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Clay Farris Naff

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Personhood Amendment? Kid's Stuff! We Need a Motherhood Amendment!

Posted: 11/02/11 03:33 PM ET

The Xian Right (as distinct from mainstream Christianity) has finally tired of trotting out "defense of marriage" ballot measures. Now, they've got a shiny new lure to bring the base to the surface on election day.

It's the personhood amendment, and it awaits the decision of Mississippi voters on Nov. 8. The amendment would declare that a fully constituted person pops into existence at conception. It would render abortion for any reason -- including to save a woman's life -- murder. But that's only the beginning. Most forms of birth control that women use would also become prosecutable as homicide. Why? Because they prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, and this would legally be a homunculus -- a tiny person with God-given rights, including the right to kill its mother.

Even though the Bible says nothing specific about the issue (no surprise, since the authors of the Bible didn't know squat about sperm and eggs), supporters of the amendment have convinced themselves that God Almighty determines personhood to begin at conception. This is as loony as declaring an acorn to be a tree or an egg a chicken, but never mind. When it comes to religious dogma, it's the lack of thought that counts.

Personally, though, I'm tired of the vengeful, sanctimonious Xian Right having all the fun with ballot measures. It's time the rest of us rouse ourselves and do them one better. We need to propose and pass the Motherhood Amendment. It would read as follows:

Motherhood being a sacred institution, any woman, being defined as a female human who has had her first period, shall be impregnated at the earliest opportunity, and having given birth, shall again be impregnated by any means necessary at the earliest opportunity, and shall continue to do so until such time as menopause sets in.

You see the advantages, I trust. First, with a name like the "Motherhood Amendment," we can run vicious attack ads against anyone who opposes it. With "sacred" in the first few words of the text, we can count on most voters not to read any further.

But best of all, if the Motherhood Amendment passes, it will actually raise the average intelligence of the nation.

You see, most women -- especially educated women -- are making the rational choice to limit their reproduction. The great exception is women in the religious right.

All the Abrahamic faiths have rightwing strains that exalt an ideology bent on making women pump out babies as fast as they can, but in America, of course, it is the Christian right that leads the way. Unfortunately, that way is straight downhill. There is a well-established inverse relationship between fundamentalism and IQ. According to demographer Eric Kaufmann, the unconstrained reproduction of fundamentalists, in contrast to the deliberate family planning of religious mainstreamers, liberals and atheists, means that the fundies are on their way to becoming a majority.

It doesn't have to be that way, though. With your support, the Motherhood Amendment can be come law, and all women can fulfill their natural destiny by having as many children as possible. Won't God be pleased?

 
 
 

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