How “Fertilized Eggs” Tanked the Mississippi Personhood Bid

What could cause pro-life Christians to join forces with Planned Parenthood?

Lies. Planned Parenthood’s go-to move, and, I believe, the largest reason why Mississippi’s Initiative 26 ballot measure was defeated at the polls yesterday.

The measure, a proposed “Personhood” law, would have declared “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof” to be a person deserving of the full protection of the law. Resulting laws the measure would require, would likely ban all forms of abortion.

There were strong indications prior to yesterday’s vote that the measure stood a very good chance of passing and that many, even most, Mississippians supported the idea. So what happened?

Pro-Choicers Played Their Only Card: Lie

Pro-abortion lies happened, plain and simple. Many pro-life Mississippians did support the measure, but were made uneasy by pro-choice red herrings and non sequiturs. Perhaps the biggest one was that this initiative would do anything at all other than grant the protection of law to the child in the womb from conception.

It would have been up to state legislators to decide what the ramifications of that would be. It almost certainly would mean an end to abortion, but beyond that, very little is clear and nothing is certain.

The Myth of the “Fertilized Egg”

But surrounding that lie were a host of others. Take, for example, the myth of the “fertilized egg.” My colleague John Jansen addressed this one last month, but suffice it to say, there is no such thing as a “fertilized egg.” An egg, once fertilized, becomes a new human life and does not remain an egg.

This unscientific misnomer has been the cause of endless headlines stating that Mississippi was poised to give a “fertilized egg” more rights than a woman. The term dehumanizes children in the womb to make it easier to kill them, and even many pro-life people found themselves thinking that eggs shouldn’t have human rights. Eggs don’t, and shouldn’t, have human rights, and Initiative 26 would not have granted them.

Miscarriage Investigations

Or take the lie of miscarriage investigations. This was nothing but a scare tactic conjured up to make pro-lifers look like heartless, horrible people forever bent on terrorizing women.

The logic, if it can be called that, goes like this. If a child in the womb has full human rights and a woman miscarries a pregnancy, that pregnancy will have to be treated like a murder investigation because the woman may have caused herself to miscarry.

Forget the fact that there was nothing like this on the books prior to Roe v. Wade. Nobody supporting the measure was talking about anything of the sort. No pro-lifer would want anything of the sort.

Besides which, as mentioned above, the proposal as written in no way requires any such thing. The state legislature would have to pass a law and there’s not a state legislature in the world that would pass any such thing.

This was just another lie to make pro-life people who supported the measure think it was something scary and weird, and it worked.

Would Initiative 26 Have BANNED Birth Control and IVF?

As with most lies, this one had a small grain of truth to it, but was nonetheless another scare tactic to make pro-life people think bad thoughts about Initiative 26.

Some hormonal birth control pills could, in the event that they fail to stop fertilization, stop the newly formed conceptus (NOT fertilized egg) from implanting in the uterine lining, thus depriving it of food and causing it to die. Since that embryo would now have human rights, the pro-choicers reasoned, all hormonal birth control would be banned.

Again, not so. The legislature would have to pass a law banning birth control, which would be another fight entirely.

Same scenario with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Though we at the League, in line with Catholic teaching, believe that both birth control and IVF are immoral practices, Initiative 26 would not have banned them outright. Though it’s not as effective, it’s entirely possible to practice IVF without destroying embryos, so the idea that it would be banned is, again, a lie to confuse voters on the fence.

But this lie, especially because it relates to children and the heartbreaking scenario of infertility, caused even some pro-life Christians to stand against the bill. This story from a Mississippi pro-life, Christian lawyer was promoted by Planned Parenthood on their social media outlets.

I can only speak for myself, but if I find myself allying with Planned Parenthood, I start to ask questions about my position. But this lie was so powerful that it had pro-lifers joining arms with the nation’s largest abortion chain.

Abortion—by Itself—Could Have Won the Day

In the end, most pro-lifers would likely have voted for the measure, and it likely would have passed, if it weren’t for these and other pro-choice lies and distractions. But personhood laws are about one thing: abortion. It’s a shame that message couldn’t have come through more clearly. The measure would have stood a much better chance if it did.

There will certainly be other implications if a Personhood law is ever enacted, but this vision of jackbooted thugs knocking down women’s doors to take away their birth control pills, tie them to a table for a miscarriage exam and then forbid them from ever having children if they’re infertile was enough to make many on the fence about Initiative 26 vote against it.

But it also shows just how bad the pro-abortion side has it. When they have to resort to lies like these to convince the voting public to vote against a pro-life bill, it’s clear they’re on the ropes. This won’t be the last time a pro-life law like this comes along, and as the public becomes better educated about them and the abortion lobby’s lies are exposed, the chances of one passing will only increase.

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