Imagine having a miscarriage and being criminally charged.
This could have been the reality for women in Mississippi. A constitutional amendment was proposed, Initiative 26, in the state of Mississippi, the “Personhood Law”, which is a legal amendment to the law to “include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the equivalent thereof”.
Mississippi was the second state to have an initiative to amend the constitution to include fertilized eggs, with Colorado being the first in 2008 and again in 2010. The bill was unsuccessful in both attempts. The vote for Initiative 26 happened on November 8th with a majority of the vote being no. (58% no, 42% yes)
Initial polls for this initiative was 45% in favour of it and 44% opposed, men were more in favour (6% more) while women tended to be more opposed (4%). African-Americans and Democrats made up for 60% of the opposition to this amendment.
If this legislation had passed, this would include the legality of: birth-control pills, morning-after pill and potentially including women who have miscarriages. Supporters of this initiative claimed that hormonal birth controls work to kill fertilized eggs (including emergency contraception). This amendment would also reduce the privacy and privelages of women who are of reproductive age. A pregnant woman would be watched continuously, to ensure that their child will have a successful birth.
I feel that this is a ridiculous initiative to even bring up, with the way that society is progressing and what is considered to be socially acceptable nowadays, why is an amendment being brought into government to reduce the rights of women? I know that this is a very very controversial topic as it closely relates to the argument about Abortion.
One thing that really upsets me about this is that if a woman has a miscarriage, this could potentially lead to manslaughter charges as it would be an unintentional murder, but what if the woman dies during birth? would the child be charged? If the pregnancywas life-threatening for the mother, what happens then? The longer the mother stays alive (with her health declining), the higher the chances of the baby surviving, so would it then be one life for another? sacrificing the mother for the sake of evolution?
on the pro-26 website, they say that saving both is what the goals are, but that could only happen in a picture-perfect world, where all conditions of life could be controlled. Just like a House MD episode that I watched, a pregnant woman was sick and her husband refused to sign for her to go through surgery for their child to be born, anyway. The initial goal was that both the mother and child were going to come out safe, but because of her self-sacrifice, her son was born as she passed away.
Hormonal birth control pills are not just used to prevent pregnancy, it’s also used to help regulate the hormones in women, including their periods and acne(at least this is what I’ve been hearing).
After having this discussion with my some of my friends, one of them brought up a very good point, what if the women is unable to provide a suitable living condition for a child, to pay for all the healthcare that is necessary during the pregnancy. would she still have to legally carry the child and birth it?
So here’s an article to give you more information and arguments from both sides of this legislation:
And here’s a more recent article: