The defeat of Mississippi’s Initiative 26, which would have extended personhood to zygotes, is just a minor glitch in the continuing Christian effort to turn women into state-mandated baby machines. Rep. Paul Broun has sponsored and sixty three other Republicans are pushing HR-212, a bill that would extend personhood to all zygotes in America.
Entitled the “Sanctity of Human Life Act,” the bill’s stated goal is “To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.” The most obvious effect of the bill would be to outlaw abortion and many forms of birth control including IUDs, many birth control pills, and the morning after pill. This would, of course, lead to more unwanted pregnancies which would in turn lead to more illegal abortions which would lead to more deaths.
Personhood status for fetuses would have a much broader reach, though. “The fallout could extend beyond abortion and contraception. In Mississippi, some critics have questioned whether the passage of the amendment could affect laws unrelated to reproductive rights, such as those that regulate how many “people” can be on a bus or in a school gymnasium at a time.” (LINK)
The implications for women are almost unimaginable. It’s difficult to comprehend thousands, or perhaps even hundreds of thousands of women awaiting trial for involuntary manslaughter after having miscarriages. Eventually, Texas would likely execute a woman for a particularly egregious abortion.
Pregnancy would become a thing to hide from everyone — including the father. State-mandated reporters would be forced to turn in women suspected of any number of “crimes” against their zygotes. Anything from going to work in a smoking establishment to taking an extra step class during the first trimester could be considered reckless endangerment. Judges could order court-appointed guardian ad litems to investigate almost any aspect of a pregnant woman’s personal life. The level of potential intrusion and restriction of women’s rights is staggering. It is no understatement to say that America would become the worst place in the First World to be a woman.
The language of the bill is quite clear: “the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent…at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” The terrifying aspect of this is the tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of bits of law and legal code in the U.S. that apply to “persons.”
This fact is also the ultimate argument against the bill. It is virtually certain that some of the more absurd applications of zygote personhood would immediately be challenged. Certainly fire marshalls wouldn’t be forced to take a count of pregnant women and expel an equal number of adults from buildings at occupancy capacity. Certainly pregnant women wouldn’t be forced to buy two tickets anywhere where children are charged admission. Eventually, there would probably be some broad exception instituted to avoid having to change each and every law. This exception would prove that lawmakers are not interested in zygotes as people. This is not about “saving the children.” It’s about legislating a religious moral dictate. Nothing more.