Friday, October 7, 2011

If at First You Don't Succeed, Lie, Lie Again! must have built their website on shifting sands because they've done more put-ups, take-downs, and redos of their FAQ than one would probably consider necessary. After all, if the issue of personhood is so simple and obvious, then a simple and straightforward FAQ should have served them well throughout their entire campaign. As we've seen here, however, Yeson26 had to walk back their language on birth control when they discovered that Mississippians actually want to keep their rights to contraceptives such as the Pill and IUDs. Then they had to revamp that FAQ into a decent looking flyer form for easy distribution that guaranteed that the Pill and IUDs wouldn't be threatened (even though their original language implied that they would).

Now it appears that something struck another nerve because they've put the language back onto their FAQ page - well, some of it...sort of. Let's take a look at the old FAQ (pre 9/21), the new FAQ (9/21), the flyer FAQ (post 9/21), and the new-new FAQ (post 10/06) each category:

Ectopic/Fatal Pregnancies



Flyer FAQ

Since Yeson26's original statement that "every effort be made to save both lives" was ludicrous, they had to walk it back a bit. Ectopic pregnancies are fatal to women if the embryo is not removed and the embryos are almost never viable. I found three cases where live birth occurred after laparotomy and, in all three of those cases, the fetus grew outside the womb but not in the Fallopian tubes as is normal in these pregnancies. When an embryo grows in the Fallopian tube, it will die and the mother will die a painful death as well if nothing is done. The problem is that Yeson26 wants you to think that these dangerous pregnancies are so rare that they almost never happen. They seem to imply that when these cases occur, doctors could save the embryo but just choose to abort for some reason. We've already heard Brian Fischer claim that fatal pregnancies just don't exist in the medical literature and we've seen the numbers proving him dead wrong.

Intended Consequences: This is a solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist. The decisions aren't hard to make. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy when a woman is dying, you remove the embryo and you save her life. 

Unintended Consequences: When the mother needs aggressive medicine or treatment for pregnancy complications or other medical conditions such as cancer, will she be unable by law to use treatments that might harm the fetus? If she and the doctor choose to risk those treatments to save her life and the fetus has birth defects or is stillborn, will mother and doctor both face criminal charges?

Birth Control



Flyer FAQ

So after walking back their harsh wording against the Pill, IUDs, and prostaglandin suppositories, Yeson26 reinstated that language verbatim. I would truly love to know how they reconcile "NO! The Personhood Amendment will not ban the use of hormonal contraceptives, including most forms of the 'Pill.'" with "We are opposed to those birth control methods which act as abortifacients. These could include forms of the pill which act to prevent implantation..."

They tried to pretend that the "form of the Pill" they wanted to ban was RU486 (mifepristone) and the "morning-after pill" but if that's true, why have separate categories for contraception and RU486/morning-after? Also, if it's true that they don't want to ban oral contraceptives, how can they justify banning the morning-after pill since it's usually nothing more than a very high dose of oral contraceptive?

Intended consequences: Yeson26 claims that they simply want to ban abortifacients but the language of the amendment clearly leaves the law open to ban oral contraceptives, IUDs, and prostaglandin suppositories (the same suppositories used to help women deliver their babies in healthy pregnancies). Why a pro-life person would want to risk eliminating birth control, ban important medicine for safe deliveries, and cause abortion rates to rise is simply beyond me.

Unintended consequences: Regardless of what they claim, their language and intent is clear. They want to get rid of birth control and they'll rewrite their FAQ however they need to in order to make you think otherwise. When emergency contraception is banned by 26, unwanted pregnancies - particularly those caused by rape - will rise. If you can read, you should be able to understand why the language of 26 is a clear threat to birth control.

Rape & Incest


Flyer FAQ

Speaking of rape, I find it fascinating that Yeson26 appeals to us for justice for the "innocent" child - that we shouldn't punish the child for the sins of the father. That's odd because this is by and large the same group of people who keep telling us that God is punishing us for Adam's sin.

