A constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder.
Dr. Randall S. Hines , a fertility specialist in Jackson working against Proposition 26 with the group Mississippians for Healthy Families, said that the amendment reflects “biological ignorance.” Most fertilized eggs, he said, do not implant in the uterus or develop further.
“Once you recognize that the majority of fertilized eggs don’t become people, then you recognize how absurd this amendment is,” Dr. Hines said. He fears severe unintended consequences for doctors and women dealing with ectopic or other dangerous pregnancies and for in vitro fertility treatments.
But, really, when has “biological ignorance” ever been a problem for people?
I’ve written fairly extensively on the topic of personhood — especially in relation to the abortion and euthanasia debates — here, here, and here. If you take a moment to read these three posts, I think you’ll see that they highlight the fundamental philosophical problem with Mississippi’s proposed redefinition of personhood, to say nothing of the myriad practical problems — intended an unintended — that this initiative poses for all sorts of people.