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Would The Personhood Amendment Ban Birth Control Pills?

On November 8, Mississippians will be voting on ballot amendment 26 , the so called “Personhood Amendment” that if passed, would declare a fertilized egg a person.

The question at hand is, would the Personhood Amendment be used to outlaw contraception?

Dr. Freda Bush, an Ob-Gyn and spokesperson for the Personhood amendment in Mississippi, seems to think it will not. In a press conference in support of the amendment in September, she stated this –

The personhood amendment will not ban the use of hormonal contraceptives.

The video of this press conference is being used to reassure voters about the intent of amendment 26. And yet the information Dr. Bush presents about contraception and the amendment stands in complete contrast to that which the personhood movement itself has presented. Here is the standard “talking point” on contraception from personhood sites at states across the country seeking to pass similar amendments –

Won’t a Personhood Law Outlaw Contraceptives?

No, recognizing personhood has no effect on contraceptives because true “contra-ception” only prevents conception (fertilization). However, personhood would prohibit any chemical abortion that kills the youngest boys and girls before or after they implant in their mother’s womb. When the abortion industry says that personhood would outlaw contraceptives, it’s lying. These people have spent decades telling women that such chemicals did not kill a living embryo. Women should know whether or not a chemical would kill their children. A personhood law will end the lies.

It has been a long standing tenet of the anti-abortion movement that birth control pills are considered to be “chemical abortifacents”. They will most surely attempt to use this amendment, if passed, to outlaw hormonal contraception.

Still not convinced? Check out the Colorado Personhood website, where they adress what they call the “scare tactics” of those who oppose the amendment. Here, they try to convince voters that the amendment would not ban contraceptives, and yet in the end only barrier methods come out unscathed.

Contraception comes from the words “contra” and “conception”. Properly understood it means something that prevents conception. In 1965 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a medical bulletin which “officially” changed the definition of conception from the union of a sperm and an egg to implantation of the young human being in the wall of the uterus. The reason they did this was to make chemical abortifacients seem more palatable to the American people who would now be tricked into believing that the human being did not begin until implantation. While the AMA and pro-abortion bioethicists have tried to obfuscate the meaning of conception, embryology is very clear about the beginning of life: the beginning of life (under normal sexual reproduction) takes place when the sperm touches the ovum. Barrier methods of contraception that prevent the union of the sperm and the egg will not be outlawed, since neither a sperm nor an egg by itself is a human being.

Dr. Bush, you and I both know that to our patients, the word “Contraception” means more than just condoms. You yourself have stated that you prescribe birth control pills in your practice. Can you honestly tell me that the “talking points” of this campaign do not encompass the intention of making such prescribing activities illegal?

You have admitted publicly since your press conference that

“I’m not the authority on what would and would not be banned”.

I think that is correct. And yet you have portrayed yourself as that authority. As a result, your press conference is being used to spread misinformation that directly contradicts what appears clearly to be the true intent of the law, which is to outlaw both abortion and any birth control method other than diaphragms and condoms.

Dr. Bush, you must by now realize the full intentions of those who are using you. They are taking full advantage not only of your pro-life politics, but of your gender and your race to sway voters to vote against their own self-interest, for a bill that would limit their access to the contraceptives they have relied upon, and that you have prescribed, for years.

Fortunately, it’s not too late. You still have time to hold another press conference. To tell the public, and your patients, the truth about Amendment 26. Don’t tell them that their birth control is safe if you are not sure it is. Tell them the truth.

Your patients have trusted you for years. They deserve no less.

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*

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