So this week a Facebook friend posts this article:
Personhood USA Confirms That Mississippi Abortion Ban Would Outlaw Birth Control Pills
Next Tuesday, Mississippians will go to the polls to decide on Initiative 26, a personhood amendment to the state constitution thatdefines a person as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.” Personhood amendments represent an extreme reach into a family’s privacy, essentially criminalizing abortion and potentially outlawing common forms of birth control.
Right-wing supporters of Mississippi’s personhood amendment, however, decry the fact that the bill will ban birth control as “scare tactics.” “It’s an outright lie that Initiative 26 would ban birth control pills,” said American Family Association Executive Director Brad Prewitt. “Stopping a pregnancy is not the issue; ending a pregnancy is.” Unfortunately for proponents, the Personhood movement spokesman Walter Hoye stated the opposite on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show. As the Florida Independent reports, when asked if there were any restrictions on birth control in the amendment, Hoye answered “no…well, yes,” adding, “any birth control that ends the life of a human being will be impacted by this measure,” including the pill:
Above the Facebook blurb, my friend also posts this comment: “At least the lunatics are being honest.”
He gets a couple comments on the article that are in agreement with him, and are horrified by Mississippi’s sudden turn towards medievalism. One comment in particular (ok, ok, my comment) notes that the “personhood” movement is a clown car stuffed with lunatics, and that they have obviously not given a single thought to the unintended consequences of their ridiculous actions.
Suddenly, a so-called “pro-life” friend of his jumps into the comments and starts telling us to watch our language, and says that our comments are revealing some “intolerant” and “mean” attitudes. I take it as a joke, and pretend that she means that we’re revealing how intolerant and mean the personhood movement is. She responds:
There would be no ban on birth control measures that prevent conception. Only meaures used AFTER conception would banned. Sounds sane. No one is going to take away your beloved birth control pills, ladies. Please quit the drama. (And I’m sure you don’t live in MS anyway.)
Because, you know, if I don’t live in Mississippi, why should I give a shit? Right? But, as I’ve always felt that mockery of stupid ideas is the best approach:
No, I don’t live in MS, but I am thinking of moving there if this measure passes! I can’t wait to “adopt” a boatload of frozen embryo-Americans from an IVF clinic and then claim all the child tax credits!
Apparently sarcasm and mockery trigger righteousness, because this is what I get in response:
Don’t think that’s going to fly with Obama. But the government shouldn’t be deciding who is or who is not a person, anyway. Personhood, dignity, and the right to life come from God. The government only recognizes what God has already bestowed. Have we learned nothing from the slavery era?
LOLOL! This is getting kind of awesome, so I say:
Ah hah, S____, I see your game. You’re trying to out-crazy-pants me by throwing in SLAVERY! and JESUS! Well, I can’t be out-crazy-pantsed that easily. I am also planning on buying life insurance policies on my frozen embryo-Americans. After which, of course, I shall free them from their tiny refrigerated prisons!
She responds thusly:
Okay, I’m stepping out of this, Jane. You must not have taken your Prozac today. I’m getting a little creeped out.
After I take my victory lap, the FB friend who is “hosting” this whole discussion steps in and asks us (well, likely just me) to be a little more tolerant or something, perhaps to use the word “nutjob” a little less liberally, maybe? I apologize to him, but explain that “tolerance” for people who think the inside of my uterus or my bedroom is within the government’s purview is outside the realm of possibility for me. And…despite her vow to step out, back comes “S” with this:
Sigh. I am feeling mighty tired. Nobody cares about your sex life, Jane. Or your uterus, for that matter. What the government has an obligation to protect is the unborn person. We all were unborn persons at one time. I’m sure many of us are very glad our moms did not have your views. Thanks, Mom. I love you. 🙂
This is after she had already explained that it wasn’t the government’s job to decide who is or is not a person? And how does the government “protect” unborn “persons” if they’re not all up in my uterus? So of course I must respond.
S___, I also am feeling mighty tired, because I am intimately familiar with the forced pregnancy crowd. Scratch the surface just a little, and it is obvious that the obsession is with controlling women and preventing them making independent choices about their sex lives and about reproducing. On the other hand, if your personal obsession is with the rights of blastocysts, then…well…I can’t say that my analysis of craziness would be any different.
She, typically, responds with the just keep your legs shut, use birth control, or get your tubes tied comment. I, of course, point out that the world is not perfect, and accidents happen. So then this:
Come on. As women we want respect, so we must behave like responsible adults who have self-control and self-respect. Accidents may happen, but they are much less likely if we behave with maturity, prudence, and responsibility. It’s like driving. Careful drivers are much less likely to have an accident than reckless ones. As for “the accidents,” as you call them, (no human person is an accident) there are oodles of people dying to adopt a newborn baby. Have you never seen the movie Juno? 🙂
After picking my jaw up off the floor, disengaging my head from my desk, and removing my palm from my face, I say:
And there we have scratched the surface, and the desire to dictate how women conduct themselves sexually shows itself. Also, really? Your attitude might be almost (not quite, but almost) acceptable if the forced pregnancy crowd wasn’t simultaneously trying to mandate “abstinence only education” in place of real information on the proper use of birth control. And if I had a nickel for every time one of you people pretend that Juno represents the reality of women going through an unwanted pregnancy……jeez. All I can say is that you are deliberately deluding yourself.
Neither responding to anything I have said, nor making any sense, she comes back:
Well, I think men should behave with the same self-control and self-respect as is expected of women. It’s called having class and being responsible. And please don’t refer to me as “you people.” You know nothing about me. It’s a dehumanizing label. I am a person and an individual. You seem to have a certain mentality that lumps groups of people in faceless things that you can then define as you see fit. And I’m really sorry you didn’t like Juno. I thought it was quirky and sweet. 🙂
Okie dokie then, I say:
The movie was quirky and sweet, but it was also a movie, as in fiction. Also, nice move with the implication that anyone who doesn’t conform to your expectations regarding sexual behavior has no class, then telling me that I categorize and dehumanize people. Nope, no hypocrisy there.
Again refusing to make sense, or present a legitimate argument aside from “but this is how I feeeeeeeeel!!”, she says:
Well, there is such a thing as right and wrong behavior in life. I sure wouldn’t trust someone who thinks otherwise (They might steal your wife or your life). So if judging between right and wrong is catagorizing, I guess I’m guilty.
ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!! So, kids, the lesson here is that if you have sex not sactioned by the tenets of the wingnut movement, you are also much more likely to be a murderer.
Calling them “nutjobs” doesn’t even begin to cover it.