An anti-choice group is collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would define a fertilized egg as a person:
If approved by voters, the measure would give fertilized eggs the state constitutional protections of inalienable rights, justice and due process.
"Proponents of this initiative have publicly stated that the goal is to make all abortion illegal — but nothing in the language of the initiative or its title even mentions abortion," Kathryn Wittneben of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado said in a statement. "If that's not misleading, I don't know what is."
Wittneben and others said the measure would have would hamper in-vitro fertilization and stem cell research and would effectively ban birth control.
Proponents of the measure disagree.
"It doesn't outlaw abortion, it doesn't regulate birth control," said Kristi Burton, 20, of Colorado for Equal Rights. "It's just a constitutional principle. We're laying a foundation that every life deserves protection.
We should look to Nicaragua for information about what such measures can do. For instance, they can kill women with ectopic pregnancies because the fertilized egg, doomed to die in any case, is still alive outside the uterus proper, and that life is more important than the life of the pregnant woman.
I can imagine all sorts of terrible dilemmas this measure could create. For instance, how do we KNOW if there is a microscopic American inside a woman? What if she hides the presence of one in order to get rid of it? We should probably test all fertile women every month to be sure that no microscopic Americans are flushed down the toilet.
And do pregnant women count as two persons if this measure is passed? Do they have to pay for two at theaters and at movies? Do they get double rations in the military? What about a pregnant woman who watches an R-rated movie? Should we punish her for exposing the microscopic American to filth?
It would be a very odd world to live in, especially if you happen to be a woman. On the other hand, if the quote is correct and this ballot measure wouldn't ban contraception or abortion, why bother with it? Microscopic Americans would still be denied life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by being prevented from birth. The real kind of birth, I mean. The kind that takes place nine months after fertilization.
Link via this Kos diary.