As a Mississippian, I can only hope that the voters in our state are intelligent enough to understand the consequences of passing this amendment. Birth control is essential if Mississippi plans to compete with other states for jobs, industry, education, etc. This is especially important since we are already #1 in adolescent birth rates, and in infant deaths, we have inadequate access to health care including prenatal care, and according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation study, we rank last in the nation for overall child wellness.
What scares me the most about this is that well meaning voters who do not know all the facts might vote yes based on TV commercials or the premise that this is an anti-abortion amendment. The reality is there is only ONE abortion provider in the entire state with over 40,000 live births and 3000 abortions performed, MS is also one of the most difficult states to obtain an abortion in already, so why do we even need this amendment.
We should be spending our time focusing on getting better access to affordable or free birth control, and helping the children already here who are impoverished, undereducated, do not have access to health care, etc. Not focusing on banning birth control so more unwanted, children can be born into poverty.
I live in Mississippi. Mississippi has a personhood amendment up for vote in the next election. What scares me is that I think Mississippi might actually be backwards enough to vote yes on this amendment.
Mississippi is already one of the hardest states in which to obtain an abortion, the amendment would not only end abortion but lead to a prohibition of emergency contraception in rape and incest cases, limit medical treatment for miscarriages, tubal pregnancies and infertility treatments, as well as essentially make all forms of birth control illegal (I got pregnant with my first daughter when I was on the pill, if I had miscarried instead of carrying her to term, I could be found at fault for being on birth control pills and “causing” the miscarriage, even though I did not even know I was pregnant at the time).
There is already a teenage mom in prison in Mississippi because she was found guilty of “killing” her unborn child because she allegedly used cocaine while pregnant. What proof beyond a reasonable doubt is there that cocaine use was the cause of death in the unborn child? What did the autopsy report? It was inconclusive, yet there she sits 15 years old and instead of treating her for addiction and giving her the proper education, medical, and psychological care, she sits in a cell.
If this amendment passes, the next person in jail could be the woman who was known not to want children, yet who got pregnant and a few months into the pregnancy fainted and accidentally fell down a flight of stairs resulting in the death of the fetus. Now she goes on trial for murder because she can not prove she did not do it on purpose because she had told people in the past that she never wanted kids, and it just seems like “too much of a coincidence” that she fell down the stairs and lost the pregnancy.
What about the pregnant woman with a fetus that has birth defects that will ultimately lead to the death either in utero or shortly after birth will also have to carry her child to term only to watch it die before her own eyes. The emotional burden and psychological trauma that would be intentionally inflicted on the woman who would have chosen not to carry the child to term, had she had the choice is too much to even think about.
Is this really the world we want our kids to grow up in, what happens when it is our daughter, sister, or wife who is raped? What happens to the 12 year old who gets pregnant by her sexual abuser? The reluctant mother to be who accidentally falls down the stairs? The excited mom to be who finds out she has a malformed fetus but has to endure a full term pregnancy knowing she will not give birth to a living child.
What about the women who face infection, death, or other health issues if a pregnancy is carried to term? And what becomes of the child born into poverty, abuse, malnutrition, violence, and has little to no access to medical care?
We have to keep fighting to defend our right to make personal, private medical decisions without interference from politicians and the courts, to prevent one religious viewpoints from becoming the laws of the land and to ensure that women can access basic health care, including birth control, fertility services, emergency contraception, and abortion.
No matter what your personal view on abortion is, this bill limits the rights of people and pushes a religious agenda onto others who may not hold the same beliefs. Think of it in these terms, how would you feel about a religion who felt that hair was alive, and that cutting hair was a sin and immoral. These people propose an amendment that declares hair a person and states that all forms of hair removal be outlawed?
Even shaving hair for the purpose of hygiene before a required medical procedure is not allowed under any circumstances which makes the risk of infection from the medical procedure go up by a significant percent, but the life and health of the person requiring the procedure is not as important as making sure the hair is not harmed.
Seem absurd? It is essentially the same law as personhood, it is declaring hair alive and therefore you must not get rid of it or keep it from growing. You have to deal with it until it falls out on its own even though you don’t believe removing hair is immoral. The only major difference is that when hair falls out, it does not require food, clothing, education, medical care, financial support, etc.
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