By: Anna Kate Baygents
Abortion is one of the most controversial social issues in politics today. When the topic is mentioned, extremists from both sides come out with pitch forks. I first heard of Proposition 26, the personhood amendment, during the August primary elections. It asks, “Should the term personhood be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?” I have always been pro-life, but before staking my “Yes on 26” yard sign, I wanted to read all of the facts.
First and foremost, Prop 26 would outlaw all abortions, including those using RU486 and “morning after pills” containing levonorgestrel. RU486 is an artificial steroid that blocks progesterone, a chemical that is essential to continue a pregnancy. This can be taken up to five weeks into the pregnancy to terminate it. Another drug, commonly called the “morning after pill” can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. It will not affect an existing pregnancy but will disrupt the hormones and will prevent the fertilized egg from implanting into the uterine wall, allowing the baby to grow. So here’s the big question – when does life begin? Is it right at fertilization? Or five weeks in? Maybe not until after delivery? I, however, believe it’s at fertilization. Within hours, that egg has all 46 chromosomes that nothing or no one else will ever have. Until he or she dies, no other information will be added or taken away from its makeup, only nutrients and oxygen. Yes it’s only a single cell, but a completely unique single cell.
Pro-choice advocates always bring up rape and incest situations, and it’s tough to think about. The Prop 26 ban on abortion would include these scenarios. As a Christian, I have to remember God’s sovereignty in all situations. For some unknown reason, He has allowed these incidents to happen. In fact, most mothers of children fathered by rape said that the child turned out to be a huge blessing. Adoption is another option that can greatly bless couples who can’t have children themselves. Many people believe that Prop 26 will take away much of mothers’ rights. In medical emergencies, doctors will be required to try to save both the lives of the mother and the unborn child. If for some reason the baby’s life is unviable, the life of the mother would take priority. This does not limit a mother’s rights, but helps protect the unborn child.
Until this point, I’ve agreed 100% with the proposition. The issue, however, comes in with in-vitro fertilization. Couples who can’t conceive often use this method to help. Several fertilized eggs are implanted into the mother in hopes that one will attach. In accordance with Prop 26, because all of the fertilized eggs aren’t used and most are expelled, this is considered a type of “abortion” of the eggs. This holds doctors responsible for the unused eggs and can result in major lawsuits for them and their practices. Because that is likely, many doctors will not want to perform in-vitro operations, making pregnancy impossible for many women.
I agree 97% with Proposition 26, but it’s that other 3% that I can’t support. As a firm pro-life advocate, I believe this topic should be given much more consideration by our law makers. I encourage a “NO” on 26 to give this amendment with such drastic consequences more than one sentence on a ballot.