Monday, August 29, 2011
Dishonesty on the Personhood Amendment
A "pro-life" group recently gave a presentation at my mother's church encouraging everyone to vote for the amendment. I do not yet know the group's name but my mother reported that the group explained the amendment as a way to end reckless abortion. My mom went home that night with a sign to put in her yard and her mind made up that she would vote "yes" on election day. When we discussed the issue the next night, she believed that a vote for amendment 26 was simply a vote to end abortion as a birth control method. She specifically mentioned that she thought the amendment would hinder those girls "who just sleep around" from having an abortion done.
I explained to her what the amendment really meant and I directed her to their websites at Personhood Mississippi and yeson26.net so she could read for herself. I explained to her that their goals were much larger than simply keeping "sluts" from being responsible for their actions. I showed her how they intend to outlaw oral contraceptives, stem-cell research, and therapeutic cloning. I talked to her about how I feared being forced to carry a child to term should my birth control fail since I am now at a maximum risk. I told her I did not want to die.
The next day, the sign came out of her yard and she decided to vote against the amendment come November. But what of the thousands of others who only know what they heard in church or on the local radio? What will they decide?
An interesting thing that I think is overlooked by people is just how draconian this amendment is. Mississippi already protects the unborn and defines "human life" as beginning at conception for the purposes of certain acts. I quote here from the 1972 amended code regarding homicide:
SEC. 97-3-37. Homicide; killing of an unborn child; "human being" includes unborn child at every stage og (sic) gestation from conception until live birth for purposes of offenses of assault and homicide; "unborn child" defined; intentional injury to pregnant woman; penalties; provisions of section not applicable to legal medical procedures, including abortion.
Now I am not a lawyer and I realize this applies to damage done to the unborn by means other than abortion. But my point is that Mississippi has already laid some groundwork for defining life as beginning at conception. The law regarding abortion in Sec 97-3-3 makes abortion illegal except when performed by a doctor ONLY in cases of rape or to save the mother's life. (Why then do we need amendment 26?)
The Personhood Amendment takes away even this little bit of common sense by saying that a small clump of undifferentiated cells has the same or more rights that the rape victim, incest victim, or dying mother who is carrying it. The proponents talk incessantly about this mass of cells (which is smaller than the period at the end of this sentence in the first few weeks) but uses pictures of cute babies and happy, expectant mothers to peddle their product. And while they may be glossing all the bad effects over in their church presentations, they are very clear on their website. They are doing this in order to:
1. Outlaw abortion.
2. End cloning and stem-cell research.
Why do they do this? Here are the reasons they give:
1. Overturn Roe v Wade.
2. Honor God.
Seriously, they aren't doing it to make society better. They aren't doing it protect innocent children - once those kids are born, they don't give a damn. They are doing this because they say it's what God wants (and I suspect that the generation of cheap labor that will be forced to be born because of this is just fine too).
I'm not surprised or disappointed that the big family organizations are pushing this. It's a great fundraiser for them and I've come to expect no better. But it saddens me to see that so many of my neighbors are blindly falling for these lies and distortions. They will vote yes on this amendment and shout "Hallelujah!" until their taxes go up to pay for the increases needed in welfare and medicaid. They will praise the Lord until poverty and crime rates skyrocket. They will congratulate themselves on stopping the bloodshed of the "innocent" and never take responsibility for the child abuse and neglect that the amendment will produce. Then one day they'll look around at the social decay and say, "Damn these liberals. Damn these atheists. Damn these blacks. They are all ruining our state!" Because white conservative Christians here can do no wrong.....
How do you reason with those who do not reason? How do you show something to a person who doesn't want to be shown anything? How do you educate someone who thinks s/he already has all the answers? You can't and so we are fighting a losing battle down here as the Personhood pushers creep into our churches and tell people exactly what they want to hear. They tell them that this law is good and will protect babies from their evil mothers. They tell them this law will make sluts take responsibility - after all, if she's got a kid, she doesn't have time to go spread her legs to all the guys, right? What they don't tell the Amen Chorus is that this law is going give the government power to make medical decisions for their mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters. The law will rob the women they love of their freedom. The law will rape a victim all over again or will force a mother to give birth at the cost of her own life.
These people won't learn until they have suffered greatly. In November, our suffering begins.