Why I’m Glad My Miscarriage Wasn’t in Mississippi

I had a miscarriage in 1991. No one accused me of murder. No one arrested and jailed me on suspicion of abortion. No one charged me with endangering the miscarried fetus.

If Initiative 26 to amend the Mississippi constitution passes next week, that won’t be true for the next woman who miscarries. She will be looking over her shoulder for the police (not the anti-abortion police, the real badge-carrying kind) to question her about the circumstances and maybe arrest her if she doesn’t have a doctor who can offer a satisfactory explanation.

Think I’m exaggerating? Think again. Initiative 26 would define a fertilized egg, from the moment of conception, as a legal “person” with all the rights and legal protections of a living, breathing child. From the moment of conception. So a miscarriage would be murder, unless you could prove it was accidental. And of course, so would an abortion–at any stage, no matter how early.

Yep, the birth control pill too–because hormonal pills can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Yes, I know, implantation is the accepted medical definition of pregnancy, and you’re not yet pregnant if the fertilized egg hasn’t implanted in the uterus–but why should Mississippi care what the obstetricians and gynecologists say?

What about an ectopic pregnancy, where a fertilized egg has implanted in the fallopian tube? Would surgery to remove it be prohibited? Maybe yes, because there is no exception to preserve the life of the woman. Seriously: no exception.

Worst of all (could it be worse?) is this: If this passes in Mississippi, it will encourage our opponents to put it on ballots in key states such as Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin next year, affecting millions of women and bringing ultraconservative voters to the polls. If we win in conservative Mississippi, it will discourage them from pursuing this strategy in (even slightly) more progressive states. Think about it.

I was fortunate to have had my miscarriage in circumstances of care and support, where the trauma of miscarriage was not compounded by threat of prosecution.

If you have friends in Mississippi, they may not be so lucky. If you haven’t talked with them lately, this would be a good time to call, write, text, Facebook or otherwise remind them to Vote No on 26 next Tuesday. It could affect far more than Mississippi. Don’t let it slip your mind–do it now.

Part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

 Photo from Wikimedia Commons user Skiddie2003

Comments

  1. What’s next? Investigations of fertile women who have hysterectomies for fibroids or other gynecological conditions? After all, they are preventing conception too.

    • In Mississippi, a doctor will not perform a hysterectomy on a woman unless she is over 32 years old and has two children, unless her husband signs consent. I don’t think it is a law, just that the doctors feel that she may not know her own mind, or change her mind. A man can get a vasectomy any time he wants.

      • That in itself is ridiculous. Doctors and politicians do NOT have the right to make decisions for anyone’s health. How ridiculous that you may be placed in a position where you may be charged with MURDER if you do not keep the child. Do you really want your child to grow up next to someone who was born because otherwise his or her mother would be charged with murder? Someone who is resented or shuffled between foster homes or given up for adoption or left on the street to starve because a group of hotshots decided that pro-life is the only life.
        This is disgusting. This would be absolutely devastating if the initiative 26 is passed. Absolutely awful for the 16 year woman who becomes pregnant after after a condom broke.
        Imagine that was you. Imagine you were forced to have a child because of the law.

        Calling the USA a democracy is an absolute JOKE. (Sure, this is happening in Mississippi, but a country is made of it’s parts and this one would be making a huge mistake if Initiative 26 passes)

      • Oh right, because women can’t make up their own minds. I’m sorry, is this the 1800s? Why can’t women be seen as more than 2nd class citizens? We are NOT baby factories for men!

        • It’s the same in Oklahoma…a married woman must be 25 or have 2 kids and have her husband’s signed consent. A married man is not required to even tell his wife he’s getting one. I can’t believe that this is even being considered as a law…miscarriages happen…it’s horrible, I’ve been there. The last thing a woman needs to face after losing her unborn baby is questioning by the law!!!

        • Nope apparently us ladies are baby factories for GOD…that is after all the main focus of this idiotic personhood stuff. It is a prime example of the true agenda of the right wing extremists. They are pushing to impose their own personal religious beliefs on everyone…and they may be winning because way too many of us are foolish enough to think they can’t.

      • In regards to “A man can get a vasectomy any time he wants” Thats not true having one I had to go through councelling, then it was a min 3 day back out period and to top things off, The wife must sign her ok, Contrary to a woman having an IUD or being on Birth Control the Doctors can not disclose that information even to a husband which I think is wrong.

        Randy

      • It’s the husband’s consent bit that shocks me. I don’t agree with the rest either, but that’s scarcely believable.

  2. Women of America,

    As a young man in Canada I cannot believe you would let your government do this.

    Women make up HALF the American population. Why are you sitting back and letting this happen?

    If I was an American woman I’d be hopping mad and I’d be joining every other American woman to make this madness stop.

    Get off your couches and DO SOMETHING!!!

    • Chris: It’s not that we in Mississippi aren’t trying to stop them, both men and women are fighting back. The reality is; the group pushing for this amendment seeks to overturn the federal court’s abortion ruling. They started in one state where it was turned down twice, learned from their mistakes, and turned up in Mississippi. By the time we realized it would be on a very important state election (along with two other proposed issues) this group had slick brochures, campaign signs, websites, etc. all ready to go. They swear that none of these things will happen. They infiltrate the churches based on “religious ethics” and tell the preachers to make sure the flock knows that God is watching, and to vote yes and save the babies that have no voice. Personhood campaign filed with over $45,000.00 on the books, opposition filed with $245.00. Scrambling to catch up with no money in the budget, is not as easy as getting off the couch.

