Is a Zygote a "Person"?
For years, abortion opponents have argued that a fetus is a "person" as soon as it begins to develop. On November 8, voters in Mississippi will decide whether that state's constitution will include an amendment that declares a zygote, a fertilized egg, a person.
If you remember high school biology, you know that when a human sperm fertilizes a human egg that is just the first step in a phenomenal chain reaction that must take place in the course of approximately 40 weeks to result in a viable baby- a person. IF the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus.
Though there can be many reasons for why a fertilized egg does not implant in the uterus and continue its development, proponents of the Misssippi amendment are asking voters to "end abortion" in Mississippi and vote to define "person" "to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof. "
The movement behind the "personhood" amendment aims to move beyond the issue of legalized abortion.
“Personhood is bigger than just shutting abortion clinics; it’s an opportunity for people to say that we’re made in the image of God," Brad Prewitt, a lawyer and executive director of the Yes on 26 campaign, which is named for the Mississippi proposition told the New York Times.
In the process, the amendment would limit access to certain contraceptives, ban most if not all abortions and create new legal issues for prospective parents undergoing fertilization treatment.
Doctors and women's health advocates worry that the amendment, while likely to be struck down in court, will result in a lengthy legal battle that will cost more than money and endanger women's lives.
The amendment has also caused concern among long-time abortion foes, including the Roman Catholic church.Continued on the next page