A lot of amazing changes occurred as a result of the election, as well as a few not-so-amazing ones.
In addition to electing Barak Obama president, voters in many states also had the opportunity to vote on a number of ballot initiatives.
One of those that passed was a California initiative called Proposition 8. Because it passed, gay marriage is again illegal in that state. This is a huge blow for the GLBT community and the 18,000 people who got married while it was still legal.
But two important initiatives did not pass. One was a sweeping South Dakota ban on abortion. This is the second time that state has tried and failed to criminalize this medical procedure.
Another that failed was a Colorado initiative called Amendment 48. Had it passed, this amendment would have given a fertilized egg the exact same rights as a living person! It was designed to “define the term ‘person’ to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as ‘person’ if used in those provisions of the Colorado constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law.”
Passing it would have resulted in severe limitations on women’s access to health care. Things like abortion and even forms of birth control (like emergency contraception and the pill) could have become illegal! Additionally, women who have serious medical conditions like cancer could have been denied treatment if it posed a risk to the fertilized egg.
Supporters explained that they wanted the bill to pass, “to see that the Colorado state constitution is amended to include pre-born from the moment of fertilization as having their ‘personhood’ clearly established, so that they may enjoy equal protection under the law.”
While it might sound nice to “protect the pre-born,” it’s not so nice when we realize that doing so will be at the expense of already-living women and girls. There is a very big difference between a fertilized egg and a human being and for supporters of this Amendment to say otherwise is simply ignoring reality in favor of a ideologically driven fantasy.
What pregnant women need is better access to prenatal care (a nice yoga class or massage wouldn’t hurt either…) What they don’t need is more policing.
Though the initiative in Colorado and South Dakota are currently off the table, I doubt it will be the last we hear of something like this. Though the majority of Americans have made it clear that they support abortion rights, those who don’t can be very vocal.
What are your thoughts on abortion? What rights (if any) should we give to a fertilized egg?
Photo provided by cobalt123