The ‘personhood’ legislation that is currently working its way through the legislature in Oklahoma grants embryos full rights as people from the moment of conception. It is another front in the Republican war on women.
Al Madrigal of The Daily Show reports on a proposed amendment to the bill that captures the double standards that apply when it comes to restricting the rights of men versus those of women.
(This clip appeared on April 11, 2012. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)
This means that Oklahoma and all the other states considering personhood legislation are basing it on the theology first propounded in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
Incidentally, in that clip state senator Ralph Shortey was wrong when he said that “a single sperm on its own cannot create life”. It has already been done, with a healthy child being born with a father whose sperm count was so low that the fertility clinic could collect only one live sperm from him.
But Arizona is going one better on Oklahoma. Their governor Jan Brewer has signed a law that says that gestational age begins on the first day of the woman’s last period, rather than at fertilization. So a woman can be considered to have become pregnant before the moment of conception, days before she has even had sex, a truly revolutionary concept.
What is behind this insanity? The idea is to start the clock on a pregnancy as early as possible in order to narrow the window for abortions.
Matthew Benson, a spokesman for Brewer, said that Arizona’s law previously forbade abortions once a fetus was viable outside the uterus, a term he described as between 22 to 24 weeks. “This law has bumped that deadline up to 20 weeks,” he said.
These people are crazy.