(photo: WeNews)

If this ballot initiative in Mississippi passes, it will make a woman a criminal in the eyes of the law if she exercises her right to control whether she becomes pregnant — not just whether she will have access to abortion services.

Ballot Measure 26, which has the blessing of luminaries like Mike Huckabee and Brett Favre’s wife Deanna, is outrageous:

“[H]uman life would begin not at birth but at the moment of fertilization. If the amendment passes, it will outlaw abortion in the state entirely, even in cases of rape or incest. It might even leave some forms of contraception, and procedures such as in vitro fertilization, on life support.

Yes and the desired interpretation, led by the homo-hating, womb-controlling American Family Association and zygote personhood movement advocate Les Riley, a former candidate for agriculture commissioner, and chair of the state Constitution Party is jaw-dropping. [cont’d.]

Mississippi anti-abortion activists wants to define personhood as starting when a sperm fertilizes an egg. In that case, it would likely make intrauterine devices (IUDs), which can prevent pregnancy by blocking the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, illegal. (IUDs can also prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg in the first place, and IUDs with hormones also operate much like regular old birth control pills, but that doesn’t seem to matter to anti-abortion activists.).

…But the law could also introduce the possibility of banning any form of hormonal birth control. Generally, “the pill” (as well as the shot, the patch, and the ring) work by stopping ovulation. But some anti-abortion groups argue that there can be failures on that front, and the doses of hormone could possibly also work by stopping implantation should an egg and sperm still manage to meet up.

Bottom line: all sex that involves the potential creation of a citizen fetus is under attack. Irin Carmon at Salon:

If this initiative passes, and fertilized eggs on their own have full legal rights, anything that could potentially block that implantation—something a woman’s body does naturally all the time—could be considered murder. Scientists say hormonal birth-control pills and the morning-after pill work primarily by preventing fertilization in the first place, but the outside possibility, never documented, that an egg could be fertilized anyway and blocked is enough for some pro-lifers. Indeed, at least one pro-Personhood doctor in Mississippi, Beverly McMillan, refused to prescribe the pill before retiring last year, writing, “I painfully agree that birth control pills do in fact cause abortions.”

Actually, IMHO the amendment’s goal is worse than just banning hormone-based contraception. Based on the loose language — couldn’t this law also apply to condoms since they “prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg in the first place“? The use of the condom in hetero boot-knocking is preventing “what comes naturally” to these ignorant, judgmental uterus invaders, who apparently want state tax dollars (in a state as poverty-stricken as Mississippi) spent prosecuting women and their doctors. Will condom-using men get time in the joint as well?

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding