Since Mississippi is officially the most conservative state in the country, one might argue that if your idiotic personhood measure can't make it there, it can't make it anywhere. But don't bother trying to tell that to Nevada's band of lunatics.
The Associated Press reports that the Nevada Prolife Coalition wants to add an amendment to the state constitution that reads:
The intentional taking of a prenatal person's life shall never be allowed in this State. For the purpose of this section only, the term "prenatal person" includes every human being at all stages of biological development before birth.
The group must collect 72,000 signatures by June to get the initative on the ballot in November. However, before minions could be dispatched to start collecting signatures, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU hit the group with a lawsuit. In Nevada such measures must include a description of th effects they might have, and this is the original, not at all biased language proposed by the Nevada Prolife Coalition PAC:
All persons are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights and among these is the right to life. Guaranteeing personhood for the prenatal human being has the effect of making illegal intentional acts which kill such persons, including elective, surgical, and/or chemical abortion and fetal homicide.
The United States Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade states, "If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] amendment." Therefore, establishing personhood for every prenatal human being in Nevada constitutionally protects that person's unalienable right to life irrespective of race, sex, age, size, location, viability, dependency, perceived handicap/disability, physical, mental level of function or biological development.
Roe vs. Wade also stated no laws existed in 1972 which defined the prenatal human being as a person. No longer true today, thirty-eight states, including Nevada, have enacted fetal homicide laws, with abortion being the only required exception. The majority of states' fetal homicide laws protect prenatal persons from earliest stages of pregnancy. Endowing personhood prohibits fetal homicide during all stages of every prenatal person's biological development and ends intentional abortions.
Nevada District Judge James E. Wilson found that this was "inadequate," and told the group that they must use this new description, which actually outlines what making zygotes people will do:
The initiative would protect a prenatal person regardless of whether or not the prenatal person would live, grow, or develop in the womb or survive birth; prevent all abortions even in the case of rape, incest, or serious threats to the woman's health or life, or when a woman is suffering from a miscarriage, or as an emergency treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to utilize some forms of birth control, including the "pill;" and to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will affect embryonic stem cell research, which offers potential for treating diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, and others.
Personhood advocates are highly offended because they say this isn't what their proposal would do at all. Chet Gallagher, director of the Nevada Prolife Coalition, said "it's just not true," that women wouldn't be able to use the pill or fertility treatments, but he failed to explain how that's possible. Keith Mason, the president of Personhood USA, said of the new description:
What this amounts to is the judge forcing us to carry the opponents' talking points in the summary of the bill ... We do not agree with that at all, and we're making the decision of whether to refile the measure with new language or appeal to the Supreme Court.
Once again, conservatives are at a disadvantage because the other side's "talking points" include irrefutable facts. Though personhood advocates have been trying to convince voters that the measure would only end abortion, not the standard medical treatments they've become accustomed to, that simply isn't the case. They can't argue their way out of this one, so instead they've rolled out a sophisticated new media strategy. Whenever they're confronted with contradictory evidence, they'll just yell "That's not true!" and run around in a circle with their fingers jammed in their ears until the questions stop.
Image via Christi Tolbert/Shutterstock.