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Mississippi Personhood Amendment

Follow up post to address common questions/concerns is here.

Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.

Follow up post to address common questions/concerns is here.


( 104 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 13th, 2011 08:31 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this. I've spread the word :)
Oct. 13th, 2011 12:08 pm (UTC)
Posted in sf_drama.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 13th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
So noted.

I tend to compare this amendment to the Prop 8 amendment in CA, which garnered a great deal more attention. Everyday on my Google Reader, mainstream political blogs would talk about it. With this amendment, there is nothing from those blogs. That's disappointing.

Also, when I first posted this on Sunday, the Wake Up, Mississippi Facebook had around 20 to 30 likes. Now it has around 1,700. Still dismally small but a massive improvement.
Oct. 13th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
Here's a well written column from a pro-lifers point of view: http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/site/comments/spiehler_where_is_the_line_101211/

She did research, trying to figure out what this will mean for ectopic pregnancy, birth control, and other issues, and was basically told over and over that it would be ironed out later. Yes, that's what we need, let our politicians make the decisions later. That always works so well for us.
Oct. 14th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
That's a fantastic column. Thanks for posting the link.
Oct. 14th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
You're welcome. A big part of what I've been trying to do is to find articles that explain things in such a way that my pro-life friends and family won't turn away from immediately. This is one of the few pieces I've found that I think even pro-life folks can read, not feel attacked over it, and comprehend how wrong this all is.
Oct. 13th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
Could you please clarify how this amendment would criminalize miscarriage? I suggest an edit to the post itself because I (and I'm sure many others) do not have time to sift through 800 comments.

I'm pro-choice myself, but it is mind-boggling to me that even the most pro-life of activists would want a law on the books that makes miscarriage illegal....
Oct. 13th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
Any edits to the original post I make now wouldn't show up on the various reposts, unfortunately.

However, women are already being criminalized for miscarriages under similar laws. Yes. Women are being charged with murder for miscarriages.

An amendment that defines "personhood" from the moment of conception opens to door to that interpretation. After all, if a woman doesn't eat healthy enough or somesuch during her pregnancy and has a miscarriage as a result, that would technically be manslaughter.

In Georgia, an anti-abortion bill was introduced that would, literally and explicitly, require the investigation of miscarriages. All miscarriages.

"It gets worse. Franklin wants to create a Uterus Police to investigate miscarriages, and requires that any time a miscarriage occurs, whether in a hospital or without medical assistance, it must be reported and a fetal death certificate issued. If the cause of death is unknown, it must be investigated. If the woman can't tell how it happened, than those Uterus Police can ask family members and friends how it happened. Hospitals are required to keep records of anyone who has a spontaneous abortion and report it. Yup, we've been waiting for someone to suggest this--and Franklin has."
Oct. 14th, 2011 05:36 am (UTC)
One standard medical term that used to be used for miscarriage was "spontaneous abortion". Introduce the A-word and you'll see the need for careful investigation - it's a possible homicide.
Oct. 13th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
Um...does No about cover it? *shock*
Oct. 14th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
Reposted :)
Oct. 14th, 2011 05:32 am (UTC)
Me too
I've just read your piece re-posted on Karen Williams blog, and put an extensive reply there.

It's a view from the other side of the Pond, where I don't think even the most fervent anti-choice supporters are expecting this to go through here (UK).

Since it's long, and speculative, I'll just leave a link here and hope Karen doesn't mind my rant!

Oct. 14th, 2011 12:41 pm (UTC)
Hello and thanks for sharing this!

There's an online petition now: http://www.change.org/petitions/mississippi-attorney-generals-office-stop-the-policing-of-womens-bodily-autonomy-stop-amendment-26

Do you think you can edit this into your post so it can get spread around more?

I know it won't show up on reposts that have already been made, but people would still see it here.

Edited at 2011-10-14 12:41 pm (UTC)
Oct. 14th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
Don't just stop with Democrats. Send e-mails and messages Republican representatives as well. How? With a message as follows:

Subject: Socialism in Mississippi!


"Stop 'Personhood USA' in Mississippi! 'Personhood USA' seeks to redefine the constitution to allow fertilized eggs individual human rights in Amendment 26. This makes the egg, before it even attaches to the uterus, a legal entity subject to national laws and regulations.

'Personhood USA' is doing this to defeat Roe vs Wade, but it has support from the Democrats in Mississippi because it gives illegal aliens rights to citizenship just by conceiving on US soil. Any pregnant illegal alien in Mississippi can now apply for welfare, and we cannot deport if a US citizen is legally recognized in her womb! This isn't just rights to citizenship by birth, but by conception--and since the amendment could potentially make birth control illegal, a flood of immigrants may be headed to Mississippi to gain US citizenship merely by having sex!


Additionally to recognizing human rights, the definition of personhood puts a fetus under legal responsibility. For instance, that means in the cases of Vanishing Twin Syndrome a fetus can be convicted of manslaughter or even murder! Before the child is even born!

This is in addition to the various ways the government may leverage the personhood of millions of unborn entities a year to push forward further trillions of dollars of spending on healthcare or other initiatives that should be spent on the mother to ensure a healthy birth or on fixing the economy. Who knows what other ideas the government may get over "unrepresented unborns" to minimize the true rights of US citizens, as well as the privacy of mothers.

Roe v. Wade needs reform but THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WAY. Keep the government away from fetuses. Keep citizenship rights to actual US citizens! Prevent an oncoming welfare state!"

Oct. 14th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
I've been raising hell about this, too. Time to whip out our copies of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" and keep up the full court press, I suppose. But oh, how I wish it had never been necessary.

Keep your spirits up and your powder dry!
Oct. 15th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you for helping get the word out. I've been so proud of my kids and pseudo-kid. Amanda & Kaitlyn are attending forums and are helping to organize where they can in their college town . Constance has been putting flyers on every car in Fulton every weekend she goes home and pestering her classmates here in Jackson. I have been taking the "one person at a time" approach. It's painfully amazing when you ask someone and they say they will vote for I#26, without any notion as to what they are really voting on. I very carefully, without letting my frustration show through, explain the most pertain implications for women and families if this thing passes.

Again, thanks.

Peace&love, Helen (frustrated and anxious here in Mississippi)
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
How stupid can one become, when getting a fanatic?
Missisippy does not have to look far...
in a few years there is no shortage of jobs: one half will hold the other half in prison (mostly the women) so a kind of (hidden) slavery comes back again. And yes, you did guess right, I'll NEVER immigrate to a country, so old fashioned and frightend for all, that is not there for hundreds of years. A modern wich hunt again? Or a new kind of klux?
No, the Americas are not going into the future, they are triving on past glory... a pity and shamefull! Nan
Oct. 17th, 2011 09:48 am (UTC)
and on the other hand



7-8 week developing babies look like these pictures above
just before they actually develop eyelids, as the first pic shows.

and at ten weeks are this active

And THIS is actually one of the processes doctors perform to get rid of a baby the size of a plum WARNING GRAPHIC
not with a pencil of course, that's a size comparison.
Oct. 17th, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
Hi. I don't debate about abortion. Go away.
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