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Author Topic: Supporters of 'Personhood Amendment' Make Case to Mississippi Voters  (Read 26189 times)
Dos Equis
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« on: September 13, 2011, 06:36:50 PM »

Interesting question.  Does life begin at conception? 

Supporters of 'Personhood Amendment' Make Case to Mississippi Voters
By Shannon Bream
Published September 12, 2011
FoxNews.com

Fresh off a win at the Mississippi Supreme Court, backers of a so-called "Personhood Amendment" are looking forward to making their case to voters.

On Nov. 8, voters across the state will decide whether or not to amend the Mississippi constitution so that in the words of the proposed amendment, "The term 'person' or 'persons' shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization."

A number of pro-choice groups, including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, sued to keep the initiative off the November ballot. In ruling to allow it, the Mississippi Supreme Court held, "Just as this Court cannot prohibit legislators from offering proposals in the House or Senate, this Court cannot impede voters from submitting proposals through the voter initiative process." The Court did not address the content of the ballot initiative.

Opponents warn that the measure will radically interfere with women's most personal healthcare decisions. "This measure is harmful to women," Brian Atwood, legal director of the ACLU said.
Atwood characterized the proposed amendment as something that could "severely limit women's access to birth control, in vitro fertilization and life-saving medical procedures."

Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, said those claims are simply false.

"We are planning to take these arguments head-on in Mississippi," Mason says. He also argues that many of the groups that oppose measures like the one in Mississippi stand "to profit" from abortion, and that accounts for at least part of their motivation.

Although a similar ballot measure has failed twice in Colorado, Mason is optimistic about success in Mississippi.

"Around 80 percent of the electorate is pro-life," Mason said. "The only way we could see defeat in Mississippi ... is if folks just sit at home and do nothing."

Though it was among the losing parties at the Mississippi Supreme Court, the Center for Reproductive Rights believes it will ultimately prevail. It is urging voters to defeat the Personhood Amendment and warning, "This measure should raise all kinds of alarms."

Should voters approve the measure, legal fights are guaranteed and opponents feel confident the content of the amendment will not survive legal scrutiny.

Supporters plan to forge ahead. They hope to have Personhood Amendments on at least a dozen state ballots by Election Day 2012.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/12/supporters-personhood-amendment-make-case-to-mississippi-voters/
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 11:17:02 AM »

'Personhood,' a new tack in abortion fight
By Erik Eckholm
New York Times
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 26, 2011

A constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder.

With this far-reaching anti-abortion strategy, the proponents of what they call personhood amendments hope to reshape the national debate.

"I view it as transformative," said Brad Prewitt, a lawyer and executive director of the Yes on 26 campaign, which is named for the Mississippi proposition. "Personhood is bigger than just shutting abortion clinics; it's an opportunity for people to say that we're made in the image of God."

Many doctors and women's health advocates say the proposals would cause a dangerous intrusion of criminal law into medical care, jeopardizing women's rights and even their lives.

The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar birth control methods, including IUDs and "morning-after pills" that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.

The amendment has been endorsed by candidates for governor from both major parties, and it appears likely to pass, said W. Martin Wiseman, director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. Legal challenges would surely follow, but even if the amendment is ultimately declared unconstitutional, it could disrupt vital care, critics say, and force years of costly court battles.

"This is the most extreme in a field of extreme anti-abortion measures that have been before the states this year," said Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal advocacy group.

Opponents, who were handing out brochures Saturday to tailgate partiers before the University of Southern Mississippi football game in Hattiesburg, said they hoped to dispel the impression that the amendment simply bars abortions -- a popular idea in Mississippi -- by warning that it would also limit contraceptives, make doctors afraid to save women with life-threatening pregnancies and possibly hamper in vitro fertility treatments.

The drive for personhood amendments has split the anti-abortion forces nationally. Some groups call it an inspired moral leap, while traditional leaders of the fight, including the National Right to Life and the Roman Catholic bishops, have refused to promote it, charging that the tactic is reckless and could backfire, leading to a Supreme Court defeat that would undermine progress in carving away at Roe v. Wade.

The approach, granting legal rights to embryos, is fundamentally different from the abortion restrictions that have been adopted in dozens of states. These try to narrow or hamper access to abortions by, for example, sharply restricting the procedures at as early as 20 weeks, requiring women to view ultrasounds of the fetus, curbing insurance coverage and imposing expensive regulations on clinics.

The Mississippi amendment aims to sidestep existing legal battles, simply stating that "the term 'person' or 'persons' shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof."

A similar measure has been defeated twice, by large margins, in Colorado. But the national campaign, promoted by Personhood USA, a Colorado-based group, found more receptive ground in Mississippi, where anti-abortion sentiment crosses party and racial lines, and where the state already has so many restrictions on abortion that only one clinic performs the procedure.

In 2009, an ardent abortion foe named Les Riley formed a state personhood group and started collecting the signatures needed to reach the ballot. Evangelicals and other longtime abortion opponents have pressed the case, and Proposition 26 has the support of a range of political leaders. Its passage could energize similar drives brewing in Florida, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin and other states.

In Mississippi, the emotional battle is being fought with radio and television ads, phone banks and old-fashioned canvassing.

Among the picnicking fans being lobbied outside the stadium in Hattiesburg on Saturday, Lauree Mooney, 40, and her husband, Jerry Mooney, 45, USM alumni, disagreed with each other. She said that she is against abortion but that the amendment is "too extreme." Jerry Mooney said he would vote yes because "I've always been against abortion."

Shelley Shoemake, 41, a chiropractor, said the proposal is "yanking me in one direction and the other." She knows women who had abortions as teenagers, and feels compassion for them. "I've got a lot of praying to do" before the vote, she said.

Mississippi will also elect a new governor on Nov. 8. The Republican candidate, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, is co-chairman of Yes on 26 and his campaign distributes bumper stickers for the initiative. The Democratic candidate, Johnny DuPree, the mayor of Hattiesburg and the state's first black major-party candidate for governor in modern times, says he will vote for it though he is worried about its impact on medical care and contraception.

No one can yet be sure of how the amendment would affect criminal proceedings, said Jonathan Will, director of the Bioethics and Health Law Center at the Mississippi College School of Law. Could a woman taking a morning-after pill, for instance, be charged with murder?

But many leaders of the anti-abortion movement fear that the strategy will be counterproductive. Federal courts would almost surely declare the amendment unconstitutional, said James Bopp Jr., a prominent conservative lawyer from Terre Haute, Ind., and general counsel of National Right to Life, since it contradicts a woman's current right to an abortion in the early weeks of pregnancy.

"From the standpoint of protecting unborn lives it's utterly futile," he said, "and it has the grave risk that if it did get to the Supreme Court, the court would write an even more extreme abortion policy."

Bishop Joseph Latino of Jackson, Miss., said in a statement last week that the Roman Catholic Church does not support Proposition 26 because "the push for a state amendment could ultimately harm our efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade."

Conservative Christian groups including the American Family Association and the Family Research Council are firmly behind the proposal.

Dr. Randall S. Hines, a fertility specialist in Jackson working against Proposition 26 with the group Mississippians for Healthy Families, said that the amendment reflects "biological ignorance." Most fertilized eggs, he said, do not implant in the uterus or develop further.

"Once you recognize that the majority of fertilized eggs don't become people, then you recognize how absurd this amendment is," Hines said. He fears severe unintended consequences for doctors and women dealing with ectopic or other dangerous pregnancies and for in vitro fertility treatments. "We'll be asking the Legislature, the governor, judges to decide what is best for the patient," he said.

Dr. Eric Webb, an obstetrician in Tupelo, Miss., who has spoken out on behalf of Proposition 26, said that the concerns about wider impacts were overblown and that the critics were "avoiding the central moral question."

"With the union of the egg and sperm, that is life, and genetically human," Webb said.

Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, said he did not agree that the Supreme Court would necessarily reject a personhood amendment. The ultimate goal, he said, is a federal amendment, with a victory in Mississippi as the first step.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/nyt/20111026_Personhood_a_new_tack_in_abortion_fight.html
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 11:59:04 AM »

Kind of shocking that this thread didn't explode into 30 pages.  

My personal belief is that life does start at conception.  With that said I sure would not want to tell rape and incest victims they had to have the baby that resulted from their rape or force a mother to give birth to a baby that doesn't have any chance at life.  Also not cool if it results in the state deciding who dies if it comes down to the mother or the baby.
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 01:22:29 PM »

On Nov. 8, voters across the state will decide whether or not to amend the Mississippi constitution so that in the words of the proposed amendment, "The term 'person' or 'persons' shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization."

That's hilarious!!!

