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…