fertilized egg – which would instantly become a fully legal ‘person’ – from attaching to the uterine wall as a rare third stage effect, but it still happens), further increasing these numbers.  The “yes” group claims otherwise, even though their own board member, Dr. McMillan says, “I painfully agree that birth control pills do in fact cause abortions.” (see the ‘lies exposed’ link further down for more details)

I have come to believe that the wording of i26 actually targets IVF to put it out of business.

Drinking and smoking during pregnancy would go from just being risky to becoming criminal negligence. Women who have miscarriages would have to endure investigation for possible criminal charges, from negligence up to and including murder. You think not? There is already legal precedent – 15 year old Rennie Gibbs was charged in Mississippi with Depraved Heart Murder in December, 2006 after a miscarriage. (see pregnant women who lose babies face murder chargesThanks to Jill S. Butler for that link and this “what does personhood look like in practice?” article)

 A commitment to pre-embryonic personhood would require us to investigate
these miscarriages to ensure that no foul play was involved in the loss
of these persons.  This does not necessarily mean that all women
experiencing miscarriages would be prosecuted; however, our legal
framework requires an investigation when there has been a loss of life. – Jonathan F. Will (an assistant professor of law at Mississippi College
School of Law, serves as director of the law school’s Bioethics and
Health Law Center)

26 leaves no exception for rape.  Are we going to tell the victim that even though she was forced to conceive, we are going to double the victimization and force her to carry the child?  It is fine if a rape victim does want to carry the baby and is happy doing so.  But shouldn’t that be her choice? Remember, if 26 passes, there will be no ‘morning after’ pill nor RU486 nor even birth control pills. On top of that, the rapist can have visitation rights or even sue for custody!!

There are many more possible legal ramifications in addition to the stated intent of outlawing abortions. Supporters will say, “The Bill doesn’t say that!” Well, the initiative doesn’t say it outlaws abortion either.  All it does say is that “Person” is redefined to be all humans from the moment of fertilization. Everything else is up to the courts to decide.  They might not rule it outlaws abortions. In fact, since Federal Law supersedes State Law, it can’t.

If the “Personhood Amendment” passes – and survives the expensive constitutional court challenges that will follow and the courts decide it can outlaw abortion in Mississippi – we will
have the following increases every year :

  • An additional 54 girls under 15 will give birth.
  • An additional 685 teenage girls will give birth.
  • An additional 1163 young, college age women will give birth.
  • 743 more Mississippi babies will live in poverty.
  • 646 additional people will receive SNAP benefits (aka Food Stamps).
  • 210 more Mississippians, on average, will be unemployed.
  • 226 more per year will be incarcerated in our prisons.
  • 3 of those babies will eventually be homeless, 2 with no
    shelter at all.
  • 585 more people per year will be uncertain as to whether they will eat their next meal or not – 206 will go hungry.

Mississippi now has “Abstinence Only” or “Abstinence Plus” education
policies, despite their horrendous track record of ineffectiveness and
in some cases increases in teen pregnancy, we would likely see an
increase in these numbers. (see Open Education article.)

If you take into consideration that most of the children born to unwed and/or teenage mothers will need welfare, many of those numbers will be even greater.  If you consider the loss of education, opportunity and job/income loss that sometimes goes along with an unplanned pregnancy, the cost to Mississippi is even greater. For those 739 teen births that would be forced to occur, Mississippi taxpayers would be on the hook for an additional $16 Million dollars. (for more on the cost of teen births, read this JFP article.)

In addition, I believe in personal responsibility. In this case, if the State of Mississippi forces a woman, who does not want to, to give birth, then all the expenses of the birth and the care of the child should be the responsibility of the State.  There is also a certain case to be made that in such cases, the fertilized egg – and by extension, the State – is holding the woman hostage until it is developed and delivered.

Abortion is a hard choice to make, but it is a choice that, when made, is often the best for all involved in the decision.  It is not a choice made frivolously. I’ve been involved in making that decision and am still certain that it was the right thing to do.  I am all for providing education, assistance and alternatives to those faced with the circumstances that cause the need to consider this decision.  I do also firmly believe that Government should not interfere in such a private decision between a woman, perhaps her family, and their medical professionals.

How Personhood USA and the Bills they support will hurt ALL pregnant women (video – you have to watch this! Even anti-abortionists have suffered!)

“If you want to invite Big Brother into your bedroom, vote yes on 26”
“If you want to keep government out of health care, vote no on 26”

Now watch this video! Trust Families!

For another good blog post about how bad of an idea 26 is, read this Feministing post.

There are two amazing notes on facebook…
Ricky and Tony

Also read my newer post : vote yes on 26 – lies exposed
and how Anti-Abortion people are not “Pro-Life”
For your “Vote No on 26” bumper stickers and a t-shirt, go to 

Watch my New Video – Every Child

Also check out Parents Against MS 26.

Also see the Facebook groups “Vote no on Mississippi Amendment 26” and “Mississippians against Personhood Amendment” and “Mississippians for Healthy Families

In October 2007, The Guardian reported :

Last November it became a crime for a woman to have an abortion in
Nicaragua, even if her life was in mortal danger. So far it has resulted
in the death of at least 82 women. (11 months, 82 deaths)

Science may say that life begins at conception, but this amendment wants to say a “person” exists up to two weeks before conception – at the moment of fertilization – when up to 90% of all eggs fertilized naturally don’t make it to the point of implantation, aka “conception.”

The Personhood Amendment : ( I will not link to their fact distorting website )

The Mississippi Personhood Amendment– is a citizens initiative to amend the Mississippi Constitution to define personhood as beginning at fertilization or “the functional equivalent thereof.” <snip>The entire proposed Amendment is as follows:

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Mississippi: SECTION 1. Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hereby amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ: Section 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” This initiative shall not require any additional revenue for implementation.

I’ve collected some from comments on the groups “Vote no on Mississippi Amendment 26” and “Mississippians against Personhood Amendment” :

  • So does this mean that said person is eligible for welfare benefits immediately after fertilization?
  • Would smoking one cigarette or having one drink while pregnant carry the same penalties as giving them to a child?
  • (A pregnant woman’s) rights would be pitted against the rights of
    the fetus inside her and the court system/law enforcement will have to
    determine, via an as-yet-not-invented-process, what you and your doctor
    can and cannot decide to do, whether that be use the birth control
    method of your choice or receive life-saving
    medical treatment. Too poor to go through the court system? Too bad.
  • Forcing women to have babies that they don’t want and/or can’t care
    for…this is just going to lead to an entire generation of neglected
    children and bad parenting.
  • This law will eliminate all forms of birth control except abstinence
    and condoms. No more pill, no more IUD, no more hormonal
  • It could be used to dictate prenatal care and birth choices for
    women, because it is deemed by law (not medicine) as the “best” way to
    protect the rights of the fetus.
  • The wording of the bill is absurd. . . it makes someone who takes the morning-after pill a murderer!
  • I’ve already been told another pregnancy will kill me – I refuse to let the state take away MY right to life.
  • What if someone has one of these IUDs now that are good for 5 years.
    I’ve only had it in about half the time. Is there going to be a
    “recall” where the clinic is going to call me and I have to go have it
    removed if this passes?
  • What is the official life-begins-at-conception stance on identical
    twins? Did God put two souls in the one cell at the beginning? Did he
    add an extra soul after the split? If not, is one twin a soulless
    Also, If he put in two souls at once because he knew it would become
    twins, wouldn’t it therefore be logical to assume that he put no souls
    in the fetus he knew would be aborted?

Some Facts and Figures used in calculating the numbers used in the above summary, with links that are worth reading :

Johnston’s Archive
Over at 10 year period from 2000 to 2009, Mississippi has averaged 43,620 births per year, with 3,231 abortions per year.

Abortion Facts
by 1995 numbers, 1.7% of those were girls under 15, 21.2 % were between 16 and 19, 36% were women between 20 and 24.  88% were before 12 weeks. 97% were before 15 weeks.

Measure of America
More than 1 in 5 Mississippians live below the poverty line – which is over 20%.

Google Public Data
Average unemployment in Mississippi – not counting the aftermath of the recent republican policy led recession – is around 6.5%.

State Health Facts
702 Mississippi residents per 100,000 citizens are incarcerated – .7%. Out of 2,867,200 Citizens, 575,674 receive food stamp support (SNAP) – 20%. .09% of state residents are without a home, more than half of those have no shelter.
23% of the citizens live in poverty.

Inside Mississippi : Societal Distress
18.1% of households in Mississippi didn’t know where their next meal was coming from or if they would get the next meal. 6.4% went hungry.

Read this book :

The Handmaid’s Tale (Everyman’s Library)

For other data, see – Census dot Gov

A Letter about 26

Bishop of the Mississippi Episcopal Church, The Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray, III, issues a statement saying VOTE NO on i26 :

My dear friends,

deep reservations about abortion and the death penalty grow out of my
abiding belief in the sanctity of human life and the arbitrary nature of
these actions. I am not, however, a pacifist in regards to war. I do
that some very serious moral decisions are not simply choices between
good and evil, but rather in the case of two evils, choices between the
lesser of two evils. Such is the complexity of human moral
decision-making in a fallen world.

I appreciate the intentions
of those who have supported Proposition 26, what has been called the
Personhood Amendment. I share their passion for the sanctity of human
life. However, I am gravely concerned about the unintended consequences
of this legislation. The moral nightmares of doctors no longer able to
give preference to saving the life of the mother in such cases as an
ectopic pregnancy and the uncertain impact on in-vitro fertilization are
real. Thus, the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Medical
Association has announced that it cannot support this legislation.

The legal nightmares arising from this legislation are also very real.
The word “person” is used over 9,400 times in the Mississippi Annotated
Code and the implications for mass confusion and decades of legal
challenges over every use of the term are staggering.

For their
own reasons, Roman Catholic bishops in several states, including
Mississippi, have said they could not support this particular

While I recognize the complexities of such moral
decisions and the need for each of us to make our own informed and
prayerful choices, you need to know that I share the aforementioned
concerns about the unintended consequences of this legislation. Thus, I
cannot support Proposition 26 on the November 8th ballot in Mississippi.

Please feel free to share this letter with whomever you wish.


The Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray, III

0 thoughts on “Vote No on 26, Mississippi – Here is why”

  1. In some cases, a pregnant woman can be ill. She may require treatments that necessitate a medical abortion or that may cause a stillbirth.
    Certain South American countries have introduced a complete ban on abortion. Doctors treating pregnant women are faced with an impossible situation as they can be thrown in prison if it is believed by the State they contributed in the death of a fetus. As a result, women are not treated while pregnant which can lead to their early death and in some cases to their and their child death too.

