Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Don’t Like Where This is Going

This November, Colorado voters will get to weigh in on the infamous “Is a fertilized egg a person?” question, courtesy of the proposed Amendment 48: the Human Life Amendment. This amendment has been promoted mainly by a group called Colorado for Equal Rights, (interesting use of traditional feminist language there) and what it would do is pretty simple: “give fertilized eggs the same legal rights and protections to which people are entitled.” Yes, legal rights. Yes, fertilized eggs.

While many anti-choicers are tremendously excited about the fact that this amendment would make way for the outlawing of abortion, there are some other pretty scary implications that come along with defining a fertilized egg as a “person”:

1. A woman who suffers a miscarriage could be investigated for it, and if she is found to have contributed to the pregnancy’s termination, she could be charged (probably with manslaughter).
2. A woman who is pregnant and engages in behavior deemed risky for the fetus (smoking, drinking, riding roller coasters, cleaning litter boxes, going in hot tubs, etc), she could be charged with negligence or child abuse; this is particularly worrying because many women do not know they are pregnant until up to weeks after conception. Which means…
a. …it is conceivable that all women who are sexually active could be subject to regular (government-regulated?) pregnancy tests and/or behavioral restrictions (no smoking/drinking/roller coasters/litter box cleaning/hot tubs, etc)—to protect the health of the possible person inside her, of course.
3. As Scott Moss, a University of Colorado Law School professor, notes: “If a pregnant woman is really two people with exactly equal rights, then it is not clear the pregnant woman can undergo any medical treatment that jeopardizes a fertilized egg,”
4. Several forms of birth control, including Plan B (“The Morning After Pill”) and Intra-uterine devices, both of which have been shown to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting, would become illegal.

So not only does Amendment 48 aim to take away a woman’s right to choose abortion, but it could also take away her right to choose birth control, to get medical treatment, and to live her life as she wishes, riding roller coasters and hanging out in hot tubs. FUCKERS!!

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