Wednesday, November 9, 2011
So Mississippi made the news tonight. But this time, it wasn't for anything those of us in the diaspora will hide in shame about. Proposition 26, the Personhood clause, did not pass. This is not just big for Mississippi but for the nation as well. In case you're not familiar with it, it was a short, very vaguely worded amendment to the state constitution that would have established that the state recognizes that life begins at conception. This was initiated by a group called Personhood USA. They are trying to get this amendment passed in all 50 states. Most Mississippians already believe that life begins at conception so this should have been an easy vote, right? Not so. With this came numerous implications for all aspects of reproductive rights. Not only would this have outlawed abortion in the state but also restricted what forms of birth control, infertility treatments and medical procedures would be available to women. Most hormonal birth control methods, In vitro fertilization, cryo storage of in vitro embryos, uterine ablation to stop excessive bleeding, and termination of an ectopic pregnancy are among the procedures that may have become illegal. Let me say here that I am most definitely pro-life as are most other Southerners. As a nurse, however, I cannot imagine telling a rape victim that I can't give her the "morning after" pill because it may prevent the implantation of the baby of the jerk who just violated her. That would be a second violation. I guess I should include victims of incest here but, in my mind, I did when I mentioned rape victims- but that's another rant. Do I want to be the person who has to tell the childless couple that we have the technology to help them get pregnant but we can't use it because we MIGHT make too many embryos and they MIGHT not all make it and... I could go on but I think you get the picture. There are a lot of ethical questions concerning the issues of birth control, in vitro fertilization and abortion for whatever reason. I never thought I would be on the same side as the Pro-Choice camp but here I am saying let ME decide. If you have a problem with hormonal birth control and think it has the potential to cause a miscarriage, don't use it. If you think it's wrong to terminate an ectopic pregnancy or perform a D&C on a woman who's having a miscarriage, then go ahead and bleed out. Just don't take away MY option. And that's what Mississippi said tonight.