THE BLOG
10/03/2016 03:54 pm ET

"Personhood" Pence: Could The VP Candidate Criminalize Birth Control Pills?

Mike Pence, Republican nominee for Vice President, is a personhood believer, demanding full legal rights--for every fertilized human egg.

This is no casual opinion; the former Governor of Indiana intends to impose his belief on America.

Donald Trump's running mate, Mike Pence is co-author of H.R. 374, the "Life at Conception Act", which seeks to "implement equal protection...for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.. at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization..."

Let us be blunt. We are talking about the contents of a tampon. At the "moment of fertilization" described in Pence's law, the fertilized egg, or blastocyst, is a near-invisible dot of tissue, essentially liquid, which women often shed in their monthly cycles. The microscopic blastocyst is gone, without ever being noticed.

This is by no stretch of the imagination a "human person". Unless the egg implants in the walls of the womb, it is biologically impossible for it ever to become a child. Without implantation, there is no pregnancy--and of course, no abortion.

And that of course is the point. If by legal trickery, a blastocyst was redefined as a person, that could make possible an end run around "Roe v. Wade", the Supreme Court decision which currently protects women's reproductive rights.

The "personhood" idea came about because of something said by Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun during the Roe v. Wade court case:

"If this suggestion of personhood is established... right to life would then be guaranteed..."--

What could it mean, if we officially declared an egg to be a person?

Once we enshrine such nonsense into law, all manner of consequences become possible.

A woman's right to control her own body? Gone. If personhood becomes the law of the land, an abortion at any stage will be illegal. Right now, a woman can legally terminate her pregnancy until the fetus becomes "viable", meaning it can live on its own. That gives the woman roughly 22 weeks to make up her mind, to have the child or not. Under personhood, that cushion of time is gone--and there are not even exceptions for rape or incest. Once sperm meets egg, the pregnancy must be carried out in full.

Want to practice birth control? Personhood could limit you to 'barrier methods", i.e. condoms or abstinence. "The pill", the most common form of birth control, would almost certainly become illegal--because it could now be considered an "abortifacient" a chemical form of abortion--which personhood redefines as the murder of a person.

Want to have a baby with the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) method? Better check with a lawyer. The IVF procedure, which around the world has allowed more than five million families to have babies--would almost certainly become illegal. In the process, fifteen to twenty sperm-and-egg embryos are made, and only the strongest one or two will be implanted. The rest will be either frozen and stored, given away or sold to other couples, or (most often) be flushed, incinerated, or added to a landfill. If a fertilized egg is now a person, then disposing of even one would be an act of murder--and fifteen? Would that not be mass murder?

But wait, there is still more.

Embryonic stem cell research employs blastocysts that would otherwise be thrown away after the IVF procedure. This would be illegal too. Pence is already on record as wanting to criminalize embryonic stem cell research, a great loss to science, and to anyone who has a chronic disease or disability.

America may be on the brink of curing several types of blindness, plus diabetes, as well as spinal cord injury paralysis which currently afflicts my son Roman Reed--with research Donald Trump's vice President intends to ban.

Personhood is so extreme Mississippi (possibly the most conservative state in the union) voted it down--and Colorado rejected it not once but three times, by a 2-1 margin.

But surely the Supreme Court would prevent such nonsense?

Unfortunately... If Donald Trump becomes President, he has pledged to appoint ultra-conservative judges to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. If he appoints just one, that would overturn the current 4-4 liberal/conservative split. It would take only 5 Supreme Court members to eliminate Roe v. Wade, and put it "on the ash heap of history"--in the words of Mike Pence.

Remember in November! And bring a disabled neighbor to the polls!

Note: for more information, please see my previous article: "How Not to Have Sex in Colorado: the Personhood Amendment".

Also, for an excellent overview article on personhood, see Cosmopolitan Magazine :

Don C. Reed is the author of "STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond: How Ordinary People Can Fight Back Against the Crushing Burden of Chronic Disease", available now at Amazon. Com.

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