  2. How is this even remotely constitutional?

    If people don't like abortions or think they're wrong, then they shouldn't get one. Personally I'd rather have a thousand abortions than have somebody mandate my uterus.

  3. the site that came up with this BS stated that 'in cases where the woman's health is at risk, sound medical practice should be implemented to the best of their ability to save both lives of mother and child'– ectopic pregnancies don't just 'get better' they cause the woman to bleed out and the fetus to terminate waaay before it can live outside the womb. Rape and incest are all cool now too apparently. I LIVE in Mississippi, and I am outraged. I have a degenerative disease at 22 which effects my joints and bones. If I conceived a child (on BCP now and engaged) I WOULD die from it– no questions. My body would attack the fetus first, killing it. I guess I would be a murderer for an autoimmune disorder?

  4. It is not constitutional – the initiative, if passed, will be immediately contested because State Law says a ballot initiative can not change the "Bill of Rights" section of the constitution – which 26 tries to do.

  5. Friends in MS, I'm so sorry to hear about this amendment coming to you. In Colorado, we've faced it twice but have a much more progressive electorate when it comes to this issue. As soon as the official website is up, I'll be making a donation to the campaign.

  6. Another factor to consider is women who use BCP to control diseases, such as endometriosis, extremely heavy periods, or ovarian cysts.
    One more thing, if a woman has sex early in her pregnancy, would that count as child sexual assault?
    It used to be that no credible "pro life" group would touch personhood bills with ten foot long poles. On the other hand, people like Bachmann and Perry used to be considered unelectable outside their states…

  7. This has me both angered and scared. It is clearly going to be used to victimize and denigrate both women and children. The people behind this bill are typical of the "keep the fetus alive until it's born then who cares if it starves" crowd. I wish I could vote against it a million times, but judging by how conservative and extremely faux religious Mississippi is, it'll probably pass and fill the prisons full of women and young girls.

  8. While it certainly is no one's business, I am outraged enough by this initiative to give my background on the issue. I live in Mississippi, and I was a victim of date-rape 4 years ago. I did not report it, and I did not seek attention from doctors immediately because of shock and shame. I became pregnant, and ended up having an abortion. So under this initiative I would be a murderer…this is beyond wrong, and this Mississippian will most certainly be voting NO in November.I'm amazed at the fact it is 2011, and women may now be told by the government that she no longer has the right to make decisions on matters concerning HER body.

  9. Thank you for posting the statistics! Personhood USA insists that this is ONLY about abortion, but it clearly isn't. It horrifies me to think that because people are too lazy to do the research on this ridiculous "amendment," that they will not only allow the government to invade more personal space, but they are actually INVITING them to. I know so many women who have had miscarriages and stillbirths, and the thought of them being prosecuted for murder by some fame-crazed, ambulance-chasing lawyer, on top of the emotional distress of losing a child, breaks my heart and absolutely infuriates me. I do not understand how people can be so backwards-thinking in 2011. And the bible-thumpers who support this nonsense are the very ones who complain that their tax dollars aren't being used wisely when they see a young, unwed mother of 5 using food stamps. The ramifications of this "amendment" passing will most certainly be something of a hot mess. I hope more women realize and truly understand that before it's too late. On a sidenote, I love how a previous post used the phrase "faux religious" to describe Mississippi. That was spot-on.

  10. This is great! I posted a link to your article on Facebook. People really need to know the facts, and that it's so much more than right and wrong beliefs. I stand firmly for my rights, and I believe abortion is most certainly valid at times. Why people are so concerned with the unknown instead of worrying about what matters in the flesh. More often than not when someone has a child without being prepared or being capable of raising that child both mother and child suffer. There are so many wonderful children already in existence that have NO ONE to care for them. Bringing more children in this world because of ignorance and out-and-out disregard for existing human life is ridiculous. Anyone who votes yes is barbaric.

  11. Another scare tactic by abortionists murderers. I'm ashamed of all mississippians who would vote now. If the majority of mississippians vote yes, then you can simply move to another state to get your murderous work done. Thats whats so great about states right. Move where you fit in.

  12. OMG!!!! i cannot believe people would actually try to pass this into effect. I am a mississippian and i plan on voting against this. for the government to tell me that something that i have no control over such as a still birth and miscarriage can put me in jail is plain stupid. i pray that decent people will actually learn from this.. if by some crazy way this passes i will be out of mississippi before you can blink

  13. Really, Anonymous Scaredy Cat, Name ONE item in the above post that you can prove will not happen if 26 passes. ONE.

    We are not the ones who claim "pro-life" but cheer Texas and Georgia executions, innocent or not.

    We are not the ones who think the solution to people without health insurance should be "Let them die."

    We are not the ones who would support a potential life before, over and above an existing life.

    We are not the ones who want every possible child born – even if they will suffer, starve, be abused, thrown in ovens or require machines to keep them 'alive' for the brief time they are here.

    You are the ones who want to spread misery, suffering, poverty, neglect and most of all, you want absolute control over other people. You want control over their bedrooms, their bodies, their minds.

    This is the United States of America – and we don't tolerate that kind of fascism here. We were founded on Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Inalienable Rights of every person to have dominion over their own lives and over their own bodies.

    We didn't start out perfect, but we have come a long way and I'll be damned if we let you start eroding the progress and return us to pre-colonial English Theocracy.

  14. I am voting no for this stupidity. I am pro choice and no one has a right to outlaw abortion. It's a woman's choice if she chooses to do so!!!

  15. Personally, I'm actually against abortion. Oh, but wait! Not entirely. I believe that if you are careless and have sex, and you don't want a child because, you just don't feel like it, then I disagree with abortion. I believe you should carry the baby till it's born, and if you still don't want it then, there's a thing called ADOPTION. There are many, many people out there who really want children but can't. They would love to have a child. I don't want abortion to just remove the consequences of one's careless actions. 'You did the crime, you do the time'. But if there is a good medical reason as to why one should terminate pregnancy because it will either harm the mother, or the baby will not make it to full term anyways, then abortion should be ok. If a woman gets raped, she should have access to the morning after pill. And women should have access to birth control in general, because by taking that away, some who need it for hormone purposes will not have their form of treatment. Also, a woman should be able to decide whether or not she wants to get pregnant. Only reason why I am mainly against abortion, is because I do believe in life at conception, or at the least when the heart beats, and if the child one is giving life to doesn't want to live, let them decide if they want to kill themselves later on in their own life. Personally, this law or whatever should just be re-thought out. It's nowhere close to what it actually needs to be. Since no one can seem to pin point when life began, it does kind of suck. It all comes down to, am I destroying a life, or am I destroying an object. Hard decision. Being a woman myself, I can understand the difficulties some face.

  16. would that not go against the 1st admendement of the united states many people cant have a baby because they are to young some are still in like 7th grade. my friend said her class was talking about it and said a mother can go to jail. now i they are saying we are killing a life but what happens if the mother can not afford food and medicine or the doctor bill for the checkups and everything both her and the baby will need the would both probley end up homeless or die so i say no to the admendment for mississippi 26 cause the way i see it you can save lives to even if you say no to it

  17. Anonymous said…

    So, when does life actually begin?

    You know, I really considered deleting that comment. I mean, really – you read the whole thing, the links and that is the question you come up with?

    Here are a few answers… Life began billions of years ago and has continued ever since and will continue in one form or another no matter what we do. Or do you think it began only 6000 years ago?

    Human life begins when it can exist independently or life begins when an independent existence begins. Anything up to that point is only a potential and does not have a life of it's own.

    If you think life begins at fertilization, then God causes untold millions of abortions per year because only about half of fertilized eggs ever implant to begin pregnancy. Only about 40% of those make it far enough along for the woman to realize she is pregnant. You should grieve and hold a funeral and an investigation every time a woman's period is late – cause that could be an abortion happening right there!

  18. Educated Mississippian

    Bobby, thank you for all the research you have done to educate people on this. I have shared this on Facebook so people can understand the ramifications of voting Yes to this amendment. You have given voice to all I have been wanting to say to people but have been unable to find.

  19. Let's just forget the fact that you are against or for abortion. The fact all comes down to teaching these teenagers/young ladies to keep their legs closed. It is just the rule of decency. Shame on these parents for letting their children run around reproducing like rabbits! The consequences of teen pregnancy is crucial to our country. It has become quite ridiculous. I say parents get off your ASS and teach your daughters a thing or two about being a respectable young lady and to have a little self respect and discipline for themselves. STOP THE END OF OUR BABIES HAVING BABIES. It's time to just do what is RIGHT.

  20. Dear Anonymous sexist douchebag,

    Why target girls? Why do you think women who have sex do not respect themselves and are not respectable?

    Just FYI, your Mom had sex. Do you not respect her?

    If I interpreted your bad grammar correctly, and ignoring the sexism, I can agree that we should put an end to 'babies having babies.'

    To that end, Yes, we should teach girls and boys about the consequences of having sex – right around the time they are beginning to think about it. We should teach them how to avoid those consequences. Abstinence is the best, but not really something to count on. Boys should have just as much – or more – self control as girls. It takes two to tango, bud.

    I am also tired of people assuming that everyone has two parents who are around a large majority of the time. Not everyone is a lucky as you. Many of us grew up with one parent who worked all the time to provide for us, many grew up with non-parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents. Not every family is Mommy, Daddy and 2.5 kids. So School plays a big role for a hefty percentage of kids in teaching them life skills.

  21. Thanks, Eddie. I can get pretty overheated about certain things.

    Blaming only girls for teen pregnancy is stupid. … of course, I suppose people who do may not have learned basic biology… maybe they are just ignorant instead of stupid. ??

    Phil Bryant got me ticked off about the "its the parents' responsibility…" thing. Not everyone has parents!! Those who don't are usually the ones causing the problems. We need schools to step in a provide life skills. For the benefit of ALL involved – the kids, guardians and the state in general.

    … and besides, this topic is just about all below the belt. 🙂 LOL.

  22. LOL I agree. But at the same time the schools have enough on their back at this present point in time to also worry about educating kids about how to sexually conduct themselves. I feel there needs to be some type of guidance or classes, but for the most part schools will never be able to handle that job of educating our kids because the job at hand they are almost struggling to hold on to on the front end. Its up to US, the VILLAGE, to get more involved than we already have been.

  23. I'm not brave enough to do this (yet), but have many times recently considered getting one of those fat plastic coathangers from my closet, painting a big red "NO!" in the middle space, & taping it to my car's back window. Maybe with a profile of Al Capone & "26" in the corners. Would he not have voted for the good intentions of his time? Well, maybe some folks might consider just passing around some uncommented emblems of consequences. –The quickness of some to shout "murder" while holding a smugly rationalized desire to commit one in the back of their minds is appalling, but not a new darkness on this earth. If this potentially lethal disrepect for women should pass, I suspect, the social upheaval will provide yet another victory for the actively mind-numbing & morally vacuous old boy network. I'd like to say, "You mess with our women, YOU move to another state!".
    OK, I did. Thanks for the opportunity–great to read your views & most posters here!

  24. It should be noted that the VERY SAME group that's backing this Ammendment tried to pass a similar Ammeendment TWICE here in Colorado – AND FAILED BOTH TIMES !!!!! Google it

    Now these clowns seem to think if they start with a Red state like Mississippi, the law will somehow supercede Roe V. Wade


    Obviously they must not know (Or is CARE a better word?) that Federal law ALWAYS supercedes State law IN ALL CASES !!!!!

    Look at the Medical Marijuana issue as an example. Medical Marijuana patients MUST ALWAYS carry some form of ID that says they have permission to possess Marijuana for medicinal purposes AND PRESENT IT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS !!!!!

    Yet EVEN THEN, they can STILL get busted by Federal agents who are enforcing FEDERAL law

    But at least the Medical Marijuana issue has factually recognizable backing from those in the medical community & it has backing from that community

    Personhood has NO such FACTUALLY RECOGNIZABLE backing FROM ANYONE !!!!!

    I voted NO on the Ammendments when they were on the ballot here in Colorado & if I were a voter in Mississippi, I'd vote NO again because these clowns JUST DO NOT GET IT !!!!!


  25. I grew up in Jackson – been gone a long time. Here's an email I just sent my little brother, who still lives there:

    "Y'all are going to vote on "person at conception" thingy in a couple of weeks, right?
    Little true story, food for thought. When I was living in Kona, and Morgan was less than a year old, I had an entopic pregnancy. An egg had gotten fertilized and stuck in my left fallopian tube – never made it to the uterus. I was cooking breakfast when I was struck with intense pain that doubled me over. My left tube had exploded and I was hemorrhaging internally. I barely made it to the hospital in time for the bleeding to be stopped and my life saved. There's not a lot of time to be driving to another state to save your life in this situation. I had a friend who died from this very thing – just bled out real fast. Religious beliefs aside, isn't this a situation of government getting between a woman and her physician? Aren't insurance companies a big enough barrier? Just sayin'. Anyway, my point is that if this passes, it is a death sentence for any Mississippi woman who is unfortunate enough to get a fertilized egg stuck in her fallopian tube. Think about it. I call that premeditated murder by legislation."

    Looks to me like this legislation was written by a gaggle of control freak men, without the benefit of consultation with an OB-GYN….effin' IDIOTS!

  26. I wasn't the original poster, but I wanted to comment on your statement "Human life begins when it can exist independently or life begins when an independent existence begins."

    This is exactly the point of pro-lifers. Is the embryo the same thing as the father? no… as the mother? no… Therefore, it must be a unique, independent existence. You might also mean "when it can exist without assistance", but that would put the age at 6 or 7, and exclude mentally handicapped and elderly from personhood.

    And really the other points are secondary. That embryo's die naturally all the time? Plenty of adult persons die of natural or accidental causes: this doesn't mean killing them intentionally is OK. That children will be born into poverty? This is one of the more offensive arguments. While nobody would wish poverty on a child, most people would not say a 1, 2, or 20 year old poor person deserved to die. When you see a homeless person, do you think "I wish they had never been born", or "I'm a better person than them because I have more money?" Of course not! What then, is the fundamental difference between the 1 year old poor child and the 8.5 month baby about to be born into poverty?

    I dont' ask that rhetorically. Tell us the age when you generally believe a "independent existence" begins. The age where you'd look at the thing and say "yep, that's a person". Then subtract 1 day. Tell us, biologically, what is the difference between the two?

  27. @TUTU Handling of ectopic pregnancies will not be affected. Dr. Frieda Bush has some good videos explaining this on youtube. She is a well credentialed local OB-GYN and author, but does not fit your description of a male control freak or effin idiot. If you consider yourself open minded, at least hear her out.

  28. I keep deleting your posts because a) they are anonymous. b) the link to a sappy emotional song. I focus on facts.
    Also, the amendment is not about conception. It is about fertilization, which can be a week or two before conception.

  29. She is lying because she can not know what the courts will decide. History and evidence from nations that have this "Personhood" law tell us what will happen. Watch the how Personhood harms all women video. Its facts.

  30. Okay….others were allowed to post under Anonymous so I thought you were okay with it.

    As to the "sappy song" which is emotional and not factual…It's about an actual person who was both "fertilized" and "conceived" by an act of rape. (You are confusing "conceived" with implantation) There are REAL PEOPLE affected by this law and he is one example. Are you afraid of putting a face on the facts? Not to mention the quote I posted from an extremely qualified source:

    Yes on 26 is simply bringing the constitution in line with what science already recognizes: "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception." Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman, Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic

    Watch this beautiful music video written by a man who was conceived by an act of rape:

  31. @Daniel Root – "Exist Independently" means not having to be attached to a living person from the inside.
    It could also mean when it can exist without 'life support' artificial or natural.

    Plenty of people born into poverty, starving and other horrible conditions often wish they had never been born. But you don't care about their wishes, do you? Just your own ego satisfaction. You need to feel the power of having your will enforced on others? Or is it that you want people to suffer?

    Also, Nobody, least of all me, is advocating for abortion at 8.5 months. You can only support your argument by twisting words and making huge leaps. Which means its weak.