Next I'll be tried on charges of genocide for squirting about 39 million people into my girlfriends anal cavity!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 01:24:40 PM »

Life begins when your check is cashed on the filing fee for your Articles of Incorporation
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 01:26:49 PM »

Hahaha come on.  This has to be a joke. 
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 01:29:38 PM »

I'm no supporter of abortion, but come on! 

Insanity, lol
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 03:04:40 PM »

Kind of shocking that this thread didn't explode into 30 pages.  

My personal belief is that life does start at conception.  With that said I sure would not want to tell rape and incest victims they had to have the baby that resulted from their rape or force a mother to give birth to a baby that doesn't have any chance at life.  Also not cool if it results in the state deciding who dies if it comes down to the mother or the baby.

I agree life begins at conception.  That's the logical starting point, rather than some arbitrary "viability" line, etc.  I think people who have been involved with the pregnancy and the birth of a child (male or female) is more likely to understand and appreciate that there is actually a life in the womb (whether the law recognizes it or not).  

In terms of the rape and incest exceptions, I don't think there can be a logical distinction between aborting a baby conceived through consensual sex and aborting one conceived through rape.  It's still an innocent child.  So, if a state is going to ban it, a rape/incest exception isn't reasonable IMO.  

I view the mother's life and health differently, because then you have competing interests (mother vs. baby).  Not saying this should happen, just following the argument to its logical (or illogical) conclusion.    

In any event, I've said this many times before, but I don't think there is a political solution to this issue, short of a "personhood amendment," and even then it probably will never be settled.  
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2011, 03:42:16 PM »

If life begins at conception then God is the biggest abortionist on the planet since, "according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists .... anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage"

As to when human life "begins" I agree with Bill Hicks

You're not a human being until you're in my phone book. - Bill Hicks
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2011, 04:55:19 PM »

"The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar birth control methods, including IUDs and "morning-after pills" that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories."




I don't see how this will survive current SCOTUS rulings, but...
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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2011, 11:48:51 AM »

I agree life begins at conception.  That's the logical starting point, rather than some arbitrary "viability" line, etc.  I think people who have been involved with the pregnancy and the birth of a child (male or female) is more likely to understand and appreciate that there is actually a life in the womb (whether the law recognizes it or not).  

In terms of the rape and incest exceptions, I don't think there can be a logical distinction between aborting a baby conceived through consensual sex and aborting one conceived through rape.  It's still an innocent child.  So, if a state is going to ban it, a rape/incest exception isn't reasonable IMO.  

I view the mother's life and health differently, because then you have competing interests (mother vs. baby).  Not saying this should happen, just following the argument to its logical (or illogical) conclusion.    

In any event, I've said this many times before, but I don't think there is a political solution to this issue, short of a "personhood amendment," and even then it probably will never be settled.  

Bum, from your statement above I assume if your wife, sister, daughter was raped and became pregnant (and I certainly hope that never happens) that you would want them to bear the child of their rapist.

How would you suggest they deal with the trauma/horror of having to carry the child of their rapist and then what would you want them to do with the child (I'm assuming you would have some influence if this were your wife or daughter).   Would you want them to raise the child oftheir rapist or put it up for adotption.  Which one do you think would create more trauma for them.  Raising the child or giving it up?
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2011, 01:22:29 PM »

Sperm are living beings?  Right? 

I don't think we should be blindly trying to protect "life".  What we know as human life should be protected.
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2011, 01:23:22 PM »

Interesting distraction.  Let's all worry about this while dems and repubs wipe their asses with our tax dollars.
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2011, 01:46:24 PM »

That's hilarious!!!

Next I'll be tried on charges of genocide for squirting about 39 million people into my girlfriends anal cavity!  Roll Eyes

Sperm are living beings?  Right?  

I don't think we should be blindly trying to protect "life".  What we know as human life should be protected.

PIP, you may be having a brain fart because you know that fertilization in this case = a male sperm + female egg = zygote (the life they are talking about not just your sperm [sperm or egg on their own = not a human life])

For instance, vegetarians can eat unfertilized chicken eggs as you know them but wouldn't eat fertilized ones....because the unfertilized egg is, as Toxic Avenger would say, simply "hen period."



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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2011, 02:00:16 PM »

PIP, you may be having a brain fart because you know that fertilization in this case = a male sperm + female egg = zygote (the life they are talking about not just your sperm [sperm or egg on their own = not a human life])

For instance, vegetarians can eat unfertilized chicken eggs as you know them but wouldn't eat fertilized ones....because the unfertilized egg is, as Toxic Avenger would say, simply "hen period."

