The National Women's Political Caucus is a multicultural, intergenerational, and multi-issue grassroots organization dedicated to increasing women’s participation in the political process and creating a true women’s political power base to achieve equality for all women. NWPC recruits, trains and supports pro-choice women candidates for elected and appointed offices at all levels of government regardless of party affiliation.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Initiative 26 and "Personhood": A Lesson in Deductive Reasoning
A Lesson in Deductive Reasoning
Brought to you by Politics 2011 Blogger: Bettina Hager, NWPC Programs Director
According to Justice Scalia in 2011: Women are not defined in the Constitution as “persons.”
As asserted by Mississippi’s Initiative 26:“Personhood” begins at the time of conception.Heretofore, criminalizing abortion, miscarriage and birth control pills.
THEN:Only male life (as persons) begins at conception. Therefore, abortion, miscarriages and birth control that prohibits fertilization of female life is fully legal.
No, that just doesn’t seem right.I guess two irrationalities really don’t make a logical point.
We seem to be at the dawn of a new political era.A time when reason and logic are overruled by emotional reactionism, often at the result of a union of church and state.A time when the simple muttering of “initiative” or “resolution” can send chills down a woman’s back.
On the ballot in the upcoming November 8th elections one can find a multitude of conservative measures.Simply put, the aim is to take back the Civil Rights that have been so passionately fought for over recent, and many, decades.One not so discreet example can be found in Mississippi, under the guise of “personhood” or Initiative 26.
Initiative 26 aims to assert that “personhood” begins at the moment of conception- when the sperm works its way into the egg.As a result, any harm caused to this fertilized egg, embryo, fetus, or whatever term you prefer, would be criminal.This technically would put not only the right to choice under assault, but also family planning via birth control and even miscarriage.
One would hope that this knowledge would alarm women instantly of the possible harm and control the government would hold over them.However, it’s polling rather well.
In a moment of liberal compassion, a group of young feminists and I tried to understand the logic behind the minds who put forth such legislation.After a minute or two we stopped.We realized it didn’t matter and truthfully we didn’t care- it had little effect on our lives.Their thoughts, their actions, their choices, that is.The legislation, well, that truly can affect us- our thoughts, our actions, our choices.It seemed unfair, oppressive, and yes, very illogical.
One may wonder why a single initiative in a single state is such a big deal.Well, it goes back to that domino analogy.Once you figure out the perfect angle to knock down the first piece in the set, the rest fall easily into place.We must use our hands, voices and votes to block this initial play.If we let even one state fall, we may not be able to stop the rest from following.