The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Mississippi amendment would turn birth control into murder

Abortion rights have always been controversial. For years, pro-life organizations have been touting that laws put in place since Roe v. Wade are unconstitutional without making much progress.

But now in Mississippi, a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution would redefine personhood and make it so “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof” is a human being with human rights.

Called “Initiative 26,” the Mississippi amendment change will be voted on Nov. 8 and could have disastrous effects on women. Not only would it make abortion under any circumstance illegal, but it would also harm a woman’s right to birth control.

And I don’t just mean whether or not the state will help women pay for their birth control pills or Depo Provera shots. Such changes to the state amendment would make certain types of birth control altogether illegal.

Story continues below advertisement

Plan B? It’s already controversial, so expect it to be gone.

It would also call into question whether or not the basic hormonal birth control pill is murder.

Let me repeat that: should this amendment become law, it is not unlikely that the pill would become illegal or at least very restricted in Mississippi and any other state that follows suit.

But why should we care about Mississippi legislation here in Wisconsin? That’s just it: other states are following Mississippi’s example, including Wisconsin.

Pro-Life Wisconsin is proposing an almost identical bill that would redefine personhood in the same way as Mississippi.

The proposed constitutional amendment, called LRB 2859, was sent out to legislators on Oct. 19.

Much like Mississippi’s bill, Pro-Life Wisconsin is seeking to redefine personhood like this: “As applied to the right to life, the terms ‘people’ and ‘person’ shall apply to every human being at any stage of development.”

First and foremost, these amendments seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. Though in the Wisconsin proposal the authors specifically say their goal is not to challenge Roe v. Wade, what other result they are hoping to see is beyond me.

If the personhood amendment were to become law in Wisconsin, Roe v. Wade would be dismantled and Wisconsin would switch back to following an 1848 law stating abortion is totally illegal.

Unmentioned in the amendments, and so far altogether ignored by lawmakers, is the question of whether or not the birth control methods commonly used now would remain legal.

No, I’m not jumping to extremes here.

As it is medically defined, pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of a woman’s uterus, allowing it to develop. The pill and some other birth control methods such as Plan B make it so an egg cannot become fertilized, so really, no problem there as far as the personhood amendments are concerned.

However, many pro-lifers believe that sometimes these pills do not prevent fertilization as they are supposed to and the egg is allowed to be fertilized anyway. If this were true, the pill would be destroying fertilized eggs and therefore destroying a human life.

While there is no science to back that up, the belief is there. And while that belief exists, if the personhood amendments become law, women’s right to attain the hormonal birth control pill and other methods of contraceptive could very well be illegal.

Take away all of those options and you are left with condoms and diaphragms, as well pregnancy prevention techniques that don’t involve contraceptives, such as the pull-out method.

Safety first, huh?

This is about so much more than abortion. While I am completely opposed to the eradication of Roe v. Wade, the possibly very harmful effect the  amendments could have on birth control stands out as being much more harmful not only to women’s health, but to women’s rights
as well.


Haley Zblewski is a senior print journalism major and Chief Copy Editor at The Spectator. 


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Mississippi amendment would turn birth control into murder