It's also amazing to me that they don't really consider the innocent rape victim. And when they write, "In the case of rape, we assert the need to educate women to seek immediate medical attention after they are victimized." Well what good is that going to do when you've banned the morning-after pill?

I'm glad that some rape victims have carried their rapist's baby to term and we able to make something good out of it. However, there is a big difference between choosing to carry your rapist's baby and being forced to do so. That only serves to further traumatize the woman with emotional violence and shame. They may say that, "Two wrongs don't make a right," but it's also true that, "Two rapes don't make a right." When you force a rape victim to bear that child - when you force yourself into her uterus and take away her ability to consent, you've raped her again.

Intended consequences: Make rape victims bear their rapist's child..

Unintended consequences: Rise in illegal abortions, infanticides, and suicides.

In-Vitro Fertilization


Flyer FAQ

IVF was not mentioned in the Old FAQ but people raised enough hell about it that Yeson26 was forced to address it. They claim that IVF won't be banned but any unused embryos will have to be saved. This reflects either a full misunderstanding of how IVF works or willful ignorance. I highly recommend this account from a mother who has two lovely children as a result of IVF so you can understand more about how IVF is done and why it's done that way.

Intended Consequences: Prevent the destruction of unused embryos.

Unintended Consequences: Make IVF so difficult and expensive that it will no longer be available in Mississippi. Or, if all embryos must be implanted under the law, the chances for dangerous multiple births will be greatly enhanced.


It's all well and good for me to keep presenting these facts to you but there are some people who just don't care about facts. They believe whatever their preacher tells them the Bible says and they will vote how they're told to come hell or high water.  These people delete comments and refuse to back up their assertions because they truly don't know the facts. They don't think they need to know anything because "God said so." They simply cannot debate an issue that they really don't understand. 

These people make up a huge voting bloc in Mississippi.

The chances that a single one of them is reading this is minuscule, I know, but I'm going to close with just one more idea.

A few years ago, something terrible was happening to innocent people in America. Something had to be done. We trusted the government to craft a law to protect us and interpret that law in ways that would guarantee our safety.

What we got instead was the PATRIOT Act and the complete disestablishment of our Fourth Amendment rights. What we got was warrantless wiretaps, assassinations of target citizens, data mining of our phone calls and emails, lists of our library book checkouts, seizure and detaining of American citizens without due process and without right to counsel.

We thought this law would save us. We thought it would only affect the scary brown people with the funny last names. We trusted the government to obey the written word. 

Instead, Congress wrote a blank check, the Executive branch cashed it, the courts upheld it, and now we are all bankrupt.

Amendment 26 may well work the same way. You may cause the very problem you're trying to correct. Do you really trust the government to uphold this law in a way that benefits you? That benefits most of us? Do you trust the courts to interpret this law in a way that will safeguard your rights? Do you think a zealous prosecutor will care one bit about you when he's looking to put another notch on his belt so he can appear "tough on crime" to the public?

If you trust the family organizations to push what's best for you, you're stupid. They only care about dollars. Yeson26 can say anything they want to on their page but they have ZERO control over how 26 would be enforced and interpreted. They cannot guarantee you anything.

If you trust the government to do what's best for you, you're stupid. They only care about dollars. If the pro-life politicians in Mississippi gave a damn about embryos, they'd have passed this legislation themselves. Instead, they got the people to do their dirty work while they rake in the money and the votes. They aren't going to guarantee you anything.

If you want to be a responsible citizen and safeguard your own rights, you'd best think very carefully about what you're voting for in the days to come. And if you refuse to do this thinking, if you refuse to engage, if you delete comments and disregard facts, if you're too lazy or afraid to take a stand, then you don't deserve any rights and you probably won't have them for long.

Don't be mad at me for saying it. I'm just paraphrasing Ben Franklin - a man who knew more than a little about republics and how they ultimately fall.