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After reading several articles on the Michigan GOP's plan to offer a tax credit for fetuses, I have finally lost it. This insane attempt to give fetuses personhood, at the expense of both living children (the tax credit for children was cut last year) and the taxpayers of Michigan, proves once and for all that the fetus fetish has gone too far. The Michigan GOP is trying to legally make women hostages to a fetus.

And so, to Personhood supporters, I say to you: Look at me. I am a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife. I am a niece, and an aunt. I am a cousin. I am a friend to many, and an enemy to one. I live, I breathe, I speak, I write. I cry, I scream. I love. I laugh, often. I bleed. I dance, I sing. I am a person.

When you attempt to declare a blastocyst a person, you are stripping me of MY "personhood." I saw a tweet the other day that put it beautifully: "Personhood is conferred when a woman says to herself, "This is my baby." Yes. Exactly. I have felt babies in my womb kick. I had a Doppler, and I listened to their heartbeats, to the sound of horses galloping, and rejoiced that all was well. I had frequent ultrasounds, and eagerly drank in the sight of my unborn children. Between appointments, I pored over the printed ultrasound pictures, worrying that a nose really was potato-shaped.

I had a miscarriage, once, too. I cried, and suffered, and many friends cried and suffered with me. I had a D & C, after which I threw up. During the vast flood of blood at home, I found and held a tiny little empty sac in my hand, and mourned what could have been.

But...and this is something that you refuse to acknowledge: My living children were wanted, and they are deeply loved. Unwanted pregnancies do not have "personhood" conferred upon them. They are an intrusion, a parasite, a thing. However they were conceived, they are not wanted. They are not loved. They are not named. No nurseries are planned. There is no sighing over tiny booties and cunning little hats. There is, instead, a desperation and determination that the thing be removed.

Who are you, to force an unwilling woman to confer "Personhood" on something in her womb? To force her to host, for nearly a year, something that stretches her belly and grows her breasts, that weighs heavily not only upon her consciousness, but her very life? Where will YOU be when that child is born, unwanted and unloved, perhaps to be disposed of in a toilet or restroom garbage can? Perhaps to be abused, as the object of anger over his or her very existence?

Smugly congratulating yourself that the fetus was "saved"? Or completely ignorant, on to harassing more Republican lawmakers to pass ever more draconian laws? Do you understand that you cannot, ever, force a woman to love an unwanted child? Eliminating safe and legal abortion will not end abortion. It never has. Women will always seek to get rid of unwanted children, and have for centuries. Their reasons why are none of your business. An end to legal abortion has always meant the deaths of thousands upon thousands of women, depriving their families and friends of the joy they found in them.

How do you possibly justify stripping women of their humanity, reducing them to nothing more than a vessel? How do you justify the fact that unwanted children can have terrible lives of desperation and fear? How can you lavish more love and attention upon a clump of cells in a stranger's uterus, than you do to starving children in your own area?

You should be ashamed. Life is for the living. To loudly proclaim that a fetus is entitled to all the rights of breathing, laughing, huggable people is unconscionable. Particularly since the fetus is not YOURS. You will not be responsible for it in any way, shape, or form. You will have merrily skipped along, living your life, feeling self-righteous, leaving devastation in your wake.

Fetuses are not people until they are born. As a mother, I know that. Fetuses have the potential to be people, but until they are out of the womb, they are not. My daughter was born sort of grayish-blue, with the cord wrapped around her neck. My husband said, "Oh my God, she's d---" and my doula kicked him in the ankle. My beloved OB quickly unwrapped the cord, my husband cut it, and my beautiful daughter turned rosy pink. She was a person. And I love her, and my son, so much that it makes my heart hurt. This, and only this, is how it should be. This is the sacred bond between mother and child. You should not interfere with that.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If these "personhood" advocates ... (19+ / 0-)

    ... put one-tenth as much of their time and energy into providing free birth control as that study in St. Louis established, there would be a heckuva lot fewer abortions.

    And they are not eliminating or even reducing abortion with their "personhood" laws, only increasing the number of maternal deaths and abandoned newborns.

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:40:25 AM PST

  •  Embryos attached in your fallopian tubes (16+ / 0-)

    also need to be removed.... like yesterday.

    It's an easy fix until the tube bursts and you end up removing the damn thing anyway through surgery.

    Can save a lot of money and hurt by just giving the necessary treatment swiftly as possible.

    If men could get pregnant, I seriously doubt they'd say the same shit they do now.

    Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

    by Future Gazer on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:43:11 AM PST

  •  Beautiful. (9+ / 0-)

    That's just it.

    As wonderful as a wanted pregnancy may be, an unwanted or unviable one is torture.

    by Magenta on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:43:11 AM PST

    •  Yes, it's a nightmare (0+ / 0-)

      As bad as any of the horror movies where something grows in a person's abdomen.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 03:14:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  STAY ANGRY, MY FRIENDS (16+ / 0-)

    State Republican legislatures will be active now against women starting with Michigan and Ohio (fetal tax credit, de-funding Planned Parenthood and fetal heartbeat bills this month).  We have them to fight.  We also need to get ready for the 2014 and 2016 elections.

    My suggestions:

    1) Donate to ACLU and CRR- fight anti-women laws in court

    2) Donate to Emily's List- successfully support many pro-choice female candidates

    3) Join Fight Laws Against Women- online education and online protesting against anti-women bills, the AUL, and voter suppression


  •  Forced birthers are mom killers. n/t (8+ / 0-)

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:20:00 AM PST

  •  I've known five women in my life (9+ / 0-)

    who I know for sure had ectopic pregnancies.  Every single one of them wanted that baby desperately.

    Tax breaks for a fetus, but not for actual living, breathing children?  Are these men married?  Do they have mothers?  Wives?  Sisters?  Daughters?

    If I were carrying a child I didn't want and couldn't take care of in Michigan, I would be sorely tempted to list one of those GOP asswipes as the father and walk out.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:31:15 AM PST

    •  loggersbrat: I wanted my son to have a mom (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, stormicats

      not a memory. The ectopic pregnancy threatened that.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:37:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know. Two of those five (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        were among my dearest friends.  

        I've lost track of one of them, but the other now has a 7-year-old daughter and a son a few years younger - neither of whom would have been born without the abortion.  She's a pediatric cardiologist by profession.

        Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

        by loggersbrat on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:16:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm completely with you on the personhood (6+ / 0-)

    I don't have the exact same feelings you do about unwanted pregnancies -- but that's as it should be. As women, we each have our own feelings about pregnancy and about our bodies, and we should have the right to make the decisions that are best for us without interference. Freely given support, comfort, and empathy are fine, but we will not accept someone else making decisions for us.
    I've given birth to 3 children and adopted one. I've been lucky in the sense that all my pregnancies were planned, all my babies desired and eagerly awaited.
    I know what it is to be fearful of being pregnant. I know what it is to lose children. I know what's needed to take care of a baby, a toddler, a 'tween -- to raise a child to adulthood. To quote Ann Romney's most (and only) profound statement during the campaign, "it's hard." (Last night I was up til 1:30 am with my 12-year-old as she finished the draft of her research paper due today). And it's all worth it if having that child is your choice.
    But that's the key -- it's our right to make that choice and we can't allow that right to be stolen by some pseudo-religious/sick-minded/scientifically-intelligence-challenged politician.

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:57:23 AM PST

  •  I am so angry about this... (6+ / 0-)

    I woke at least twice in the night with it on my mind and it was my first thought this morning.
    For god's sake, have they no shame?  No mercy?  No damn respect or empathy or love or understanding in their too small hearts at all??  
    I planned my pregnancy, my child was wanted, and my life was, is , and will always be wholly devoted to her, devoted to her health, survival and well being.  My child is cherished.  
    And I came close to death in childbirth.  I nearly died of an undiagnosed condition--eclempsia/toxemia--that caused me to have an emergency c-section weeks too early for the due date, and nearly caused me to have a stroke shortly after.  I was hospitalized for almost 5 days, had two horrific incision infections during my recovery, and my husband lost his job a week after our daughter was born--along with it our health insurance.
    I would go through every bit of it over and over again for my child, because she was wanted.  She was planned for, but more than that she was and is cherished and we make sacrifies every day of our lives for her benefit and care.
    But to force a woman, some of whom are only children themselves, to force victims of rape or abuse, to carry a pregnancy to term even if it could pose physical danger or death is beyond comprehension.  It is cruel, it is inhumane, and when religious fundies self-righteously, arrogantly, ignorantly profess it to be the will of their god, it is antithetical, UN-Christ like and so offensive it sickens me.

    •  You get it, completely. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stormicats, surelyujest

      That is what it means to be a mother. When my son was born, and I held him for the first time, I literally felt my heart swell and grow within my chest. I felt love, a love so strong that it enveloped me. When my daughter was born, my heart swelled again.