    • We are certainly trying! Personhood USA, the group pushing this initiative, is backed by a lot of money, and the opposition to it is grassroots. Help us out! Donate money at noon26.org to help us more effectively spread the word and educate voters. Trust me, many many many of us in Mississippi are absolutely NOT sitting back and letting this happen; the problem is being able to reach out to voters and explain all the potential consequences of the initiative.

    • Chris,

      This happens because for every religious zealot male out there who backs these preposterous laws, there are several dozen women behind him who shout “AMEN!” at every asinine, sexist proclamation that he makes.

      There needs to be solidarity among women, instead of the “stand by your man” crap that’s all too prevalent in rural American society.

  3. Each time I read about this vote I am amazed that it is real, true, actually happening. We really must get more vocal. It’s barely in the news around here (Midwest).

  4. “What about an ectopic pregnancy, where a fertilized egg has implanted in the fallopian tube? Would surgery to remove it be prohibited? Maybe yes, because there is no exception to preserve the life of the woman. Seriously: no exception.”

    Wouldn’t surgery to remove the egg then be considered self-defense. I mean if we are going to go the route of claiming that no. 26 will have law enforcement investigate EVERY miscarriage and not just those with ‘reasonable doubt’ that the abortion was not spontaneous, then we should go all the way with legal statues. Any abortion performed where the pregnancy would endanger the mothers life would constitute grounds for self-defense. Or if a woman with a breached birth that threatens her life, could the newborn then be charged with attempted manslaughter? Twin fetus where one absorbs the other, then would the fetus be trialed for murder as an adult or adolescent?

    I, for one, am against no. 26; however, I am even more against idiotically reporting trying to scare people into the reporter’s way of thinking. Give the facts on both sides and let people make up their own minds. Most people are smart enough to make their own decisions if given the chance. Stop the ‘scare tactics’ reporting.

    • Bryan – I don’t think the reporter is using scare tactics; she’s using plain, simple facts. Mississippi isn’t the only state considering laws that outlaw abortion EVEN WHEN THE WOMAN’S LIFE IS ENDANGERED. Ending an ectopic pregnancy WOULDN’T be considered self-defense. The wording of these bills and initiatives is clear on that – they’re written by people who care more about the life of a fetus than that of a living, breathing woman. Just because the truth is scary doesn’t mean it’s a scare tactic.

      • The person who wrote this article did NOT use a lot of facts. There is a lot of emotional opinion. I am pro choice for ALL people, not just women. I am against abortion but also rationally comprehend that there are times when it might be necessary. I absolutely do NOT agree that it should ever be used because some girl decided to have sex and refuses to accept the consequences of her CHOICE. Do not then respond to me about rape because we all know that is not a woman’s choice. I am talking about those using abortion because they are too selfish to allow the child to have a home with someone else. They would rather murder the child than see someone else raise it. That is sick to me. That being said. This law also should not be in place because it really can hinder the women who might need to do it because of having been raped by a stranger or family member and because of danger to her life. I also believe this IS one of those things that even if I believe it is wrong, a woman should also be allowed to choose good or evil for herself. BUT the doctors should also be allowed to refuse to do abortions too. They deserve to have values and morals as well. There are plenty of docs that will do these things.

        • And yet, think of the hundreds of thousands of children already in the foster care system who are abused and neglected every day. There would be an overflow of an already packed system. If everyone in the country would volunteer to take in and care for one of these unwanted children, then maybe this would be a solution. Unfortunately, it’s not.

        • It’s good to see that at least some who are anti-abortion realize that it should never be a blanket decision and that some situations simply do not fit the usual ‘pro-life’ rhetoric.

          However, I do not think doctors should be able to pick and choose which procedures they want to perform on their patients. They are trained and employed for a specific role and should be required to perform that role regardless of religious or moral beliefs.

          If you want to become a doctor but don’t want to perform abortions, etc then there are plenty of medical fields to choose from in which you would never be required to perform this type of procedure. We all have some choice with regards to our professions, as a vegetarian I wouldn’t expect to get a job at a butcher shop and have the right to refuse to serve people who wanted to buy meat. If you don’t want to do something, don’t train for a job for which it is required.

    • In El Salvador ectopic pregnancies have to burst the Fallopian tube, or the fetus has to have died before they can do surgery. That’s the reality of no exceptions.

    • Well, if it’s self-defense, in those states you could shoot it out as long as it’s on the premises of your house. Well, as long as that state has a “Castle” law you could technically do it in your car while waiting outside the emergency room to ensure highest rate of survival.

    • Call me blind-sighted but how can there be another side to this story, there has to be some intelligence on the matter for a woman to support this law.

    • 26 should scare the rear end off of everyone who hears about it. It literally forces a female to give up her own “personhood” and constitutional rights at the moment of conception. The results can possibly and most likely will be exactly what is being reported in this story.

  5. A fertilized has equal rights to a person… but an adult woman does not have equal rights to an adult man, ie. the right to not become a mother if she’s sexually active.

  6. Janet Hill says:

    This is supposed to be put on the ballot for a third time in Colorado in 2012. I suspect no matter what people will attempting to put it on the ballot in 2012 to drive voters to the polls to vote for it.

  7. You say you’d have to prove that the miscarriage was accidental. Actually, the burden of proof rests with the state to prove crimes, so unless they could prove it WASN’T accidental, there’d be nothing to worry about. Except for intentional abortions, that would be difficult to prove.

    • David – All “people” have the right to a state investigation upon their death. If zygotes are declared people this would apply to miscarriages. A woman who miscarries would be subject to a state mandated investigation. Such an investigation would likely include a vaginal probe. If her conduct during pregnancy aroused suspicion it would warrent a criminal investigation involving a police medical examiner as opposed to her own state certified doctor. Please think a bit more about these things. I know men have no comparable interest to women on this matter, but seriously, this is not hard to figure out.

