Earlier this month, some of the most conservative voters in the country defeated Mississippi's "Personhood" Amendment after determining that we shouldn't let zygotes in our super-exclusive "person" clique. (New rule: Everyone at the lunch table must have organs.) But don't you go thinking that anyone's learned anything from this latest exercise in democracy! Anti-choice legislators vowed that they wouldn't give up their idiotic fight, and now they've introduced personhood legislation in Georgia. Now they just need to spread around different lies about what the law would actually do.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that lawmakers in both chambers of the Georgia legislature have introduced bills that would declare life begins at conception. Unsurprisingly, the Senate bill is sponsored by a Republican. However, the House sponsor is Rick Crawford, a pro-life Democrat. It's like spotting a unicorn and having him kick you in the gut! Though as the Journal Constitution explains, his anti-abortion stance makes sense when you consider his background:
Crawford is currently teaching political science at Shorter College – the school that now requires all employees to foreswear pre-marital, adulterous or homosexual relationships. Crawford also once studied to be a pastor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
The language in the proposed amendment to the state constitution is very similar to Mississippi's Initiative 26. H.R. 212 (or the "Sanctity of Human Life Act" to its friends) says:
The life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.
Dan Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life and Personhood USA board member, says that they've figured out what went wrong in Mississippi and they won't make the same mistake twice. While groups like Planned Parenthood ruined their chances by unfairly presenting factual information to voters, in Georgia they'll spell out exactly what the bill will and won't do. Becker says:
"We have 50 sections of the Georgia Code being worked on right now. That will determine what will and won't happen ... We won't have doctors prosecuted for ectopic pregnancies. Women will not be prosecuted for miscarriages. Passports will not be issued to the pre-born."
We understand that the goal of personhood advocates isn't to prevent pregnant women from flying because the TSA can't pat down their zygote. However, right now there's nothing in the legislation that says using hormonal birth control and treating a woman for an ectopic pregnancy is acceptable. That's probably because they haven't worked out a way to explain that they'd like zygotes to count as people when it comes to abortion, but they aren't willing to deal with all the legal ramifications of a fertilized egg being no different from a 6-year-old. However, we have faith that they'll find the right wording before the next election. Maybe something like, "The life of each human being begins with fertilization, but only if their mom is an amoral slut who needs to be punished."
A House Democrat To Sponsor Personhood Amendment [AJC]
H.R. 212 [Library of Congress]
The Lessons Of Arizona, Mississippi For Georgia Republicans [AJC]
Image via adam.golabek/Shutterstock.