07 June 2011

Yipes! Another Attack on Women's Reproductive Rights!!

Anti-Abortion Groups Push To Outlaw Contraceptives By Redefining Personhood
by: Marie Diamond Jun 3, 2011, ThinkProgress
As always, CLICK HERE to read the full article. Images added/Not true size.

A fringe anti-abortion group, Personhood USA, has been startlingly successful at pushing forward legislation across the country that would redefine life as beginning at the moment of fertilization, effectively outlawing contraceptives like birth control pills. Although the medical community has long been in agreement that fertilization does not mark the beginning of a pregnancy — fertilized eggs must first be implanted, and only about half of fertilized eggs actually result in a pregnancy — a growing number of lawmakers are supporting Personhood USA’s efforts to buck medical expertise and legally define life as the moment a sperm meets an egg. [...]
Photo above from Scienceray.com
But wait...there's more...
According to 2008 numbers. around 11 million American women use birth control pills and another 2 million use intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Contraceptives like the pill and IUDs not only act to prevent fertilization, but, if fertilization does occur, may prevent that fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Personhood USA considers this tantamount to abortion, and wants to make it a punishable offense for women to control their own fertility. Worse, because the proposed legislation could make any effort to terminate a pregnancy a criminal act, it could also bar doctors from saving the lives of women with ectopic pregnancies, which are never viable and need to be terminated as soon as possible.

 An abstract painting of a person by Paul Klee
  "The concept of a person can be very challenging to define." 
From Wikipedia's definition of Personhood.

 If this is difficult for the reader to grasp...stop reading this and go read a book.  If you are pining for a reference to the State of Connecticut, here ya go:

In the landmark privacy case Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law that made it illegal for married couples to use contraception. It’s difficult to imagine that the justices would overrule Griswold, but not as difficult as it once was. Justice Thomas’ dissent in Lawrence v. Texas leaves little doubt that he would overrule Griswold if given the chance, and Chief Justice Roberts disparaged Griswold in an article he drafted in 1981, although he claimed to have backed away from that view in his confirmation hearing.

I hesitated for a while about including illustrations in this post, since there are so many fakes out there on the innernet. I contemplated a comparison of various species' embryos - all remarkably similar to those of humans. The ones of elephant and dolphin fetuses are fascinating, but much older than this example of a 6 week old human embryo.

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