Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birthdays and "Personhood"

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Today, Mississippi voters will decide on Initiative 26, the so-called "Personhood Initiative." If it passes, a fertilized egg will be granted the same rights as an adult.

I'm not going to re-hash the arguments. Let me just ask one question...

What date appears on your driver's license? Your birth date.

Your existence in our society begins at the moment of birth. On-time, premature, c-section, whatever. Your birth certificate represents the beginning of your life. Like it or not, "personhood" comes from your inclusion in our society, not from a vague, indefinable 'magic moment' in the womb. Your beginning as a person has a date and time, footprints and handprints.

If a fertilized egg is a person, will Mississippi begin issuing Conception Certificates rather than Birth Certificates? I guess that means no more birthday parties. Instead, you'll throw your child a Conception party 3 months* after his/her actual birth. How do you celebrate a teenage girl's Sweet 16 Conception Day?

The only perspectives you'll hear on this issue are the most polar opinions; they're the loudest.

Voices in favor of Initiative 26 want to believe life begins simply: Man + Woman + Exactly 9 Months* = Healthy Baby.

The point I'm not hearing anyone make is this: Life is messy, beginning to end. Particularly so at the beginning. Many pregnancies begin (and sometimes end) under less-than-ideal circumstances.

What about cases of rape? What if the mother's life is in danger? Both sides have their arguments and counter-arguments, but hypotheticals are useless here. There's too much emotion and no one can rightly say what they would do in another person's situation. The details of the most important of life's moments can't be legislated.

Childbirth - even under the best of circumstances- is one of life's great challenges, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Initiative 26 would make pregnancy more dangerous for both women and unborn children, simple as that.

Mississippians, vote No on 26. Or go ahead and count 9 months back from the date on your driver's license* and start celebrating your Conception Day.

* Assuming, of course, that the pregnancy and birth went ENTIRELY ACCORDING TO PLAN.

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