Monday, October 3, 2011

GOP Presidential Candidates Support Constitutional Amendments Outlawing Common Forms Of Birth Control

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) told Fox News host Mike Huckabee this weekend that he would support an amendment to his state’s constitution to define life as beginning at conception:

HUCKABEE: Would you have supported a constitutional amendment that would have established definition of life beginning of life at conception?

ROMNEY: Absolutely.

Constitutional amendment give legal rights to fertilized eggs go much farther than merely outlawing abortions. As ThinkProgress’ Marie Diamond noted, they could also have the effect of outlawing common forms of birth control, since contraceptives like the pill and IUDs can prevent fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Personhood amendments consider these types of birth control a form of abortion, and could potentially even treat them the same as homicide. If these amendments make terminating pregnancy a criminal act, they would also deter doctors from saving the lives of women with abnormal pregnancies because any doctor performing an abortion could risk prosecution.

Some of the Republican presidential field’s more radical candidates like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich have already voiced support for giving legal rights to unborn children, but it’s surprising coming from Romney considering that he was staunchly pro-choice for much of his political career.

Many people do not remember that the purchase and use of birth control products, even by married couples, was against the law in many states until 1965. Use of birth control products may again be criminalized in many states controlled by conservative lawmakers. There are those who, for the last 46 years, have worked to reverse the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court finding that Americans have a fundamental right of privacy to make family planning decisions, which includes the right to use birth control contraceptives. This year conservative lawmakers in many states are again close to making the use of birth control products a crime through "personhood" legislative initiatives.

Constitutional amendments to define life as beginning at the moment of fertilization have been pushed in states across the country, and the radical anti-abortion group leading the effort, Personhood USA, is hoping to get proposals on the ballot in nearly half the states by 2012.

Mississippians are set to vote on a ballot measure this November that would redefine the word "person" in the state constitution to include embryos and a fertilized egg that hasn't even yet implanted in the womb. Members of the medical and legal communities have raised concerns that the amendment could have unforeseen, far-reaching implications for women's health, such as banning the birth control pill, which prevents pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb, in-vitro fertilization and stem cell research.

When the Texas Tribune recently asked Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Nacogdoches), a supporter of the family planning cuts, if this was a war on birth control, he said:

“Well of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything.”
Family planning clinics are routinely referred to by many Republican lawmakers across the U.S. as “abortion clinics.”

Read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment