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Originally posted by [ profile] twbasketcaseat Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Originally posted by [ profile] gabrielleabelleat Mississippi Personhood Amendment
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.

Date: 2011-10-12 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ok, possibly daft question but how does this amendment sidestep Roe v Wade and the supremacy clause?

If it cannot then the entire effect of the amendment is symbolic, no?

Date: 2011-10-13 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The amendment defines "personhood" at the moment of "fertilization, cloning, or functional equivalent thereof."

Given that broad definition, the opponents are concerned that:

• birth control becomes illegal because many prevent the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus wall.
• use of birth control becomes a murder charge
• miscarriage becomes a manslaughter charge
• having a drink or smoking becomes child endangerment

And a host of other possibilities. All valid arguments against a poorly written bill.

The organization "Personhood USA" tried this twice, in Oregon or Montana, I think. When they were defeated, they went after Mississippi.

Date: 2011-10-13 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Right, and I still don't see how that gets past Roe v Wade. Abortion is a fundamental right, any law restricting it must be held to strict scrutiny. I don't see how this would pass any sort of court muster. It'd be opposed before it was even signed and dead law as soon as it was signed due to a court order suspending it's enforcement.

Date: 2011-10-13 10:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's still a nasty ugly precedent, and I don't see the overturn you do so blithely happening. Reproductive rights are under a pretty strong attack here lately and this is just one more step along the path.

Date: 2011-10-13 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It doesn't have to go to the supreme court to get overturned. It can happen at any lower level. The current supreme court is loathe to overturn precedent, that's a fact (see also Kelo v New London or discussions on the Slaughterhouse cases in McDonald v DC).

If X law restricting a fundamental constitutional right is found to be unconstitutional, and some other state passes another of that same sort of law, it's going to have very little chance of seeing the light of day in a court room where it is that restrictive law being applied.

Legally, it sets no precedent as far as I can tell.


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