Thanks for taking the time to lay it out like that Mr. Bean!   Grin

I realize that, and agree but I don't know that sperm should instantly be considered "a human" because it's merely penetrated the egg.  I believe it takes a little while for stuff to begin. I don't know that these earliest forms of life should be considered "a human".  I know that at some point in the womb a tiny human is formed, but I believe the human part comes a little bit later.
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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2011, 02:02:24 PM »

It may be wrong of me, and this probably isn't the appropriate thread, but the fact that we're at a world population of 7,000,000,000 concerns me.

This is a much bigger problem than anything we're currently concerned about.
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2011, 02:09:31 PM »

Thanks for taking the time to lay it out like that Mr. Bean!   Grin


 Smiley


* bean.gif (37.79 KB, 225x320 - viewed 882 times.)
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2011, 11:54:58 AM »

Interesting distraction.  Let's all worry about this while dems and repubs wipe their asses with our tax dollars.

 Roll Eyes  Troll.  http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=399809.0 
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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2011, 12:29:01 PM »

If this passes then anyone who is raped in Mississippi will be forced to carry their rapists spawn to term

Will the rapist get parental visits?  I assume the rapist will have to pay child support but what if he's still in jail serving a term for the rape (and let's fucking hope that he is).  Will the state then pay child support since they forced the woman to give birth?

Will all miscarriages be investigated as a potential homicide?

Will birth control be illegal?

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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2011, 01:07:31 PM »

If this passes then anyone who is raped in Mississippi will be forced to carry their rapists spawn to term

Will the rapist get parental visits?  I assume the rapist will have to pay child support but what if he's still in jail serving a term for the rape (and let's fucking hope that he is).  Will the state then pay child support since they forced the woman to give birth?

Will all miscarriages be investigated as a potential homicide?

Will birth control be illegal?
what happens now when a man with a child is paying child support and goes to jail?

id say the same thing should happen in your idiotic scenario Wink
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2011, 01:15:21 PM »

If this passes then anyone who is raped in Mississippi will be forced to carry their rapists spawn to term


wow, it sounds evil when it's written like that.  Spawn!
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2011, 02:11:06 PM »

what happens now when a man with a child is paying child support and goes to jail?

id say the same thing should happen in your idiotic scenario Wink

I must say this is a suprising new low in stupidity, even for you.

first of all this is not my scenario

this would the the scenario if this amendment were to pass

here is the key difference that you seemed to have failed to comprehend

the state would be forcing the woman to give birth to the child of her rapist

The state now becomes a responsible party in this situation

Does the state now pay child support?

Does the state pay for counseling for the trauma to the woman for having to bear the child of her rapist and the trauma of having to either raise the child of her rapist of having to part with it.

This is an outcome forced by the state and they are now a responsible party and perhaps even THE primary responsible party in this situation
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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2011, 02:38:56 PM »

I must say this is a suprising new low in stupidity, even for you.

first of all this is not my scenario

this would the the scenario if this amendment were to pass

here is the key difference that you seemed to have failed to comprehend

the state would be forcing the woman to give birth to the child of her rapist

The state now becomes a responsible party in this situation

Does the state now pay child support?

Does the state pay for counseling for the trauma to the woman for having to bear the child of her rapist and the trauma of having to either raise the child of her rapist of having to part with it.

This is an outcome forced by the state and they are now a responsible party and perhaps even THE primary responsible party in this situation
the state forces the man to be a father if he doesnt want the child, THIS IS THE SIMILARITY THAT YOU FAIL TO COMPREHEND!!!
but I agree I would be ok with a choice clause in the case of rape.
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2011, 03:12:49 PM »

the state forces the man to be a father if he doesnt want the child, THIS IS THE SIMILARITY THAT YOU FAIL TO COMPREHEND!!!
but I agree I would be ok with a choice clause in the case of rape.

I can't figure out if you're actually joking or really this stupid

the state did not force the "father" to commit rape

we're talking about conception by rape

do you understand?
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2011, 04:00:10 PM »

I can't figure out if you're actually joking or really this stupid

the state did not force the "father" to commit rape

we're talking about conception by rape

do you understand?
agreed which is why i said I would be ok with a clause in exceptions of rape...what part of that did you not understand?

fact of the matter is though if you want to complain about a woman being forced to take care of a child you should be equally upset about a man being forced to take care of a child...pretty logical if you ask me...
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