looking glass

So the Virginia legislature has decided there are no more pressing issues than may or may not be going on up in our ladybusiness.  Nothing else that might require their attention.

I’ll mention the now-infamous-and-probably-dead ultrasound bill just so I can link to this picture of a thousand people silently protesting.

But what I really want to talk about is the personhood bill.  RESOLVE, as you might expect, opposes it as they do all bullshit egg-person bills.

What’s interesting about this iteration of a terrible idea is the naked hypocrisy.  From the RESOLVE press release:

“The reason we’re here today is because Delegate Robert Marshall, the sponsor of this bill, contacted RESOLVE yesterday and he said that Section 7 of HB1 specifically exempts infertility treatment.  After thorough investigation we believe he is wrong and the public needs to know it,” said Barbara Collura, RESOLVE’s Executive Director.

Yes, you read that right.  This bill attempts to exempt infertility treatment.  According to these assholes wackaloons yahoos state legislators, a fertilized egg is a person with rights.  Except when that fertilized egg has been created specifically to have a chance to grow into a baby.  Those fertilized eggs are not people.  Makes perfect sense.

To review:

  • If I’m poor and I didn’t have my egg fertilized in a lab on purpose but instead inside my fallopian tube after a condom broke, well, that fertilized egg is just as good as a bouncing baby with all the rights and privileges of a citizen of these United States.
  • But if I’m rich, and had several eggs fertilized in a lab after years of agony at not being able to create a person, those fertilized eggs are not people.
The ones that are wanted, hoped for, and (not incidentally) paid for, are potential.  The ones that can be used as a stick to punish the wrong kinds of women for having sex, or being raped, or being poor, those are precious babies.*


RESOLVE notes that, unsurprisingly, the language of the bill has little or nothing to do with actual reproductive biology and as such, if the bill passes IVF will still be functionally impossible in Virginia, but the scientific illiteracy of the legislators is not the scariest part of this for me. What is terrifying is that they are showing their hand in a way I haven’t seen before:  by putting in this ridiculous exemption they are proving that they don’t actually believe fertilized eggs are people.  If they did, they would have to find IVF to be just as abhorrent as abortion.  And without the flimsy pretense of genuine belief in this nonscientific garbage, what you’re left with is a blatant attempt to use the power of the legislature to restrict choice.  To keep the Republican party inside the uterus of every woman in Virginia.
This is an unusually naked and cynical attempt to divide and conquer.  But I mean it when I say that choice means all choices.  Attacks on women who choose not to have children are attacks on infertile women.  As I’ve said before, we are two sides of the same coin.  Either we can make choices about our reproductive health or we can’t.
* After the precious babies are born, will the state still care? 
**OK, what is going on with my paragraph formatting today?  Remind me again why I can’t blog with a pencil and paper????

7 responses to “looking glass

  1. I live far away from Virginia, but my blood is boiling just reading your post. Attributing personhood to a gamete is ridiculous. This issue is reminding me of the crack/cocaine divide in terms of sentencing. I don’t know a ton about it, but I remember that it was discrimination on the basis of race and SES.
    So, are they going to put women who miscarry in jail now? Fine them?
    Arghhhh! I just don’t understand how such stupid people can be making laws that affect millions of women’s and children’s lives.

  2. I live in Germany, where we do have something called the “Embryonic Protection Act”. But this law has absolutely nothing in common with those personhood laws – it basically limits what can be done with eggs fertilized in vitro and what cannot be done with them (e.g. it prohibits the transfer of more than 3 embryos, among other things), but in no way does it limit our right to make choices, or make saving a women who has an ectopic illegal, as a personhood law would. Whenever I read about the personhood law initiatives cropping up all over the US, it make me want to scream and take these people by the neck and shake them some sense into them. I hope for all women in the U.S., that none of these crazy, dangerous laws will come into effect (or if they do, that they will be struck down by the courts).

  3. All of this “personhood” nonsense infuriates me to the point of not being able to coherently express my fury. So thank you for doing it for me!

  4. Port of Indecision


    There is just so much stupid here that I don’t even know how to respond. While the idea of being forced to have a vaginal exam against my will upsets me, it does not nearly as much as these asinine “personhood” amendments.

  5. Port of Indecision

    PS “Egg-person” is my favorite new word.

  6. Oh, it’s all so horrifying and embarrassing.

  7. How awful. I hate all of this stuff and wonder why legislators can’t find anything better to do with their time. I mean, really. Ugh.

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