    • David, maybe there’d be nothing to worry about from your perspective. I would say as a woman, we have plenty to worry about with this bill. But thanks for your lack of concern…and for the crim law cliff’s notes.

    • …..”Actually, the burden of proof rests with the state to prove crimes….” You have obviously never been a defendant against the State. They have an enormous budget, not to find the truth, but to prove your guilt. You have whatever money you have. Public Defender, you might say. An overworked, underpaid, disinterested party at best, Trading your guilty plea for winning another case at worst. And just try a jury trial. 12 of your “peers”….give me a break! The laws say one thing, reality is quite different. Wake up!

  8. I know in the state of Texas, if you are raped and you go to the hospital immediately, they will give you the ‘morning after pill’ after your examination. Will rape victims be affected by this new law, too? I’m personally against abortion, but I think no. 26 is extreme.

    • The morning after pill will be illegal, and if a woman is raped she will be required to carry the baby to term and put the baby up for adoption if she chooses. The personhood campaign that is pushing this amendment has a woman conceived in rape and adopted because her mother couldn’t legally have an adoption. This woman is touring with the movement to save other rape babies from being aborted. No abortion will be legal FOR ANY REASON!

      Additionally, any birth control method that is abortifacient (all forms except the condom, and natural planning) will be susceptible to being illegal. Of course, no one can say exactly what will be legal or illegal until the courts hash it all out.

      • Iliana Echo says:

        “adopted because her mother couldn’t legally have an adoption.”

        I think you mean “have an abortion”.

  9. Kate,

    Rape doesn’t matter or incest.

  10. And this is right smack in the face of roe v wade, which specifically states that you cannot make a law to determine when a fetus is a “human” and abortion is not “wrong” until the fetus can realistically survive outside of the womb. Basically the law is a grand waste of taxpayer money and just shows how obsessed people are about shoving their beliefs down everyone elses throats because “they need to know and follow it.”

    • One of the goals of this amendment is to eventually challenge Roe v. Wade. These campaigns are well funded and thought out with long term goals in mind – they arent simply random people in states trying to press their own anti-woman agenda.

      What really disturbs me is the fact that not one woman I have talked to about this amendment and others that errode womens health and reproductive choices know about them. Also, Mitt Romney said he backed this amendment and he didnt even realize it would outlaw many forms of birth control. It is so disturbing that anyone (especially someone running for president!) would back something so radical but not even know what the effect would be…typical these days I guess – these issues are political volley balls and not about what real women live through.

      Also, the forms of birth control that prevent implantation (including the morning after pill) are NOT abortifacients because they PREVENT implantation which is the medicaly established start of pregnancy.

      Be afraid…be very afraid people!!!!!!!!!!

  11. How about Initiative 26b: every person supporting initiative 26 is required by law to either adopt an abondoned child or financially support an underage mother? Doesn’t MS have the highest teenage pregnancy rate already? What happens to all these children? It’s easy to declare somebody else’s embryo a person. It’s not so easy to take care of unwanted children.

  12. So, basically, a woman can’t be pro-life unless she’s been brainwashed? I’m really offended by that. –39 year old, college-degreed, “Big City”, divorced mom of two (one was a high-risk pregnancy that endangered both our lives). Not religious.

    I’m not brainwashed. If anything my eyes were forced open when I saw the results of abortion. Watched a close college friend suffer agonizing pain, severe bleeding, and high fever for 2 days following a “legal and safe” abortion at 9 weeks. She begged to die on our way to the ER to discover her uterus had been perfed and a piece of bowel sucked then severed. She had a hysterectomy and colostomy at age 20. How many choices did she have then? The abortionist settled for $10,000 out of court and never apologized.

    • @Lisette
      Preganncy is completely preventable I have no sympathy for someone who did not use birth control

      • o.O Say what? I know a few people who were conceived while their mothers were on the pill. Condoms break. These things happen. Have a heart.

      • 50% of women who abort were on birth control at the time. Grow up.

      • @KC,

        You do know that birth control will be illegal too if this law is passed!

      • @KC My third son was the result of a failed condom, and my daughter was the result of failed BC pills. Two of my four kids were accidents, how’s that for completely preventable?!?

        • I’ve got a condom baby, a condom/pill baby, and an IUD/pill baby. I finally got my tubes tied to be done with the whole thing. The only time I DIDN’T get pregnant was when I wasn’t using any birth control at all!

      • Ok Im sorry. There are those (like me, and few others) that are ALLERGIC

        • Meant to say ALLERGIC to ALL forms of Birth Control. 2 of my 4 were not planned. And I was doing all I could medically to prevent them.

    • One badly performed abortion doesn’t mean that all abortions are bad.

      A person can be pro-life without being brainwashed.

      It’s rare that a woman is anti-choice unless she has been brainwashed – or is religious, wealthy and ‘respectably’ married.

    • Lisette – statistically pregnancy and labor are more dangerous to a womans health and life that an abortion. Whether you are pro or anti-choice that is just a fact.

    • I know where you’re coming from. I saw two women deal with the pain and sadness that comes with abortion. Ever since then, I’ve been against abortion. That doesn’t mean I’m pro-life. Every young woman I know who becomes pregnant has that moment of uncertainty with what to do. I’ve told every girl to do what she thinks is right, but to put abortion at the bottom of the list as a last resort. It’s a scary and painful procedure, but I know that if I was raped and impregnated I wouldn’t want the child to have a sad life because I couldn’t keep it. I would abort that child. I am so against abortion, but at the end of the day I’m pro-choice, because everyone deserves that choice.

      • Rebecca, I had an abortion at 20. I had no complications and the only sadness I felt was because there is still such a social stigma on women who have abortions. I was worried about being judged by people I didn’t know even though I knew I was making the right choice for my life. I do not regret it to this day, almost 15 years later and happily married. It would have made a complete disaster of my life. I’m glad you’re pro-choice because it’s completely unconscionable for anyone to force a woman to give birth when she doesn’t want to. If some people don’t like abortion, they don’t have to have one but they need to leave it up to individual women to make the same decision for themselves.

    • So because your friend suffered complications from an abortion and millions of other women have had their lives enhanced in a multitude of ways by not being forced to give birth, you would approve legislation that gives NO ONE the choice to decide for herself? That makes absolutely no sense. What happened to your friend is tragic, but it sounds like a medical malpractice issue and not a valid reason for banning all abortion for all women.

  13. Well of course this would happen. We are cattle in the eyes of a politician. And all those nar nars who would be voting FOR this, they are oblivious to the puppet strings dangling above and behind them.

    Maybe if they passed a ballot to decriminalize pot, less people would care whether someone’s ‘legal person’ inside the womb has been exterminated or birthed.

  14. When will old men get out of my medicine cabinet, out of my gyno office, and OUT OF MY BEDROOM!?! My body is my own business, and what I do with it is my business. I’m tired of people telling me what I can and cannot do and being unfairly represented. What is next? Arresting a menstruating woman because she self-aborted an un-fertalized egg?

  15. laura cooper says:

    And this is comes from a state where compulsory sterilization is still (technically) legal.

  16. I know a woman who drank and smoked dope to try to miscarry, it didn’t work. She had a child with a lot of medical issues, then decided that she didn’t want a child with a mental disability and refused to care for her. Nothing ever happened to the mother she went on to have more kids. Maybe they’re trying to prosecute people like this because what she did is abuse and neglect and I believe she should be imprisoned.

    • Corrie, your story is further reason why abortion should be legal, safe and easily available to all women, not banned. If that woman had felt abortion was a viable option, the child may never have had to suffer. If abortion is banned, more and more children will suffer just like the one you described and yes, you’ll see women jailed for it, but what good does that really do? I highly doubt jail time will be a successful deterrent for a woman who does not want to give birth.

  17. To think… That some poor woman, already distraught at the loss of her unborn child could be made to feel worse by being charged with murder! For something that was highly probable to be out of her hands!!

    I thought U.S.A was a democratic society?

    • That was my first thought as well. I cannot believe that a law so… well, heartless ever received consideration, much less passed (Of course, I suspect some weasel-words and “legal-ese/lawyer speak” ambiguity being responsible here too).

      I try to remind myself that the South is not full of heartless, backward people. Situations like this, however, do NOT help in combating such assumptions.

  18. No, next they’re going to start arresting 40-year old women without children, because she’s getting too old to reproduce and hasn’t managed it yet. She has killed so many possible children in her life! How dare she!

    I seriously wish I had been born a man. Being a woman is nothing but an endless series of stupid complications, expectations and putting up with so much bullshit like this. I’m sick of it.

  19. Wanna have a baby, get the hell out of Mississippi even if you’re a low risk pregnancy until you’re third trimester. Of all the stupid laws to even get to a vote, this dog dropping actually got considered. The paper it’s written on isn’t even worth the price of a match to burn, it’s THAT stupid.

    And the Religious or Socially Unaware clod that wrote it is a misogynistic buckethead

  20. “So a miscarriage would be murder, unless you could prove it was accidental. And of course, so would an abortion–at any stage, no matter how early.”

    Odds are VERRY high that it will be quickly found unconstitutional. SCOTUS declared that abortion MUST remain legal until the fetus reaches age of viability (roughly 22-23 weeks gestation). Furthermore, the wording makes it clear that abortion that is necessary to save the life or health of the mother cannot be forbidden:

    “a fetus might be considered viable at 22 or 23 weeks rather than at the 28 weeks that was more common at the time of Roe. The plurality recognized viability as the point at which the state interest in the life of the fetus outweighs the rights of the woman and abortion may be banned entirely “except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother”.”

    States cannot pass a law superseding that. And it would be pointless to have a law against miscarriage and not abortion. Tbh, it probably isn’t even ABOUT miscarriage. It’s VERY likely that this is simply their way of trying to criminalise abortion without DIRECTLY running afoul of the Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling.

  21. A. Miller says:

    Well then why don’t we go back to the days when women were property….NOT!!! I had six miscarriages before I had surgery and fertility drugs to have my first child. Much later (after my second) Did we discover that I have a tumor on my pituitary. This causes many things and in my body it did not allow me to produce potossin…the hormone that allows us women to dialate to allow us to give birth. It doesn’t allow me to produce enough progesterone so I cannot carry a child either aside from a miracle. Hence my last child. I have no insurance so there is never a doctor To prove that I am or not pregnant. This is so rediculous. What they have no controll over thier own lives so they think they can try to controll ours? What are we thinking people??? They took off the soap operas for a reason. Mind your life and stop worrying about everyone elses.

  22. abortion should be outlawed as a means of birth control.

    • Abortion isn’t birth control, and very, VERY few women use it that way. For the vast majority of women who have them, it’s a last resort when their normal method of birth control fails them.

  23. Kalizhada says:

    Who’s running this state Nicolae Ceaușescu or what?

  24. All I can say is I am glad I live in Australia, where such laws do not even get a foot in the door, and if I happen to need help in family planning matters I can, legally.

  25. Not to be gross, but if an egg is a potential person fertilized or not, then men who masturbate should be arrested because they are wasting all of their sperm? Jus sayin.

    • There are, unfortunately, many people who wish that would happen. Same with the people wanting to consider frozen, unimplanted embryos intended for in-vitro fertilization full-fledged humans.

  26. As a 37 yr old woman that also happens to be 6 1/2 months pregnant I’m appalled that this sort of thing is even going on a ballot to be voted on! I have 3 other children and have also had 2 previous miscarriages. Having a miscarriage is stressful enough without having to worry about being prosecuted and thrown in jail for it. I believe that EVERY woman has the right to make up her own mind as to what is and isn’t done to their own body! What right does any man let alone any man (or woman for that matter) in the government that will never meet any of these women have the right to tell them what they can or can’t do with their own body? They aren’t the ones that have to deal with the consequences of having or not having a child! They aren’t the ones that will actually have to deal with the medical and financial consequences of the woman either. This sort of thing shouldn’t even be on a ballot to be voted on by others! Making birth control illegal also is completely ridiculous! There are enough children in the world that are hungry and without families and this sort of law will just make things worse! We have a hell of a lot more important things to put on a ballot to vote on than this! It should be EVERY woman’s OWN PERSONAL decision to make and not the damn governments to make for them!

  27. I just can’t believe they are saying birth control will be illegal! That makes NO sense.. You don’t want women to have abortions, yet you won’t allow them to use a safe, effective form to prevent that! Yes there are condoms, but some people can’t use them (I am allergic to latex). What about an IUD? That isn’t much different from the pill. It sounds like they are saying either don’t have sex or have lots of children. A REALLY bad position to put women in.

  28. This is a complete slap in the face to women’s equal rights, plain& simple. I don’t care if you are pro life or pro choice, this is an attack on the freedoms of women nationwide. If 26 is passed, it’ll impact every single person, especially those of us with daughters. Instead of a world where she is a male’s equal, she’d be second class in this respect. One wrong move would see her dropped out of school for a while to give birth while boys have the freedom to sign a piece of paper and walk away. Rape/incest victims will be doubly as traumatized, having their choices taken from them completely and FORCED to carry their attacker’s baby whether they want to or not. Overcrowded foster homes will become even more packed,& those children’s quality of life WILL deteriorate rapidly. Neglect will be rampant. We may as well bring back old school orphanages now. the world has already hit a population of 7 billion; experts say the world can only support 11 billion people- period. So where is the logic of setting a bill in motion that’ll increase the rates of population, botched back alley abortions, child abuse, overcrowded schools, poor foster homes, neglect, etc? This is beyond rediculous.

  29. I hate to even get involved in this conversation but I have to say something. There is birth control for a reason and someone argued earlier that a lot of women get pregnant on the pill or that condoms break. Very true. Any one who honestly believes that they are ready to be in a sexual relationships should know the consequences. If you’re not ready to possibly bring a child into this world…DONT HAVE SEX. Easy. Now as for the rape issue. All I’m reading on here is “If I was raped I would NEVER want to have that baby because it would just make me sad and it would have to grow up knowing I never wanted it.” you can never possibly sit there and say that until you’ve been in that exact situation. I myself am the product of a rape. My mother was 15 at the time and she was 16 when I was born and I am now 25 and the proud mother of my own daughter. My mom did something that a lot of women don’t do. She kept me. My grandparents pushed and pushed for an abortion and she stood strong and refused. I still thank her till this day for her courage to do what she thought was right. I am pro-life but I’m not brainwashed or rich or religious. I also understand that sometimes, for medical reasons, abortions are the only option. Other than that…there are plenty of people out there that want children and can’t have them. Just saying…

    • I’m glad that your own mother fought for what she wanted, which was to keep you, regardless of the circumstances. All women should have this right, the right to decide what to do with their own bodies. However, surely you realise that not all rape victims are in the same situation. When I was a teenager there was a case of an 12 year old in Ireland who had been raped and, because of Irish law at the time, her parents had to bring her to the UK for an abortion. Would you really force a 12 year old to bring a pregnancy, the result of child rape, to term? Would you force me to do the same after a rape, just because your mother kept you? Without knowing anything about me or my circumstances? As rape is so hard to prove and prosecution rates, let alone conviction rates, are so low it’s perfectly plausable that the mother would be forced into custody arrangements with the father, or perhaps hand the child over to him if she preferred adoption (you’re more likely to be raped by someone you know and often trust than by a stranger). The only person truly able to judge how a woman could cope with a child or a pregnancy is the women herself (provided there are no medical complications). Instead of taking that choice away from women, people need to trust that we are capable of making the right decision.

      Regardless of the circumstances of conception, if a pregnancy is going to be a danger to the woman, physically or psychologically, then the woman should have a right to decide how to proceed. The idea that abortion is simply used as a form of contraception is ridiculous to me. I highly doubt that any woman just wanders into a clinic because she forgot to take the pill, in fact your law (and UK law) prohibits this.

      Then we come to the issue of life. Some abortions are perfomed in order to save a woman’s life. Some are performed to give women a better chance at life (there are some conditions in which pregnancy is possible but can highly endanger a woman’s life). Some abortion prodecures are carried out on women who have miscarried naturally in order to stop infections taking hold.

      Think about that last one – fewer doctors are being taught these skills due to funding cuts in certain teaching programs and the threat of further cuts if these procedures are taught. So, because of ideology, women’s lives are being put at risk.

      I’m from the UK but had to comment as this really is a universal issue. At one time I would have thought this was impossible in the US, even just last year I thought it would be impossible here in the UK. Now I’m not so sure.

    • its really easy to say “don’t have sex”, its another to actually practice it – especially with hormone driven teens. When I was in school, sex ed taught nothing about birth control or condoms, just abstinence only. We were at a severe disadvantage when it came to understanding how babies were made because all they did was say “don’t have sex” and showed a birthing video. Teens having sex is apart of life, whether we like it or not. the best way to prevent young girls from giving in to temptation is to educate them, yes, but getting birth control for your daughter isn’t a bad thing either. I have a daughter, and if she came to me and said she wanted birth control, I’d oblige her without thought. If she were raped and got pregnant, I would allow her the freedom to make up her own mind. if she wanted to keep the child, or abort it, would be her decision. Could you honestly tell your daughter that one slip up in high school could mean a lifetime of living on welfare in the gutter while the boy who knocked her up gets to sign away his rights and never pay child support? Its not right, its not fair, and to blanket ban birth control or even abortions will see our girls as baby factories living in the poorest neighborhoods with zero education. Your mom did a very brave thing in keeping you, but you cannot ask that of every woman. you cannot tell every girl she has to keep a pregnancy she does not want, while our boys have the freedom to sign away their rights and simply walk away. You are treating our daughters like second class citizens at that point in time. You are telling these girls that “whether you consented or not doesn’t matter.” I don’t particularly like abortions, but it is between you and god (if you believe in any), not ME, you, and god. it is not my place or ANYONE’S place to judge someone who has an abortion. Also, I’ve heard plenty of people use the excuse of “there are plenty of people who want children and cant have them.” how this is grounds to FORCE beliefs on young girls and take away their rights is beyond me. Where are these people who are pining away for fresh baked babies anyway? I’ve never met one. Foster homes in America are already overcrowded, why don’t these people adopt children who are already abused and neglected? Every last person I’ve ever known who was in the American foster system was abused in some way or form. how does adding a ton more children into those homes make any sense? I’m not saying that abortions should be routine, or that they aren’t hard or traumatic things to experience, but don’t take away a person’s RIGHTS simply because you disagree with what they do with their lives. There are religions out there that say women should be subservient and circumcised. Should we all be circumcised and subservient to men because one belief out there says so? its the same concept here: people who believe abortions should be illegal -for whatever reason- are trying to force what they believe on others. All we can do is decide how to live OUR OWN lives. It isn’t your job to instruct other people how to live, just like its not my place to tell you how to live your life. Live and let Live, I say. tolerance and equality for all.

      • Men who impregnate women don’t have the ability to sign away their rights and forgo child support. If a woman can prove that her child is the product of a particular man’s sperm and her egg, then he is required to pay support for that child until she decides to allow him to terminate those rights by having the child adopted by another man or until the child reaches 25 or finishes school, whichever comes first.

    • Easy enough to say when you imagine you’re ONLY talking to teenagers too young to be having sex in your own opinion. What about married women? Are they not allowed to have sex with their husbands? Think before you speak.

  30. That does it. I am not ever in my life going to even visit the United States. The way that some states treat half of the frigging population is a violation of human rights. Start putting time and effort in passing laws that will actually help and not hinder its citizens. Tell these misguided politicians to come down of their high Chrisitian horses. Is anyone fed up with the abortion debate in the United States!? It has been debated enough and there are now more than ever a surplus of people on this earth, MOVE ON!

    • Jessica,

      I don’t blame you for not wanting to visit the United States. I live in the USA and I can’t wait to leave for these exact reasons. Yes, I am absolutely sick of the abortion debate. However because I live here and the debate involves my rights, I simply must be involved.

      I would love the tell politicians to get off their high horses. I’ve often stated that I live in the United States of Christianity and I hate every minute of it. They tell us we have the freedom of religion and yet they forget that freedom applies to “every” religion or lack there of. In fact a lot of our “supposed” freedoms are a lie. However our politicians simply don’t care. They’re not in it for the people, they’re in it for the money. People in the United States are extremely greedy, especially the politicians. Religion is the means they use to control the masses.

      But it’s not just abortion that’s an issue in this country. Abortion is only one of the most talked about issues. We have issues with our health care and the quality of our food. The drugs doctors push on us do more harm then good. There are cancer causing chemicals in the majority of our household products and personal care items. Our law enforcement isn’t honest and our criminal justice system favors the criminal; they put the victim on trial. And the convicted get a free bed, meal and education. And while we’re on the subject of education, our educational system is horrible and it keeps getting worse. The United States is responsible for 25% of waste on this planet. I feel the USA is one of the “least” environmentally conscious countries. (I can’t speak for others because I don’t know) We are constantly bombarded with ads promoting consumerism which in turn perpetuates the greed and the waste. These are just a few of “many” issues I have with this country.

      I will someday leave when I am able to. I have to finish college first and start researching other countries. Until then, I will continue to fight for women’s reproductive rights and so many other rights they try to take away.

      And to everyone else; for the record I am pro choice. There is no “one size fits all” rule that can be applied to the circumstances that lead up to the event of an abortion. Every single situation is as unique and as different as every single woman. To simply state that abortion is a “selfish” act, is ignorant. Abortion is a very “personal” and difficult choice for each and every woman. We do “not” have the right to judge her for the choices she makes for herself. To “force” a pregnancy on a woman regardless of her situation or how the pregnancy came to be, is as disgusting as rape. To take away a woman’s right to choose whats right for “her” and “her” body, violates her as an individual and a human being. To sit there and argue a mans right in a pregnancy situation is ridiculous. That so called “poor” man “choose” to sleep with that woman and he “choose” not to wear a condom. Women are “not” second class citizens and to take away their rights to choose allows society to treat them as such. I find it extremely depressing and disgusting how hard women have to fight for things that every human being should be allowed; “a choice!” A choice to know what’s right for her and her family.

      There is so much wrong with the very infrastructure of this nation, and women’s rights are up there with everything else. And what keeps this system corrupt, is people simply don’t “think” anymore. They wait for the media to tell them what to think and how they should live their lives. It is this gross negligence, lack of knowledge and greed that will be this countries downfall.

      That’s right people, you heard me. I am “not” proud to be an American and I “will” leave the horrible place as soon as I’m able. You can keep this ignorant cesspool of greed, waste and disgusting abuse of human rights; I’m out of here! The American dream is really a nightmare!

  31. Ashley, I’m very glad you’re alive. I respect the courage your mother had, so young, to stand up to those who insisted she commit murder.

    Briana, my husband was the product of a rather brutal rape, but his mother chose to keep him rather than abort (and believe me, it was an option at the time even though it was not legal, she knew plenty of doctors who would have done it). Her strong moral compass kept her from choosing abortion. Having her baby was the most healing thing she could have done after that brutal rape. I am so very glad that he lived then and that I was able to marry him and have three beautiful children with him.

    I know women who have been raped by family members and have not aborted. They too say it is the most healing event that could take place after such – often protracted – abuse, to bring a life into the world. Being able to show love to that child – who is alive through no fault of his or her own and does not deserve to be punished for that actions of a criminal – is the best way to heal. The guilt that comes from within a person who aborts is far, far greater than any societal guilt laid at her feet. There is not a woman alive who has been pregnant who does not know what it means. It means there is a life growing inside her that – all things being equal – will be born.

    Every single abortion committed kills someone. Everyone knows that is the truth, otherwise why would there be a need for abortions. Sometimes the procedure kills two people because many women have died as a result of “safe” abortions. One women dying because of abortion is one life too many. Frequently legal abortions are *un*safe, even when done in hospitals by doctors who supposedly know what they are doing. Sadly, many are done in clinics with little to no reliable supervision of the doctor, his staff or his practices. We put more effort into buying used cars than we do into choosing doctors for such invasive, dangerous procedures. If we do not respect the rights of potential people as much as those of criminals, where does it stop? The elderly will surely be next, it is the progression of selfishness.

    It is the height of absurdity to claim that a woman who has a miscarriage *will* be looking over her shoulder for the police. The author of this piece cannot know that. Even presuming it is a huge reach. Think about it. How does prosecuting a woman who has a miscarriage benefit the state – because that is what those sorts of lawsuits look for, ways to benefit the state. The amount of money it would cost the state to prosecute such a case would outweigh the money gained. It would be a waste of time and resources. It is not the intention of the person-hood amendment to lead in that direction at all and these are indeed scare tactics.

    There are times the body is going to miscarry, it is natural. What is *not* natural is the invasive procedure to remove a child from the womb.

    Everyone who posted about the right of women, what about all the female babies aborted? Where are *their* rights? By aborting, you play right into the hands of men that you claim want to control everything! You are killing off the population of women that would grow and learn and fight for future women’s rights. That’s crazy! Know your bodies, know your cycle. It takes less time to check the signs daily than it does to have a latte, go on facebook or put on makeup! It is not difficult at all to know when your body is ovulating or when you are most likely to become pregnant. You are equipped to be socially smarter than most of the men around you, don’t let them control the situation. How ridiculous to blame them on the one hand and then play right into what you claim they want – control – on the other.

    I agree with Ashley, you don’t have to keep the child if you do not want it, but for the sake of humanity, do not destroy it. Let the child live – what greater gift can you give someone than life? Give them a chance at it, at the very least. Think of it – when marriage is available to all who desire it, there will be many more couples looking, even needing, to adopt.

    • As a woman, I have the right to decide who I consent to allow access to my body. I am allowed to consent to gentleman A having access while denying to gentleman B. Just the same, I have the right to consent to allow gentleman A to have access to my body while denying fetus A access to my body. It’s unfortunate that by denying access, fetus A can not survive, but my right to my body trumps the right to the fetus to access it for their own personal growth.

      It’s my body, and I will give it to whomever I choose and deny it to whomever I choose.

  32. While this is a very serious issue, it is most likely a thin political move. Roe v. Wade is a Supreme Court decision and has jurisdiction over Mississippi’s laws. The case holds certain standards that are at odds with Mississippi’s proposed amendment. If they do pass the law it can be appealed if the state ever tried to enforce it and in that case this amendment would most likely be successfully overturned because the supreme court’s decision (R v. W) is dominant. The only caveat is that if they enforce it, someone has to bring it to trial for the law to be overturned, which means someone would have to suffer some oppression first (it would still be a tragedy at that point).

  33. I’m pro choice for a simple reason. I don’t think any person should be treated like an ignorant cow (even if some are) who has no right to make her own decisions lest she misstep and make the wrong one. Plenty of things are legal yet not really right. It’s legal for a man to get drunk every night and say cruel things to his family, quit his job, and look at internet porn day and night. Should he?? No. And most people do not. Should it be illegal, because it’s not a good thing to do? I don’t think so. I am not a religous person at all, but to those who are…did God not give humans free will? Or is a woman not enough of a person to have a right to free will? Does a woman have less of a soul? Should a woman be a man’s property? Anyone who seriously would deny women the right to make this choice–right or wrong for better or worse–needs to be seriously asking themselves these questions. There are a myriad of circumstances out there and anecdotes that either side can use to try and “prove” their point. At the end of the day…I personally think abortion is morally repugnant. I have two kids. I have said these words to Planned Parenthood staff (with whom I am friendly, they work next door to my office) and they nod and understand, because I go on to say that this is why abortion wasn’t an option that ~I~ considered. I don’t presume to get involved in other people’s choices, because being in charge of my own is quite enough, and I take the obligation to make good choices for MYSELF rather seriously. I’m not here to judge other people. If there is a God, then he can do that. We all just need to make our own choices and live with them. My kids are all the more precious to me because I know it was my choice to have and raise them.

