Illinois action blog

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Abortion foes put rights for embryos on the ballot

A story by the Chicago Tribune explores the latest trend in anti-choice activists' attacks on women's rights. Activists in Colorado and Georgia (and potentially Montana, Oregon, Mississippi and Michigan) are working on ballot initiatives that would grant constitutional rights to embryos by defining "personhood" as beginning at the moment of fertilization.

While most voters support a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy, voters in states where this issue appears on the ballot may not realize the full consequences of these initiatives (because they don't actually mention abortion specifically). However, the legal ramifications would be immense. If successful the initiatives would give eggs constitutional protections such as due process and inalienable rights.

Lorie Chaiten at the ACLU is quoted in the article talking about the implications of this initiative on in-vitro fertilization - if a couple doesn't use all of the eggs they've fertilized, is that murder? And the initiatives would have consequences for many birth control methods that may work by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus - would birth control too be outlawed?

Most importantly, what about the inalienable rights of the woman? These ballot initiatives would give an embryo in a woman's body separate rights equal to that of the woman herself. They're also a disingenuous attempt to circumvent the rights guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. While that's not a laughing matter, we should at least find a little humor where we can. Check out this hilarious cartoon by Mikhaela B. Reid.

Read the article:"Rights for embryos proposed," by Judith Graham and Judy Peres, Chicago Tribune, 12.03.2007.

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Blogger Jennifer said...

If a mother dies while giving birth, do you charge the infant with involuntary manslaughter? As a minor or as an adult?

December 4, 2007 at 5:39 PM  

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