“Personhood” Movement Not About Outlawing Birth Control?

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“Personhood” Movement Not About Outlawing Birth Control?

Robin Marty

In a Newsweek puff piece on Keith Mason, the leader of Personhood USA, the article lets himget away with a few whoppers.

Newsweek calls their profile of Personhood USA’s Keith Mason a chance for him to tell “his side of the story.” But in telling his side unopposed, Mason is able to sneak in a few whoppers unchallenged.

The article reports that “The group has helped spark 22 ‘personhood’ bills and ballot initiatives; while none has passed, in each ballot vote on person-hood, the margin of defeat has declined.” While technically true, the statement paints the opposite picture than what has really occurred in the votes. The first two attempts were in Colorado, and while the 2008 amendment gathered 27 percent support, that was during a presidential election with massive Democratic turnout. 

Colorado’s second attempt was allegedly more successful percentage wise, but it was the result of a Republican wave election across the country during a midterm election with a greater ratio of conservative to liberal voters than two years prior. Yet the person-hood amendment only gained 3 percent support, not quite cracking 30 percent. In fact, fewer people voted for person-hood in Colorado in 2010 than in 2008 — in 2008 the amendment received 618,779 votes in favor of it, and in 2010 it received only 509,062.

Mississippi’s amendment 26 was defeated by a vote of 58 to 42 percent in a state so anti-choice its only abortion clinic may soon be shut down by unnecessary regulations. That state was expected to be the most fertile and favorable ground for passage of a “person-hood” amendment in the country, yet voters still rejected it. Since that vote, the effort has continued to stall out in numerous states as more and more people realize the extent of interference in their personal lives these laws represent.

Roe has collapsed and Texas is in chaos.

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Mason also states he “does ‘not oppose contraceptives,’” and that banning birth control isn’t one of the motives behind the amendments. Yet the group uses accuses reproductive rights networks of promoting “lethal birth control services,” and has as their legal representative Gualberto Garcia Jones, a lawyer formerly with American Life League, an organization that campaigns against Planned Parenthood and considers oral contraception the downfall of society.

Even those who analyzed the Colorado Personhood amendment were certain that it was meant to outlaw birth control as well. 

Kristi Burton Brown of Personhood Colorado sponsored the 2008 amendment. Together with Gualberto Garcia Jones, she wrote the 2012 language.

In April 2011, Mrs. Brown wrote a post for her personal blog entitled “Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? In a Word, Yes”.

The Birth Control Pill really DOES cause abortions, or it would never need to be outlawed by a law in favor of unborn children’s personhood… The IUD acts in a similar way to the Pill and also causes abortions.

Brown’s post references the work of Dr. Walt Larimore, a pro-life OB who has published articles in medical journals concluding that “the available evidence supports the hypothesis that when ovulation and fertilization occur in women taking OCs, postfertilization effects are operative on occasion.”

It couldn’t be clearer that Kristi Burton Brown wrote the proposed Colorado amendment with the intention to ban the usage of hormonal birth control.

That’s the problem with letting someone tell “his side” of the story.  It leaves a lot of “facts” unchallenged.