      That feeling cannot be forced. Or faked.

  •  Their attitudes demean women who choose (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, splashy, jan4insight

    to give birth.   It is amazing each time we choose yes.  

    Wouldn't they want to know THEIR mom wanted to have them, rather than wondering?

    One woman per minute worldwide -- still dies from pregnancy.   It must remain our choice to risk it.

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:19:21 PM PST

  •  Remember you said "Personhood" Live with It (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    As soon as these "Personhood" bills started being proposed the first thing I started thinking was Are these people serious OK you want to push there insane nutty bills How about this lets include in these bill a clause that states "If a pregnant woman is purchasing a ticket for any form of public transportation air, rail, bus I as the provider of that service and you giving full rights to a week old fetus I am going to charge that woman for 2 seats or if she is having twins I cal legally charge her for 3 seats. There is no way you can stop me from doing so remember you are the one saying that unborn fetus has all full rights of any other citizen. Or will you go to court and argue that personhood only applies is situations that you say they apply in ?

    "Truth Like Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder" Elim Garak

    by garak99 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:07:53 PM PST

  •  Okay ladies, I give up. Someone else will (5+ / 0-)

    have to pick a better pithy phrase.

    My education & work in communications makes me try to see and counter both the denotation and connotation of words.     I was seeking a way to give emotional parity to the dead women caused by irrationally turning eggs, efts, and fetuses into their "potential" future.  Trying to counteract their murky & inaccurate "that's a baby" with
    an equally emotionally charged  "that's a mom."

    I sometimes take their "potential person" argument to a similarly silly conclusion that ---- said eggy is therefore a potential soldier.   Thus, since Constitution says I cannot be forced to "quarter" soldiers, forced birth is unconstitutional.   And forced sonogram/transvaginal wanding violates my right not to be searched  and thus forced to "testify" against myself.  

    If govt. can seize our wombs to "save a life" then they can seize anyone's kidney, cornea, bone marrow to "save a life"  of the rich or powerful.    Our men need to get enlightened self interest to help defeat setting such precedents.  


    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:22:01 PM PST

  •  Personhood. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Should we so desire, I suppose we could endow sperms and eggs with full civil rights.  Why not?  I mean why murder all those lovely eggs and sperms just because they don't make some kind of arbitrary cut? The point is, throughout the entire span of recorded history, we simply regard birth as the beginning of human life. The very concept of birth indicates that we think of it as the beginning.  Just as we accept that death is the end.  I suppose these wahoos can demand that we allow cadavers to vote in the next election....but.  From the very beginnings of mankind, down through Hamarabi and Solon to the present it has been quite simple. If these cuckoos want to overturn 3,000 years of law and culture, let them try.  

  •  Think it through -- carefully (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If personhood begins with conception (as it appears is the intention), then any compromising of that person would open at least the mother to the same charges that would apply if a fully-born(?) person were so compromised.

    Would the mother become a criminal if someone reported she was not eating a perfect diet?  Drank a bit of alcohol?  Endured the presence of smokers?  Exercised a bit much -- or not nearly enough?

    Of course, most forms of birth control would be, at best, reckless endangerment.  As would most medications used to facilitate childbirth.

    If the child were born with some defect, would that constitute prima facie evidence of neglect or assault or some such?

    Would the act that led to conception render the woman an unperson?  Or just a felon-in-waiting?  

    And, of course, doctors would have to consider the potential criminal penalties along with any intervention or lack of intervention with the pregnancy -- but not because of the mother's life.

    There's a lot of thinking that's just not being done.

    Or, maybe it is.

    •  It's already happening (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Holy thought police, bat girl! Police in Iowa arrested a pregnant woman in her second trimester last month for telling a nurse she’d been thinking about having an abortion. While in the hospital after falling down a flight of stairs, Christine Taylor, 22, told a nurse about her employment and marital woes; Christine also said she’d considered both abortion and adoption before deciding to carry her pregnancy to full-term. The nurse then got suspicious that Christine had been trying to self-abort by throwing herself down the stairs — Christine was arrested under Iowa’s feticide laws, and the poor woman spent two days in jail.
      Here's the full story

      Those reasons, and more, are why personhood amendments were rejected every single time by voters. And also why there is such a huge push to make it law without voters, on both state and federal levels. Paul Ryan and Todd Akin co-sponsored the "Sanctity of Life " bill, and CO had HB 1130, also a personhood amendment. HB 1130 engendered a great deal of protest and was dropped. Not sure what happened with the Sanctity of Life crap.

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