Guest Commentary

Personhood amendment lacks logic

Earlier this year, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that life begins at conception. Many have coined this ruling as the reverse of Roe v. Wade and in the US we have already begun to feel the effects of this major ruling.

The ruling was the result of a successful campaign known as the “personhood movement.” It has now appeared here in the United States.

In November 2011, Mississippi residents voted down an initiative that would have given embryos full legal rights. Only about 55 percent of voters rejected the amendment.

Pro-life advocates were dumbstruck — Mississippi is one of the most conservative states in the union. Pro-lifers thought it would be a sure win; however, experts note the amendment likely failed because it was extremely vague. Its language outlawed abortions even in cases of rape or when the life of the mother is in danger.

Also, there was legal cloudiness when it came to fertility treatments. Doctors feared they could incur criminal charges if an embryo died during in vitro fertilization.

Amy Brunson was quoted in an article from The Huffington Post: “The lines are so unclear on what may or may not happen. I think there are circumstances beyond everybody’s control that can’t be regulated through an amendment,” she said.

Any amendment to outlaw abortions in the US is sure to fail. American women have been raised in a society where “serial monogamy” roams free. The current social setting is entirely different of that in the past. A woman need not be a virgin when she gets married.  In fact, it’s now a social norm that she has some experience prior to her wedding night.

The regulations on abortions might get tighter this year, as the GOP sees this as a wedge issue. Various states have already passed bills that cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

The sad truth is that Planned Parenthood is not merely an abortion clinic, but it also provides reproductive, maternal and child health services to those who may not be able to afford it. The abortion controversy has always been centered on the question of the so-called ‘natural order.’ Women who become pregnant give birth — that’s nature.

However, society and technology have empowered women to feel differently. This relatively new empowerment has spurred on the modern woman. She has goals, is financially independent and chooses when she has children.

In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has gone through several iterations of his views this past year.

Perry stated he supports abortion only in the case that the mother’s life is in danger.

After a meeting with Rebecca Kissling, a woman who was a result of rape, he decided to settle on his most recent view. He says she told him, “I am a product of rape, my life has worth.” Her words are indeed powerful and abortion should be regulated but should not be outlawed.

After all, the famous Roe was a Texan.

Alejandro Caballero is a creative writing junior and may be reached at [email protected].


  • I agree that abortion should only be allowed when the mothers life is in danger. How you can see with Rebecca in this story, people, weather a product of rape or unplanned pregnancy, still diserve to live their life.

  • I find it apalling that we are fighting over the rights of an unborn, lifeless, ball of cells, akin to cancerous tumor, when the fates and lives of real, living, breathing, suffering people hangs by the thread in the hands of out of touch law makers in this country.

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