  34. Oh lord I can’t believe this may come to pass, I am one of those small percentage of women that became pregnant via a rape. I was 16 and it was my second sexual experience, needless to say I had an abortion, I don’t regret it, I am not sad, and I am not a horrible person and I am extremely happy with my life thank you very much. I also am a black woman, I point this out because so many people talk of “putting your child up for adoption” ” there are loving parents” blah, blah, blah. Well I have learned by researching and by friends that work for social services, that these so called loving parents are biased and bigoted!! They are NOT adopting black, or disabled children, nope they want perfectly healthy white “babies”, I mention “babies” as there are children who are older than 3-5yrs (also white) that are not being adopted as well. Where are all these so called good, christian, loving parents? Why are there any kids under the age of 18 in the system and not in good loving homes? The religous riecht just want to control, control, control no abortion fine I don’t agree, but no birth control either? What if a woman gets herself permenantly sterilized? Even in no abortion Mexico a woman can do this procedure without complications from the religious telling her no.

  35. I am personally tired of everyone vilifying those who are against abortion. Those who don’t agree are not heartless. We have a heart that is why we fight for the life of someone who the world has decided has not rights what so ever. The majority of abortions are solely about a woman who wasn’t responsible enough to prevent pregnancy. A very small percentage of abortions have anything to do with health and rape. That is not the case the so called pro choicers who really don’t agree with choice if it is to give life. They only agree with the death. The biggest problem with abortion is that it only takes into account one persons rights and ignores every other persons rights. Women fought hard for men to take responsibility for children they helped conceive but now only the woman has a choice. Then a man is either saddled with a child he did not want or he looses the chance of a child that he in fact wanted. Everyone will deny this but there will come a time when his rights are awarded and he has a choice to no longer support a child if he did not want them. It denies that a fetus is human or living. The heart is beating before you even know you are pregnant. No one finds out the day they become pregnant before implantation that they are in fact pregnant. Ectopic pregnancies are found out at the same time they find it to be ectopic. It doesn’t become ectopic after a woman finds she is pregnant. That is the reason she is at the hospital in the first place. So it is a lie to say that if it is ectopic that she will not have proof. I have a heart and I care deeply about women’s rights. I think we should all have rights but not at the expense of someone else rights. Which abortion is a right at someone else expense. Abortion is really a selfish act because its about thinking about the best interest on only one person. If people would just take responsibility for their own actions this would not be necessary. But everyone want to what ever they want and think they should not suffer the consequences of their own actions. I don’t see why having children is such a horrible thing. We go out of our way to prevent the action then when we can’t we end the pregnancy. I don’t know why its so horrible to just have kids. The best thing we can do is stop allowing doctors to make decision for us. They should be required to give us the treatment we see best for ourselves. They have no right to decide we don’t know what we are doing. How is it we can decide to end a pregnancy but we cannot decide we do not want children? Vasectomies and tubal ligation’s. They should just do what we ask. This law on the other hand need not be passed in any state. I think it will lead to more trouble than good and it will just harm its intended purpose. If it ever gets on the ballot in my state I will vote it down. This law is not a good law and I think its going way too far.

  36. Funny how they say you must prove the miscarriage was “accidental” yet I have had more than one miscarriage where the doctors COULDN’T EVEN PROVE I WAS EVER PREGNANT!!! This amendment better not pass and if it does then I guess my husband and I will be on the next flight to canada!!!

  37. Emotionally, I barely survived my miscarriage last December. I lost my twins due to infection at 19 weeks and we were forced to cut their lives short (by a matter of minutes, maybe hours) in order to ensure that I would survive. So legally, they were a second trimester abortion.

    I have a mountain of proof showing that I did everything humanly possible to have a safe pregnancy. It was IVF so I knew months ahead of time that they might potentially come into existence and started taking vitamins and such before they were even conceived. I had prenatal visits every 2 weeks. 36 hours before I went into labor, a perinatologist said to me “we’ve run every test possible and you and babies are remarkably healthy!” The doctors have no clue how the infection started or how it could have possibly been prevented.

    And even with that mountain of proof, it still took a long time for me to not blame myself. If I had been asked questions by investigators and had needed to make them feel secure that it wasn’t my fault, or if I had been prosecuted and had to put myself up for judgement by a jury, I would not have survived. It was hard enough for my husband to convince me to consent to having the doctors save my life during the miscarriage, there’s no way he could have convinced me not to take my life during an investigation after the fact.

  38. NFP (Natural Family Planning) is just as effective as hormonal contraceptives but not nearly as popular because there is no money to be made in it. No one can fork money over to a pharmaceutical company every month for their knowledge of their own fertility. I’m a bit of a feminist that has always felt there is nothing liberating about subjecting myself to a cocktail of carcinogenic artificial hormones for the sake of postponing motherhood for a while. Google Couple to Couple League. It is one of several great options for natural family planning. My husband and I have been using it because I am set to donate marrow to a leukemia patient and I cannot be pregnant and donate due to the medications I will have to take leading up to the donation. NFP has been wonderful for me and my husband and I can assure you that it is just as effective and much cheaper than contraceptives.

    • Whoever told you that NFP is as effective as contraceptives either outright lied to you or needs to get the facts straight.

      • M. A. McRae says:

        Did you know that until 1936, the Catholic church was giving advice about natural family planning – except that according to them, the least fertile time was halfway between periods. In other words, they had it backwards. Great for the church as it increased their congregation. My source for this? Sorry, I read it somewhere, can’t remember where.

        This is an attack on women, and whether religious or not, mother or not, old or young, you should stand up for the rights of women.

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