I’ve been hesitant to write anything political on my blog. I don’t know why – maybe it’s because I don’t think anyone really cares what I have to say, and many have said more and better. But the election is tomorrow, and I have something to say.
If you haven’t already heard about Initiative 26, it is a proposed amendment to the Mississippi Constitution whose unintended consequences, if passed, will threaten life-saving health care for women, may ban birth control, and may make in vitro fertilization illegal. And those are just a few of the consequences. Read more here: http://www.votenoon26.org/
On the ballot tomorrow, Initiative 26 will read (from the Mississippi Secretary of State website):
INITIATIVE MEASURE NO. 26
BALLOT TITLE: Should the term “person” be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?
Any person (as defined as of November 7, 2011) could reason through this initiative and see how deceptive it is. I could understand the Yes on 26 campaign being so vehement against the No on 26 campaign if the initiative said “Should abortion be illegal?” But instead, Personhood USA (the Yes on 26 campaign) has manipulated Mississippi’s conservative, God-fearing population into thinking this amendment is only about abortion. It’s not. It’s about the unintended consequences should this abhorrent amendment pass.
I love Mississippi. I moved here for college and law school and have stayed 13 years. Mississippians are fiercely loyal to Mississippi, and that’s one reason I love it here. I love this state despite its problems, and the people doing things to help are inspiring to me. However, I can’t believe how many people have rolled over for this outside organization that is trying to tell us what to do with our health care, with our bodies, and with our children (or future ones). Where is that patriotism that I love so much? Aren’t y’all insulted? I AM!
Much has been said about the effect Initiative 26, if passed, would have on birth control. Many people do not know how the Pill works, and if you just read about it, you’ll see that it works, in part, to prevent a fertilized egg (or person, if passed) from implanting by thinning the uterine wall. I have chosen to take the Pill to be a responsible citizen and future parent, to bring a child into this world when my husband and I are financially and emotionally mature enough to provide for a child the way he or she should be. If Initiative 26 passes, would my body, which would be doing the same thing that it has done for years, be a crime scene? Yes. This is not progress. This is madness.
Another unintended consequence of this amendment, if passed, would be making in vitro fertilization difficult, if not impossible, to continue in this state. I’m 31 years old. I don’t see myself having children in the next few years, and I might need IVF when I do decide if and when to have children. I do not want this option to be taken away from me or from couples who have difficulty conceiving without the help of IVF.
Initiative 26, if passed, would define fertilized eggs as persons, and thus if a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, she would be forced to carry that fetus to term because choosing to terminate the pregnancy would be murder. I can’t imagine the horror that a woman would go through if raped, but I do think it would be physically and emotionally devastating to that woman to be forced by the government to have the child. Additionally, a rape victim would not have access to the morning after pill. This is cruel, and we cannot treat women this way.
While there are more unintended consequences that concern me immensely, I write here today to share why I feel so strongly that the people of Mississippi should vote NO on Initiative 26 tomorrow. Being a lawyer, the thought of what passing Initiative 26 might mean for the rest of the country scares me, and the legal expenses for what will be lengthy court battles in Mississippi could be used, oh I don’t know, for helping the children who already live outside of their mother’s womb? The Yes on 26 campaign cares only for the unborn, not the children who are already here, and we all know Mississippi needs help educating and providing for them. Along with some amazing people who support Mississippians for Healthy Families, the following organizations are also against Initiative 26. I think the opposition of all of these organizations speaks for itself as experts in the field and respected opinions. Vote NO on 26 tomorrow.