    The age an independent existence begins? Easy. Birth.

    Subtract one day? Not much difference.

    How about something that is actually being discussed? Subtract Three Months – LOTS of difference. Right at the end of the second trimester, it can't exist outside the host, not a person. Still, nobody is advocating for abortion after this point.
    Even more appropriate, subtract SIX months. At the end of the first trimester – still an alien looking parasite, not a person. Abortion after this point should only be if there is a great risk to the mother's health or life. Before this point… up to her, not a judge, not a legislator – her and her family (if any).
    Now, what this amendment wants to do, subtract Eight and a half months. It is two to four cells and not even implanted yet. It is still at least a week before the woman becomes pregnant. Sure as the sun, not a person.

  32. @Lucy, yes, there in fact are real people that would be affected by this law – in the video about how Personhood would hurt all women.

    Its great that rape-guy's mom Chose to have him. Because it was Her Choice. Unless you have been raped and impregnated, what gives you any right or even a clue to force another woman to bear her rapists child?

    Again, Hymie (seriously???) is talking about Conception, not fertilization. This amendment would claim fertilization – not supported by science nor Dr. Gordon.

    Why don't you watch the video about how Personhood hurts all women?
    Here is the URL again :

    I put living, breathing people above unborn. Heck, the bible didn't even count a baby until it was older than a month.

  33. Awesome blog Bobby! I always agree with your point of view.
    We have to vote this down! Even the majority of the med community and even Episcopal and Catholic bishops have written letters stating they are against it and why! Only they super conservative and truly ignorant could possibly vote yes
    Of course there is life at fertilization but to consider that fertilized mass of tissue an actual person is ludicris! Can they not understand the implications of this?? And to force an girl, possible as young as 8-10 yrs old,to carry the result of a rape or inhumane also. This world is so overpopulated as it is, and there are countries who limit the number of children born to a family, how can anyone feel this is a good idea. And why hasn't anyone on any of these blogs and such, said anything about the mention of cloning?? That's a whole different can of worms in itself. For you driven by religious views on the matter…you better hope the antichrist doesn't have access to clone himself. lol! Just thought Id toss that in:)

  34. @LisaDawn – thank you very much!

    I'm not sure about why cloning isn't getting talked about. For myself, I think it is just a tag-along topic that would distract from the main points. There are enough shocking, horrible things to come from 'personhood' without going into the cloning discussion.

  35. I have very mixed views about abortion. Unless its rape or a medical necessity its wrong. But…there are reasons for it and nobody should be able to force it one way or the other. Religiously God doesn't force us to be good that's our choice. Free will, remember? If you read the bible they believed the time in which a soul inhabits the body is not at conception its when the "body" develops a heartbeat. I am 26 w/3 kids. My dr has said he wont do another c-section and I can't afford anymore kids. So I suppose I should just stop having sex with my husband if I can't take birth control or maybe I should divorce so he can have a normal life and my kids and I should suffer. Or if I had gotten pregnant due to being raped at 13 I should have just endured whatever happened to my body even though I was 4'9 and 90lbs

  36. "But you don't care about their wishes, do you? Just your own ego satisfaction. You need to feel the power of having your will enforced on others? Or is it that you want people to suffer?"
    Gee, Bobby, you caught me! I was just thinking: "man I'd feel pretty good about myself if I could prevent just one poor person from having their only wish: to never be born". You can do better than that. I do care about poor people's wishes, but in my interaction with them, I have never heard one say they wish they were never born. I'm sure some poor person somewhere has said that. To them, I would respectfully insist that their life had value, and their future had a chance at meaning, even if they and you do not think so. No, I do not want people to suffer. To me, it's the person who says the poor should die, or not given a chance to live, who encourages suffering.

    But again, all that is secondary. We can't really begin to discuss quality of life or ethics of life issues if we don't define when life begins. So to your points: You still have yet to clearly define a logical point when life begins. Plenty of people actually _do_ advocate for 8.5 month old abortions. I'm glad to hear you don't, and that you recognize there is little biological difference between a born child and an about-to-be-born child. If you stick to your first assertion that life begins at birth, then logically you shouldn't have a problem with it. What's so wrong about yanking it out with forceps and letting it gasp on a tray if it's not an 'independent existence' yet? But apparently you reconcile that somehow and land on 1st trimester plus one day also being when abortion-as-contraception is wrong, so let's roll back the clock. Tell me, what is the biological difference between the 1st trimester minus one day child, and the 1st trimester child that makes you think it's OK to kill the one for any reason the mother sees fit, but not the other? What happens after 1st trimester that suddenly endows the unborn with more rights in your view than she had the day before?

    I went to hear the heartbeat of my second child last week. He or she was 7 weeks in utero then. She had limb buds and brain activity. Say what you will, but she or he definitely was a human being at that point, but wasn't my wife, and wasn't me. And back further, before we even knew she was there, when she was just a 'clump of cells', she had the complete instructions for her biological self: her gender, birthmarks, hair color, everything was all right there and, _biologically a independent entity from me or my wife_. Sure, she can't live on her own now, but in a pinch, in about 20 weeks she might.

  37. It seems like Bobby is not trying to see both sides. He believes that his views are right, and that anyone who doesn't agree with him is wrong. I will also assume that Bobby does not have any children. For any of you who are "Pro-Choice" and ARE NOT parents, please, do me a favor: wait until you DO have that LIFE inside of you. Growing inside of you, and depending on you, and THEN tell me that abortion is OK! I was 100% pro- choice until I became pregnant with my daughter four years ago. The day I found out I was pregnant, my whole perspective changed. You who do not have children have no idea. For you men out there who biologically cannot carry a child, why don't you wait until you hear your unborn child's first heartbeat, or see that little "parasite" (as Bobby called it) on ultrasound. If your view does not change then, you are a heartless person, or a horrible parent.
    Amendment 26 will NOT outlaw birth control. Also, if a woman is suffering from an ectopic pregnancy, or anything that will put her life or the life of her unborn child in danger, she will still have the right to choose who's life she wants to save. AS A MOTHER, I would choose my child's life (unless it was ectopic, of course, because a fetus will terminate itself).
    Do your research on BOTH sides. No one should go to the polls uneducated. You can't just read a few blogs about why you should vote "no" or "yes" on 26. Get the FACTS. Not the rantings of some inhumane person whom is obviously NOT a parent, and who is sick enough to call an unborn child a "parasite". THAT is disgusting.

  38. @Daniel Root – I give you a solid answer with no ambiguity and you twist my words, put words into my mouth and say I didn't answer you. Interesting.

    You say, "To me, it's the person who says the poor should die, or not given a chance to live, who encourages suffering."

    Whose suffering does that encourage? The people who die no longer suffer. Those not born do not suffer. So, who suffers? Who goes hungry? Who has no shelter? Who is abused? Who goes without?

    Since you seem to be a bit slow, let me repeat myself – Life Begins At Birth. Independent Existence begins at Birth. Birth is when Life Begins. Life begins with the first breath at Birth. How many more ways do you need to hear (read) it for you to get the idea?

    You are a fool or a horrible person yourself if you really think anyone advocates for 8.5 month abortions, unless there is dire threat to the woman's life and the baby doesn't stand a chance either.

    You want a black and white world where there are clear lines and one size really fits all. That doesn't exist and you can't force it to. I can't tell if you want everyone to suffer or you want everyone to be happy to be here. Either way, not true, not going to happen.

    What is right for you is not right for everyone. Your shoes won't fit on every other person in the world.

  39. @CHN I am a horrible person, huh?

    First, you know nothing about me. Second, I think you are a horrible person.

    You say, "Also, if a woman is suffering from an ectopic pregnancy, or anything that will put her life or the life of her unborn child in danger, she will still have the right to choose who's life she wants to save."

    Not if 26 passes. The courts will decide her fate. Think not? It has already happened lots of times. One instance I can think of is the woman who found out she had cancer. The courts ordered a C-Section. Both the baby and her died as a result. That is what you are saying "Yes" to. Misery, suffering and death by order of the court.

    I did see my child on ultrasound. It was compassion that told me no, this should not happen. Not then. Not there. You see, I care about people. I care about their circumstances, their experiences, their feelings. I believe quality of life is important – more important than quantity. I cared even more deeply for what would have been my child. I did not want my child suffering. So we did the right thing. Not the selfish, egotistical thing – the right thing – and had an abortion. Every time I have thought back and thought "What if," I know even more surely that it was right.

    I am glad that you have never been in a circumstance that would force such a consideration. I am glad you live a charmed life compared to many people. But I refuse to allow your life experiences to dictate decisions for mine.

  40. @CHN
    I do agree that everyone should go to the polls educated.
    Amendment 26 will not outlaw birth control just as sure as it will not outlaw abortion. There is nothing in the wording that mentions either. There is no protection for ectopic pregnancy decisions nor rape or incest. There is nothing but changing the definition of 'person.'

    Everything else – what that change of definition means – is left up to the courts and legislature. Look around at what other states have done with similar laws like "Fetal Homicide" – look at South Carolina. Look at Mexico where 'personhood' is law. Women there are asking the U.N. for help. Look at Peru (I think).

    Get Facts. Share the Facts. Even if there are people who demonize and hate you for it.

  41. A societal attitude that people should die because they are poor devalues the living poor who are struggling to lift themselves out of poverty. That's one of many ways your view on poverty causes suffering. Seriously, go tell a poor person to their face that they should die, and see if they suffer. Go tell a poor expectant mother that her baby doesn't deserve to see the light of day, and see if that makes her smile.

    You misunderstand my point on the 8.5 month old. If life begins at birth, then there is no logical reason to endow any rights on an embryo before it is born. If it's not alive yet, then how can you kill it? Yet you do give some rights to it after the first trimester by saying it should only be killed if medically necessary. All I'm doing is pointing out the contradiction, not putting words in your mouth.

    So what is the biological difference between a first trimester baby – who you would say should only be killed for the health of the mother, and the first trimester minus one day baby, who you say can be killed for any reason?

  42. @Daniel Root….The point here is not about where Bobby or anyone else draws that line of where life begins, or when a unborn child becomes a person. The point is that putting the government on that line–wherever you draw it–has serious consequences. The line we have historically drawn is at birth, when the mother and child become separate.

    I am a pro-life Mississippi woman. I do not support elective abortions. But I also do not support government interference in women's health care. The Yes people keep saying that women needn't worry about ectopic pregnancy if this amendment passes. But I've read how tubal pregnancies are treated by doctors and hospitals where personhood mentality is already practiced. They don't treat the woman with methotrexate, because that would make their intent to kill the fetus. Most of them will not lift a finger until the tube has ruptured, although a few will remove the tube before that happens. Either way, it is major surgery and the woman loses half her future fertility. This is completely unacceptable. No medical professional should choose a more dangerous, more damaging, more serious procedure over a minimally invasive and much safer medication….all to protect a baby who has zero chance of survival.

