There is an initiative in Mississippi to classify everything from a newly fertilized egg onward as a "person" with all the rights and benefits of "personhood".
Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hereby amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ:
Section 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”
This initiative shall not require any additional revenue for implementation.
This frightens me.
This creates, in every woman, the possibility of there being a "person" inside her body- parasitizing her body, in fact- that has conflicting rights with the woman herself.
What happens when the rights of this fetusperson, this person who cannot survive outside of another person, demand that another, fully functioning person must risk death or serious injury to preserve the rights of the fetusperson?
I have, more than once, had to make decisions that involve a malignant calculus: this drug will improve your heart function, but damage your liver. What do you want to do? That decision is difficult to make, balancing potential benefits against potential risks and hoping against hope that I made the right decision. And it is my decision. As my doctor said when I asked him to decide, I have to live with the consequences of the decision, therefore I must make the decision.
In Mississippi, we could very well see a day when women are required to live with the consequences of a decision they are not allowed to make. Who will make that decision? Well, not the woman's doctor. Her doctor can't advocate for both woman and fetus if their needs oppose one another. Another doctor will have to be brought in, as well as, I would imagine, a legal guardian for the fetus. Imagine waiting to discover if a doctor you've never seen before and a lawyer you've never met are going to sentence you to death to preserve the life of a person who doesn't exist yet.
How will these decisions be made? We don't know. Some women, left to their own devices, might very well accept a 95% chance of death in order to give their fetusperson a chance at living. Some women may not be willing to take a chance on a 95% chance of survival. What will be the cutoff? What extenuating factors will be taken into consideration? Will a single mother of 3 already born children be given a pass on risk that other women may be asked to accept? Will wealthy women be able to game the system with better representation? Truly, the potential consequences of this initiative are disturbing, and I doubt that even one of its proponents have thought it through as far as I have in 5 minutes.