Friday, January 25, 2008

Anti-abortionists define zygote as person

In the Georgia legislature, H.R. 536 would amend the state constitution to codify that life begins the minute a sperm fertilizes an ovum:

A RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the moment of fertilization without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency; to provide for submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.
The AJC Political Insider reported (with emphasis):
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was brought to the Capitol on Tuesday to endorse the measure.

Perhaps more importantly, supporters of the bill — the Georgia Right to Life organization chief among them — have won the ear of the Georgia Baptist Convention, the state’s largest denomination. The Baptist organization recently sent out a pair of DVDs to every member church, outlining the details of the bill.

[House Speaker Glenn Richardson] hasn’t taken a position on H.R. 536, but many Republicans think it a bridge too far, likely to raise objections among suburban women for — among other things — the impact it might have on accepted forms of contraception.

[Keep reading... more after the jump.]

The Georgia Right to Life org (GRTL) billed the Tuesday rally as a "memorial service for the unborn." Jeepers! That's creepy. Beside Huck, other guests included Gary Bauer, President of American Values, and Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory.

Georgia House Speaker Richardson brought in an "unpaid" advisor, former president of Mercer University Kirby Godsey, a moderate, in whose positions Baptist fundamentalists disagree. "Godsey was at the center of a long-running schism among Georgia Baptists — over topics such as biblical literalism, homosexuality, abortion and the role of women in religious affairs." Let's hope the moderates prevail over the extremists.

The "right-to-life" extremists see an opportunity to tighten their stranglehold on Georgia politics. Maybe saner heads will overcome -- Georgia voters may reject any effort in reducing women into chattel held hostage by a zygote. NARAL provides a breakout of Georgia's anti-choice laws including notations on post-viability abortion restrictions, and lists politicians in Georgia -- Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R), and the Georgia House -- who oppose choice.

The complete text of the Georgia resolution is here. Note that a zygote becomes defined as a "person" (with emphasis):
Paragraph XXIX. Paramount right to life. (a) The rights of every person shall be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life. The right to life is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person.

(b) With respect to the fundamental and inalienable rights of all persons guaranteed in this Constitution, the word 'person' applies to all human beings, irrespective of age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency, including unborn children at every state of their biological development, including fertilization.
Words fail at the utter insanity of such a resolution. How will Georgia women react to lawfully being forced into becoming an incubator even if their lives, their financial well-being are threatened by a pregnancy? For that's the next step in the battle to ban abortion outright. The GRTL website's position clearly states:
GRTL opposes abortion at any point of gestation, as it destroys a living, growing human life. In the rare case that the mother's life is indeed endangered by a continuation of the pregnancy, sound medical practice would dictate that every effort be made to save both lives. GRTL supports an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would guarantee the right to life of all persons from the moment of fertilization until natural death.
Defining a zygote as a person goes beyond the pale. Could this also mean that a fertilized egg is automatically an American citizen if the, um, transaction occurs on Georgia or U.S. soil? Adds another wrinkle to immigration, doesn't it?

The RTL movement and every legislator who supports this measure deserves a swift kick in the ass for attempting to usurp Roe v. Wade and ignoring any provision for the mother's life, which always should take precedent over a fertilized egg. But banning all abortions for any reason has been their goal for years. Life is something they want to control and they don't give a damn who dies or struggles during their fight to be -- and I say this sarcastically -- right.