Persistence is a valuable characteristic that enables human beings to prosper despite setbacks and overwhelming odds at success, and aside from basic survival, it is probably responsible for all of the technological and scientific progress made in the history of the world. It can also spell disaster when mentally dysfunctional ideologues latch on to an idea and pursue their twisted beliefs with religious fervor to the point of imposing unreasonable edicts on a population that does not necessarily follow the ideologue’s philosophy. For thirty-eight years, religious malcontents have persisted in taking every possible approach to circumventing the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that allows women to make the personal choice to terminate a pregnancy, and although they have been unsuccessful at every turn, they are determined to force their bible-based beliefs on every woman in America.
On Tuesday, voters in Mississippi defeated another attempt by pro-life maniacs to define a zygote as a person. However, the personhood movement is not finished and has already made plans to continue the absurd proposition that a single-celled organism is a person worthy of protection under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. For the record (and foolish bible-thumpers), a zygote is a fertilized egg that ”begins a two-week period of rapid cell division and will eventually become an embryo. The zygote divides through a process known as mitosis, in which each cell doubles by dividing into two cells. This two-week stage is known as the germinal period of development and covers the time of conception to the implantation of the embryo in the uterus.” So, not only is a zygote not a person, but an embryo is not a person and a fetus is not a person until it breathes. That is the basic biology that ignorant pro-lifers refuse to acknowledge or understand. It is unfortunate, but there are members of Congress who not only lack what any high-school biology student learns, but are proposing a federal law that closely follows Mississippi’s failed personhood amendment.
There are two separate bills in the House to change the basic scientific understanding of a zygote, and they are not only contrary to basic biology; they are an attempt to control women. A related aspect is that the pro-life movement is taking the position that they alone are the fictional god that defines that single-celled organism as a functional human being (a person). The bills in the House are not new proposals. Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced H.R. 881, the Right to Life Act , in February 2009 and he is back again with HR 374. Duncan’s bill has 91 co-sponsors and it includes a clause that says it does not require “the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child,” but it does allow it. The bill, like Representative Paul Broun’s (R-Ga.) HR 212, defines a fertilized egg as a person that “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” One prescient question is; does the zygote reason, speak, or vote? The silence informs that no, the zygote does not remotely resemble a “person,” but for people who believe that an air-fairy controls every aspect of the universe, expecting a reasonable answer is the ultimate exercise in futility.
The danger is that the pro-life, personhood crowd prevails and passes a fantasy-based law that a Republican president signs into law affecting every woman in America. Mitt Romney went on record in 2002 as saying he supported Roe v Wade and state funding of abortion services through Medicaid for low-income women. At the time, Romney said, “I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose. This choice is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not mine and not the government’s. The truth is no candidate in the governor’s race in either party would deny women abortion rights. So let’s end an argument that does not exist and stop these cynical and divisive attacks that are made only for political gain.” Recently, Romney told Mike Huckabee that he would support a Constitutional amendment establishing personhood at the moment of conception. It is no surprise Romney changes opinions as often as he changes his magic underwear, but he was lying in 1994 and 2002 when he claimed he would protect and support a woman’s right to choose.
Romney’s religious belief is that babies are the product of Earth’s god and his (one of many) celestial wife’s procreation, and the spirit-angel-being inhabits a physical body in the form of a baby. Romney’s strange belief in Mormon’s pre-existence notwithstanding, there is virtually no way he, or any Mormon, would consider killing off angel-spirit beings that just inhabited a zygote. Romney’s religious convictions, like Perry, Cain, Bachmann, and Santorum only matter because they will impose them on every person in America if they are given the mantle of the presidency.
It is obvious that the pro-lifers in Congress do not have a grasp on the 1st Amendment’s prohibition on Congress to establish religion. All of the candidates for the Republican nomination for president also are ignorant of the Constitution because they are pushing their religious beliefs as laws of the land. Americans have a duty to impeach each and every Congressional representative who belies their oath to uphold the Constitution and it is a perpetual mystery why the pro-life crowd is allowed to impose their religious convictions on every woman in America.
The dysfunctional personhood adherents will not go away, and they will persist in their attempt to change a single-celled organism into a person. However, if the members of Congress who advocate imposing their religious edicts on Americans are recalled and sent back to their holier-than-thou Earthly abodes, the personhood movement would cease to exist; at least they would stop attempting to enact laws that force every woman in America to follow religious mythology.
The vote in Mississippi is heartening because it means there are reasonable human beings who understand that religious belief (like a woman’s reproductive health) is a personal choice. Unfortunately, the pro-life caucus in Congress is not made up of reasonable humans and it is time to enforce the Constitution’s ban on religious interference in government by impeaching, recalling, or voting out of office any pro-life representative who insists on legislating their religious beliefs on the entire country. Although Willard Romney is not an elected representative, he deserves to be mocked mercilessly for changing his mind on a woman’s right to choose and especially for thinking god and his wife are sending down little spirit-angel beings to inhabit zygotes. Interestingly, Romney is considered the serious candidate.