Menstruation Ban and Anti Choice Logic

Amanda(Pandagon) wonders about a new law defining fertilized eggs as persons:

I wrote an article for RH Reality Check about how anti-choicers could try to ban menstruation without missing a beat. It was supposed to be satire.

But unfortunately, it was close to the truth
. Anti-choicers are pushing a Colorado ballot initiative to define a fertilized egg as a person.

I’ve seen numbers from 40-80% of eggs that get fertilized won’t implant in the uterus, meaning that any random menstruation could have an egg in it that was technically fertilized, making your average tampon a potential scene of negligent homicide under this law. That aside, when you define a fertilized egg, much less and embryo or a fetus as a full person with rights, how on earth do you handle miscarriages?

Thanks to an active comment thread here, I can safely say how they intend to hand menstruation and miscarriages.  By ignoring them.  In the pro-life world view, the name of the game is “letting nature take its course”.  In other words, if we interfere and kill a fetus, then we have sinned.  If we leave the fetus alone and it dies, we are guiltless.  (For fun, try quizzing a pro-lifer on their stance on medically necessary abortions with this in mind.)

So you are not going to see a criminal prosecution for miscarriage.  That would be actively inviting a judge to strike the law down.  (Although I wouldn’t be surprised to see a civil lawsuit over a miscarriage).  Although saying that logic is at play might be stretching it a little (Echidne):

“It doesn’t outlaw abortion, it doesn’t regulate birth control,” said Kristi Burton, 20, of Colorado for Equal Rights. “It’s just a constitutional principle. We’re laying a foundation that every life deserves protection.

So if a fertilized egg is a person and deserves rights, but abortion remains legal,  what does that say about our own legal rights?  Ms. Burton is clearly saying “It doesn’t outlaw abortion… yet.  We’re just laying the legal foundation to do so”.  In the meantime, would abortions be subject to due process and a court trial?

This law may have some further impact beyond its overt intention however.  There’s the pill for example.  This drastically changes the impact of taking a pill to reduce the frequency of menstruation.  And then there’s the issue of anything that increases the frequency of menstruation.  Like aromatherapy.

From the AP article:

Anti-abortion activists said similar voter-led initiatives or legislative efforts are under way in five other states, including Montana, Georgia, Oregon, Michigan and South Carolina.

Just Great.


5 Responses

  1. Woman…thou shall suffer in silence….isn’t progress grand.

  2. This is a great post. I’ll be back to read it more thoroughly.

    Please excuse this OT:

    Tonight, right after the debate, LM will have a new post/thread up to discuss what happened. I hope you and your readers will join us.

  3. […] Fitness for the Occasion for more on this absurdity, and don’t allow anti-choicers to hijack our language to set the […]

  4. […] Published November 16, 2007 conservatives Tags: abortion, anti-choicers, ridiculous things Dan at Fitness for the Occasion has a good post on a Colorado ballet initiative that seeks to define a fertilized egg as a […]

  5. […] When satire accidentally serves as prophecy Fitness for the Occasion […]

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