    I believe God gave us the ability to learn, and to discover, and to heal ourselves. I believe he expects us to use the intellect he gave us. I have used it to research this issue. I have used it to analyze the benefits and the risks. I will still be using it when I vote No on Tuesday.

  43. @Daniel Root – are you purposefully twisting words or are you just not good at reading comprehension?

    I've never said 'poor people should die' as you suggest. I don't even think it is a 'societal attitude.' I've never said a pregnant woman's baby doesn't deserve to live. You even thinking I said that tells me you are deranged somehow (because people usually project their own attitudes and beliefs onto others – something I recognize and make all efforts to avoid doing).

    and your last paragraph, if you are not purposefully twisting words, would more accurately be "So what is the biological difference between a SECOND trimester FETUS – who you would say should only be killed IF the health of the mother IS AT RISK, and the SECOND trimester minus one day EMBRYO, whICH you say can be REMOVED BY CHOICE OF THE MOTHER?"

    Before birth, a pre-embryo (fertilized egg) is a not-very-likely potential life, an embryo is a potential life, a fetus is a very potential life. There are medically recognized stages of development (Trimesters), therefore there are differences in the ratio of rights between the living, breathing woman and the potential life inside her. There is no reality based contradiction in what I said.

    A woman having a fertilized egg inside her does not automatically negate all of her rights, nor does she loose rights up to two weeks later when she might become pregnant, nor three months after that. There is a ratio that starts with all rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness belonging to the woman and gradually reaches a level of equality between the woman and potential life inside her.

    i26 makes it law that two cells inside a woman instantly have more right to life than her liberty. You can have that belief and act that way in your life and that is fine with me, but I will vote No to that being the law.

  44. Thank you for a very worthy article, extremely comprehensive, and undoubtedly no small amount of effort having gone in to its preparation.

    I am in fact featuring it myself. But it is another article that I think you might find of interest. A 2007 article from the Guardian, reporting on the situation that the women of Nicaragua found themselves in when a total ban on abortion was initiated by the religious extremists of that unfortunate country.

    I link to it from this post.

    "Here there is a lot of religiosity but only a little Christianity." : Nicaragua Link

  45. Once again Bobby, I'm not putting words in your mouth. If you look back I originally said "Of course not!" to the idea that you would say poor adults should die. I'm pointing out the flaws in your logic, and so far when faced with that, you just resort to name-calling and personal attacks. And the assertion that poor people dieing don't cause suffering. My only point on that issue all along has been that _if_ a baby in utero is a human being, then citing poverty statistics in the context of abortion is the equivalent of saying a 2,3, or 40 year old should die because they are poor _which of course nobody in their right mind would say_. Therefore, the only valid question is: when do they become a human being?

    And you have finally almost given an answer. You think that it is "potential life" at conception, and at each trimester becomes more potentially life. Then when it's born, it's 100% life. I obviously disagree- last time the law called somebody 3/5ths a person it was wrong- but at least we're getting to the core issue. What is the biological measure of this "potential life ratio"? What biological measure starts at conception, reaches a point at the start of the 2nd trimester that earns the baby more legal rights than it had 1st trimester, then completes once the baby is born? Brain activity? Heart activity? Number of cells? Midi-chlorions? What?

  46. You're welcome dear boy.

    An oversight at the time of my previous comment, but might I leave this link to a fine argument by Arthur Silber in his essay:

    Of Abortion, and Women as the Ultimate Source of Evil

    ….The human being to which I refer is not the developing fetus, but the woman who carries the child. I well understand that many people believe that the fetus is a human being long before birth, with all the rights that attend to that designation. In the political context, I consider all such beliefs irrelevant, no matter how sincerely and deeply held. Only one ultimate point matters here: whether you think the developing fetus is a human being or not, the fetus is contained in and supported by the woman's body. If the woman's body did not exist, neither would the fetus. Only the woman's existence makes that of the fetus possible.

    The fetus only exists because of the woman's body — not yours, not that of some possibly corrupt and stupid politician in Washington, and not the body of some possibly ignorant and venal politician in a state legislature….

    Try some of his other stuff, he is a wonderful writer.


  47. this is BULLSHIT my vote is NOOOOOO!!!! how can they even come up with this stupid law!!! in a way i hope this happens so all the stupid fuck ups who decided on this law will have to pay more taxes to all the women who HAVE to have the babies! what about the women who work 3 jobs just to survive with the children they already bout the people who vote yes pay that womens 6 weeks she is out of work..member now she has rent, car note,car insurance, gas,lights,tv,FOOD….i mean like really the people who vote yes need to FUCK OFF!

  48. I would also like to add that miscarriages also happen because of chromosomal abnormalities, which result from the genetic contributions of both the father and the mother. This is nature's way of ensuring viability of the child that is actually born. Nature provides it's own answer! This compounds the consequences of this amendment: if there is a natural miscarriage, what happens then? Do we throw both father and mother in jail for producing incompatible genes? Can an angry mate accuse the other of murder because there was a positive pregnancy test and no baby ever becomes viable? Thank goodness responsible and thinking people were able to get to the polls and vote NO! I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Great blog, Bobby. Keep up the great work!

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