American idiocy just keeps getting better
Anti-Choice Floridians Peddling Constitutional Amendment to Criminalize Birth Control Pill
By Liliana Segura, AlterNet
Posted on September 14, 2009, Printed on September 16, 2009
Florida has done it again, folks.
Yes, the state that brought you Bush v. Gore, the sex offender colony under the bridge, and the shoot-first-ask-questions-later legislation known as the "Stand Your Ground Law" has another idea up its sleeve. And this one's for the ladies.
Tampa Bay Online reports:
TALLAHASSEE - Anti-abortion conservatives are proposing a new constitutional amendment that critics claim would make it a crime to take birth control pills in Florida.
The "Personhood Amendment" that conservative activists are filing today in Tallahassee would add language to the state constitution that defines someone as a "person," regardless of age or health status, "from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."
This, of course, is just another twist on the conventional argument by anti-choice groups that birth control pills are basically murder weapons. "The pill will irritate the lining of the uterus so that the newly formed human being cannot attach to his/her mother's womb and dies," reads an explanation on the website of the American Life League, which is supporting similar efforts in other states. "This is called a chemical abortion."
This is the same group that runs thepillkills.com, a site that "focuses on blood clots and other health risks that birth control pills pose to women."
Even if these people manage to collect the 676,811 signatures they need to get by Feb. 1 in order for this idea to be considered by Florida residents, even anti-choice politicians seem to be a bit ambivalent about the idea of criminalizing birth control.
"Even candidates who call themselves 'pro-life' stopped short of fully embracing the 'Personhood' proposal," according to Tampa Bay Online.
Attorney General Bill McCollum, presumptive Republican candidate for governor in 2010, said through spokeswoman Shannon Gravitte that he is firmly "pro-life" but would not comment "on hypothetical issues." If the proposal wins enough petition signatures, she said, "voters will certainly know where General McCollum stands."
In the U.S. Senate GOP primary, Gov. Charlie Crist said "no and no" when asked whether he knew of the proposal or would comment on it.
One person who did share her thoughts is Pat McEwen, a Palm Bay resident who is described as "one of two leaders of the loose collection of activists, collectively known as Personhood Florida."
"In the original Florida Constitution in 1885, they gave Floridians the right to enjoy and defend life," she said. "This amendment defends the unborn, and it also gives older people like me – a retired college professor – the right to make my own decisions and not have someone override it."
Which is sort of funny, because that's exactly the opposite of what this amendment would do for younger women who, you know, might actually get pregnant.
Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and World Special Coverage.
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