Sunday, February 24, 2008

Because Blobs of Goo are People Too!

Georgia is the latest state to test the boundaries of how much crazy we'll let slide before we riot, following in Colorado's footsteps by pushing to pass a state constitutional amendment "...that would grant "personhood" status to... fertilized eggs." Yup, the authors of Georgia's House Resolution 536 want the law to make no distinction between an egg that has no brain and only a 40% chance of eventually developing into an independent life form, and you. While we Georgians were granted a brief reprieve last Wednesday when a "House subcommittee voted 4-3 to table the amendment, 'effectively killing the measure for this year,'" you can bet your oral contraception that our state's nutters (and we have more than our fair share) will resurrect the measure next year.

Yeah, you read it right - 4-3. Creepy, huh?

As a panel of doctors testifying against the amendment pointed out during the hearing on House Resolution 536, this measure:
...could ban most forms of contraceptives, which obstetrician Michael Rabinowitz noted that 95 percent of American women have used. An embryologist said that the majority of fertilized embryos do not even develop to term due to natural causes, and many doctors added that no medical test can show the existence of an embryo for a week after fertilization.
Let's stop for a moment and consider how a bill like this might impact women's rights and our legal system. First of all, calling an egg a person and giving the egg all the legal rights of a person is not just aimed at stopping all abortions, but would also "threaten oral and emergency contraception, IUDs, and in vitro fertilization clinics." It would also open the door for criminal investigations of any miscarriage. Might you have possibly exceeded the recommended dose of caffeine during the first few weeks of pregnancy? Perhaps you should be charged with reckless endangerment or manslaughter. Yeah, I know it seems absurd, but calling an egg a person is also absurd and, as Virginians will remember, criminal investigations of women who suffer natural miscarriages has been recommended by crazy lawmakers before.

(Image via Advanced Fertility Clinic of Chicago)

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