While I am pretty sure everyone has an idea of what is going on in Mississippi right now, in case you don't here is the run-down. The state has up for vote Amendment 26 known as the "Personhood Amendment." This would define for state law that life begin at conception and thus, outlaw abortion. However, that is not the real catch here (you know, in case merely outlawing pregnancy termination and the related autonomy for women was somehow not the slippery wicket), the real issue is that in its most literal interpretation, this also outlaws some forms of birth control and throws many fertility treatments on shaky ground.
As one can imagine hilarity has ensued. A Personhood USA spokesperson appeared on the Diane Rehm Show and came right out and said that under this law any birth control that could, theoretically, act after conception to prevent pregnancy would also be illegal. That means, no pill, no IUD, no ring, no patch, no shots and certainly no morning after pill. So outside of the all but extinct diaphragm/cervical cap usage, if you are female, straight and living in Mississippi then your only legal form of birth control is one that requires full participation of your male partner. (Note that female condoms exist, but have you ever been able to find one OTC easily? Well, there you go.) Is the blood spurting out your ears yet?
It gets better in that when questioned the lovely Personhood USA representative seemed pretty sure that fertilization happens when an egg and an oocyte meet. Great plan except both of those words mean egg. Last time I checked I can't, thank goodness, fertilize myself. Parthenogenesis is not really seen in humans. Seventh grade biology called and said "wake the fuck up."
So three main things terrify me in all this:
The Misogyny- Apparently persecuting women and making them second class citizens never goes out of style. While explaining the millions of ways this is a feminist/humanist issue would take way more web-space than I have here, let it be said that this is about female oppression. Dress it up any way you like, but this is taking control of the female body away from women and giving it to the people that the far right think should have it. Let us all hope we can someday grow up and be male, white, straight, Christian and wealthy so as to have a few freedoms now and then.
The Conspiracy- The idea that this faction of the political sphere knew full well what the far reaching implications of this amendment would be and just sort of glossed over it hoping to expand the influence once it was made law. This is an uber-conservative gold-mine; no abortion, encourage abstinence since no other choices exist, place female reproductive rights in the hands of proper god-fearing men and make a mockery of science. This thing basically satirizes itself with its own ridiculousness.
Of course, I doubt it was this well strategized. Even more horrific is this third point:
The Ignorance- I think people really don't know this stuff. I think that the people in this country who are striving to regulate our health and our bodies genuinely have no idea how science works. The idea that people are making laws all willy-nilly while lacking even a rudimentary understanding of what those laws mean actually keeps me up at night. With fear and rage.
So, what I am seeing here is that a woman can't terminate a pregnancy under any circumstances. Additionally she can't utilize most highly effective forms of birth control so her chances of having an unwanted pregnancy skyrocket unless she chooses to abstain totally (like any nice lady would) or just stick to female sex-partners (and rot in hell for all eternity, or so they say.) Top off the suck salad with the notion that the same politicians who would require her to carry the pregnancy to term then do NOT, under any circumstances, desire to ensure that the resulting child has health insurance, access to health-care, food to eat, decent public schools to attend or a safe home in which to live.
Nice move guys.
This is where we cross the fine line between "pro-life," a personal choice that is perfectly acceptable and may happily govern your own life and "anti-choice" where everyone must do what your doctrine says or else. In this case, the "or else" is jail time. Pretty insane.