How Can I Get My Personhood?

Today, citizens of the state of Mississippi – the state dead last in nearly every measurable category – are going to vote on whether a fertilized egg should have the same legal rights as a person.

This concept of personhood is getting a little carried away.

First, the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United Decision has given corporations – entirely faceless, non-human, legal entities - the same Constitutional Rights as you and I, actual living and breathing persons.  Now Mississippi wants to give another faceless, non-human entity the same rights.

What’s wrong with this picture?!

With every non-person that gets recognized as a person, the value of being an actual person drops.  I think that I would actually prefer “personhood” over being a person anymore.

Where do I have to go to get my personhood?

Personhood seems like a much better deal to me.  Personhood gives you all the rights without any of the responsibilities.  You are protected from others, but others have no protection from you.

In the case of corporations, it’s not difficult to see how patently unfair this is to the actual person.  If I devised a system to defraud millions of consumers or taxpayers, they’d throw my butt in jail.  If my corporation did it, however, they might levy a fine against us.  I’ll take the fine, please, thank you very much.

Likewise, if I killed someone, I’d never see the light of day again.  If a corporation kills an actual person (or multiple persons), they just write a settlement check and the persons responsible for the negligence are back out on the golf course in no time.

Yep, sign me up for that personhood deal.

But embryos aren’t the same as corporations, you say?  They’re developing fetuses.  How could a fertilized egg cause anyone harm?

Ask a doctor.  There are dozens of ways that a developing embryo can jeopardize its host’s life including ectopic pregnancy.

If a pregnant woman is legally prevented from terminating the development of a fertilized egg, how can the mother save her own life?  More importantly, since the fertilized egg can’t sustain its own development with the mother dead, why do the egg’s rights get to supersede those of the mother?  Why should both have to die when one hasn't even lived yet?

I won’t rehash all the points made in this article in yesterday’s Huffington Post.  I suggest you take a moment to read it, as well as the attached reader comments.  There are very strong repercussions for the legislature and the courts nationwide should this ballot initiative pass.

My point isn’t to take issue with either side of the Pro-Choice / Anti-Choice argument.  It is to take issue with the concept of assigning rights to anyone or anything that is not an actual living, breathing person.

If you can’t vote in an election, you shouldn’t be able to donate to a campaign.  If you defraud someone, you should go to jail.  If your negligence kills someone, you should go to jail.

If you can’t do the things a flesh and blood, breathing person does, you’re not a person.  If you can’t face the same consequences a flesh and blood, breathing person does, you’re not a person.

Nowhere in our Constitution do the rights of any single person supersede or trump the rights of any other person.  We are all created equal.

Allowing voters or the courts to create or uphold laws that award rights to some at the expense of others is unfair, un-Constitutional, and un-American.  There is something seriously deficient in the thought process of those in a democracy who willing subordinate their given rights for the benefit of non-human entities.

If this precedent continues, we’re all going to have to find a loophole to achieve personhood status for ourselves.

Or we can just stop the madness right now…

Comments

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  • Some might say "the madness" is all the babies getting killed that liberals conveniently don't accept as "human."

    Essentially left-wingers have no logical argument about what is and isn't human. They argue to kill babies merely out of convenience. They just don't want the bother of having a baby. About time they admitted it.

    Fact: Those "unviable cells" liberals keep yammering about can ONLY become a human being if left to grow. They can't accidentally grow into a dog, or a house fly. Ergo they ARE a human.

    But, I'd like to postulate a level of agreement with liberals. Let's agree that we can "decide" out of our own rear ends when human cells "become" human. This is an entirely arbitrary point, mind you, but so what, we don't expect leftists to have logic on their side, do we? I mean, having the luxury of making this arbitrary decision would be very convenient in many ways.

    So, since we can just "decide" when a human is "really" a human, I say no one that has the unfortunate mental defect of being a left-winger is human. See, now we can abort them all we want.

    Or how about we decide that no one with any other mental or physical defect is "really" fully human? What if we have a baby that is two years old? They can't act autonomously, right? What if we don't want them any more? Wait, how about if some stinking old person becomes non compos mentis? They could all be considered "unviable," can't they?

    Let's just eliminate all these dang "unviable" things? (In fact, these poor folks HAVE all been considered ripe for elimination by liberals in certain Universities -- look up pete singer--... oh, and those nice Nazi folks from WWII, also.)

    Gosh. Convenience is awfully liberating, isn't it?

    Oh, but now all those caring leftists are going to get all huffy that I am advocating to kill liberals. Well, so what? What logical reason do they have to say my arbitrary decision on what is a "real" human is any better than theirs?

    Is it that liberals don't want to be aborted? Well, gosh, they should feel lucky that we can ask them the question. Sadly, the babies left-wingers want aborted don't have that luxury.

  • My blog wasn't about abortion, it was about assigning rights to entities that were incapable of discharging the responsibility that is inherent with every right.

    I thought I was pretty clear in attacking the problematic aspect of calling a fertilized egg a person and giving it the same rights as a person that has actually been born. Should a fertilized egg threaten a woman's life, a strict abortion law would prevent the woman - a being that is already alive with Constitutional Rights - from saving her own life. Meanwhile the fertilized egg - which is not viable outside of the mother - would be protected from the mother, even though the mother's death would end the embryo's life.

    The mother's inability to save her own life would imply a hierarchy of civil rights creating women as a subordinate class of living beings to embryos. This is simply unconstitutional.

    This is where I normally see a level of hypocrisy on the side of Conservatives. They claim to be strict adherents to the Constitution and champions of equality and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, yet they are always first to deny those rights to specific classes of people they don't personally agree with.

    Conservatives don't like gays, so they deny them the legal right to marry. They believe that women are inferior to men and incapable of making choices about their reproductive health. Creating a right for one class that subordinates the rights of another is unacceptable to our nation's guiding principles.

    As stated, the flip-side to rights is responsibilities. If a woman is responsible for protecting the rights of an egg, can an egg be responsible for protecting the rights of a woman? Since an egg isn't a living being, it can't be responsible or be held responsible. It doesn't satisfy the test of being deserving of a legal right.

    I won't engage any man on the contentious abortion issue - it is a woman's health issue. Since a man cannot carry a fetus to term, he is not being denied a single civil right with any of these proposed laws. He is also not held equally responsible for his part in reproductive matters.

    If Anti-Choice activists proposed a bill that a fertilized egg is subordinate to the rights of both the maternal host and the paternal sperm donor, the right would be closer to fair. If the father were required to have the egg implanted inside of him, carry it to term, and provide for the child's complete well-being, you would quickly see a law stating that life begins at the moment a child turns 18...

  • Update - the voters of Mississippi have rejected this ballot measure!

    This won't stop the Colorado-based group, Personhood USA from attempting to get this on the ballot in other states, so it's important to keep publicizing the problematic nature of granting civil rights to non-living entities.

    At the end of the day, it was the vagueness of the proposal that spooked the Mississippi voters, just has it had done to Colorado voters twice before.

    Proposals like this, "defense of marriage" laws, and corporate personhood recognition are a threat to us all. They seek to make a mockery out of the civil rights this country was founded on and those rights we fought to expand because All Men Are Created Equal.

    Whatever your personal convictions are about when life starts, having the choice to act on your own convictions in your personal pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is what being an American is all about.

    If we don't fight to uphold our every right, slowly, one by one, they'll be taken away from us...

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