Following in the footsteps of Janet Howell, the Virginia state senator who added a rectal exam amendment to a bill that required women to get an ultrasound before having an abortion, Oklahoma Senator Constance Johnson found a clever way to protest the controversial “fetal personhood laws” cropping up in conservative states. Senate Bill 1433 says “the unborn child at every stage of development (has) all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state,” which would legally make it damn near impossible for a woman to get an abortion. Johnson’s “Every Sperm Is Sacred” amendment, which she voluntarily withdrew but not before emphasizing that her point was to draw attention to the sexism inherrant in these “fetal personhood laws,” would have added language stating “any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.” Because every sperm that dies in a dude’s balled up dirty sock technically could have been a baby.
Constance Johnson, hero of the week. [Care2.com]
That’s a relief.
Mississippi voters failed to pass an anti-abortion “fetal personhood” amendment, which would have defined the beginning of life at conception and therefore criminalized all abortions — including those resulting from rape or incest. Initiative 26, as the ballot measure was known as, also would have criminalized IVF treatments and some forms of birth control because they both involve fertilized eggs. If it had passed, MS would have had the strictest restrictions against abortion in the country. Keep reading »
Tomorrow, Election Day, voters in Mississippi will vote on a fetal personhood amendment to define a fetus as a person in the state constitution, thereby criminalizing all abortion. Initiative 26 would define a “person” as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.” If it passes, surgical abortions would be banned, the abortion pill would be banned, and, according to a Personhood USA spokesman who spoke to NPR, even birth control pills would be banned. Keep reading »
On Tuesday, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow a pregnant woman to use deadly force if someone threatens the life of her or the fetus she is carrying. It’s apparently based on a case — in Michigan, mind you — where a pregnant woman was convicted of manslaughter after she killed her boyfriend, who was trying to kill her. Section 2 of the bill sponsored by Republican Jeanie Riddle reads:
2. A person may not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless: (1) He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony …
Now, I am well aware that pregnant women — especially those in abusive relationships to begin with — sometimes lose their lives to their partners. Scott and Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant when she was killed, would be the most famous example of this. (Thanks to Frisky reader @ShelbyKnox for pointing out to us on Twitter that homicide is the number one cause of death for pregnant women.) But I smell a big, stinky anti-abortion rat here … Keep reading »