A person's a zygote…

It’s official. According to Mark Hotaling, executive director of the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado, “Colorado is going to be ground zero for the issue of life in America.” (Source: Denver Post) The reason is that the Colorado non-profit Colorado for Equal Rights has turned in nearly double the number of signatures required to get an amendment to the Colorado constitution onto November’s ballot. Here’s the complete text of said proposed amendment:

Person defined. As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the terms “person” or “persons” shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization.

Our own Dr. Slammy brought up this issue in a post (Every sperm is sacred) three months ago, and the ramifications of this range from the absurd, awful, and terrifying all the way to downright misogynistic. And yes, you read that right.

Think about it for a moment. If a zygote (fertilized egg) is equivalent to a human being, then anything that happens to the egg afterward is the mother’s responsibility. If the prospective mother inadvertently causes a miscarriage because she didn’t realize she was pregnant and drank to excess, that’s manslaughter – murder if she drinks to excess knowing that she was pregnant. And it’s child abuse if the child turns out to be developmentally stunted as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome.

But that’s not the worst part of this. The worst part is that declaring a zygote a person means that a everything the potential mother does that could prevent implantation in her uterus is attempted murder. The pill goes from a contraceptive method to a murder weapon. Intra-uterine devices are similarly treated. And let’s not even talk about an actual abortion.

Actually, lets. Abortion is murder, at least according to these people. Well, if 50.0000000000001% of the “enlightened” population of Colorado votes “yes” on this amendment, that statement will go from a statement of pious opinion to legal reality. And abortion providers and patients will become first degree murderers and accessories to the crime.

And what’s the upshot of all of this? The woman and potential mother becomes enslaved to her offspring. Literally – she can do nothing that will injure the zygote, blastocyst, embryo, or fetus without running the risk of being accused of a felony. According to the Mirriam-Webster online dictionary, this is the definition of “slavery”:

slavery, noun

1. drudgery, toil

2. submission to a dominating influence

3. a: the state of a person who is a chattel of another b: the practice of slaveholding

The dominating influence, the person making the woman its “chattel” in this case? The “person” the woman is being forced to carry to term against her will.

If enslaving a woman to a zygote isn’t misogyny, I don’t know what is.

I wouldn’t wish this on any woman, not even the piously brainwashed 20-year old founder of Colorado for Equal Rights, Kristi Burton.

There’s a slight chance that this won’t make it. The Secretary of State (a Republican) might rule that nearly half of the signatures are invalid. But I doubt it. There’s a chance that it won’t be voted in, but since our state legislature steadfastly refuses to be prudent and raise the bar for amending the state Constitution, I don’t hold out much hope for that either.

I’d held off publicizing this issue by blogging about it here on S&R in hopes that lack of publicity would make it go away. It didn’t. So now it’s time to let slip the dogs of war on these people.

Some things are so immoral as to be evil. Legally enshrining women as chattel is one of those things.

7 comments on “A person's a zygote…

  1. I still say that this kind of law means tax exemptions start 9 months earlier than they do now. And if a woman escapes the chair for having a miscarriage – and times it just right – she gets the exemption without having to actually give birth.

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  3. Although I’m not a fan of abortion, I think that measure in Colorado has gone over the top. Dr. Slammy might be on to something with the exemptions….good thinking:)

    Jeff

  4. Not that I support the Colorado initiative in the least, but isn’t this reaction a bit over the top as well? Reminds me of the Illinois legislature as it pondered the same question in 2004: when is a person a person? In IL the problem was with unsuccessful late term abortions. It seems that many were surviving that procedure, and doctors were bound to try to help the survival continue. The result there was that if anybody survived an abortion, their legal definition is not that of “person”, but remained that of “fetus”, allowing for the destruction of it. So if, against all odds, there occurs a survivor of an abortion in Illinois, it is destroyed immediately. And voila, now it’s illegal to survive an abortion attempt.
    I am not a doctor, I am not a religious right zealot, but it seems to me that if there’s something that looks human, with a beating heart, breathing lungs, screaming like a newborn baby… well, chances are, it’s human. Might not have been human for very long, but as of that moment, my common sense says it’s a human person.
    Back to CO though: it seems like these people are heading off in the opposite direction with the same fervor as the IL state legislature. But I don’t see that it leads to the scenarios you mention. Already, laws are in place to allow prosecution for killing unborns. And inasmuch as federal law always supersedes state law, I think that this measure would change nothing.

  5. So many babies surviving late-term abortion? Please provide citations.

    That old straw man is always thrown out by the right wingers when, in fact, late-term abortions are so rare as to be such a unique event that they are pondered over incessantly in the rare cases that they do happen. It’s a bullshit argument and was flung around excessively when the partial-abortian ban fight was happening (as if ANY woman wants to have that done – idiots).

    I’m all for laws preventing the abortion of a viable fetus, but viable means able to live outside the mother’s uterus, not suspended in a damn petri dish. And yes I understand that medical science lowers the age of viability in leaps and bounds, but having given birth to two children, I know when I felt like they were “real” – from the moment I knew I was pregnant. And having had a few scares of the unwanted pregnancy sort, I know that I never thought of myself as carrying a “baby” or “person in his/her own right” just because I was a few days late.

    Colorado is officially insane if this passes.

    And let’s all remember, this “movement” isn’t about preserving life – never really has been. It’s about keeping uppity women subjected to their bodies and ultimately to men.

  6. Pingback: Scholars and Rogues » Every sperm is a living, breathing person!

  7. Pingback: Zygote personhood movement tied to violent anti-abortion groups | Scholars and Rogues

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