Friends, it’s election day, 2011, and it’s been mostly good news for Democrats tonight. I’m following my TL on Twitter, and I’m seeing one triumph after the other. The one that is nearest and dearest to my heart is the “Personhood” initiative in Mississippi, about which I wrote yesterday. Truthfully, I thought it would pass. I was preparing myself to write about it passing. When I got home from this radio play, I went straight to the Twitter Machine to see what was what. By the way, this is the reason I carefully select whom I follow on Twitter. I get my news there first before going to the media sources, and I have to say, my Twitter posse is excellent in keeping me updated on current events. Anyway, back to the “Personhood” Amendment.
It wasn’t close. Amendment #26 went down with 58% voting no and 41% voting yes. In Mississippi, one of the reddest states in the union. Initially, it looked as if it would pass. Then, the amendment opponents got aggressive and started detailing the unintended side effects this law might have. Per the NPR link earlier in this paragraph:
For instance, they warned that the amendment raised the possibility that miscarriages would need to be investigated. Besides abortions, some birth control methods would become illegal, they said.
What’s more, the personhood amendment threatened to criminalize doctors who provide in vitro services because many embryos are never successfully implanted but instead eventually destroyed.
If you notice, they did not focus on abortions at all. Instead, they pointed out the things that most women are glad to have access to – such as birth control pills and in vitro services. This underlines the point that I made in my last post – “personhood” is a bridge too far, even for many ardent anti-choice supporters – in the main because it affects them.
Do I like the fact that we have to go down this path to stop an amendment such as this? Of course not, but it doesn’t matter what I personally like or believe – what matters is what works. Talking about abortion with anti-choicers doesn’t work. Talking about choices pregnant women may have taken away from them does. Talking about birth control being available does. And, in the end, many anti-choice proponents voted down an amendment that would have done serious damage to women’s rights because they were educated about what was in it for them.
I am elated that the good people of Mississippi defeated this odious amendment. I would give each one a big fat kiss if I could. What I want is for us all to learn that something that seems hopeless need not be. We just need to find the right way to push-back and not let up all the way until election time. The overwhelming defeat of this amendment proves that we have might on our side – now, we just have to convey that message in a way that connects with those on the right. We fight on, my angry black readers, but we also savor this victory. May we have more like it in the near future.