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Friday Ramblings with Robert

October 28, 2011

Amendments, Amendments, Amendments

Mississippi voters will not only head to the polls in a little over a week to elect statewide and local politicians, but also will have the chance to vote on 3 amendments to the Mississippi Constitution.  These 3 amendments involve Voter ID (27), Eminent Domain (31) and Personhood (31).  All 3 have created quite a buzz from all over the state and since everyone else is doing it I will throw my 2 cents in on them.

Voter ID

The Voter ID measure is by far the clearest cut of the amendments on the ballot.  I believe it will pass quite easily as most people do not see anything wrong with presenting identification when they go to the polls.  The argument that it will disenfranchise certain voters simply holds no water when you consider the fact that everyone in the state has the ability to go out and get a state issued form of identification without restrictions.  Throw on top of that the fact that if this does pass that people who cannot afford to pay for the id card will be able to get one for free.  This amendment is a win-win for anyone who respects the election process and wants to see it carried out fairly.

Eminent Domain

The way in which the eminent domain amendment is written on the ballot I believe will help lead to its passage.

Should government be prohibited from taking private property by eminent domain and then transferring it to other persons?

I believe people will see that on the ballot and automatically think “Yes” without thinking twice about it.  As it is written, it would essentially prevent the state from transferring property that has been acquired through eminent domain to private parties for a period of 10 years.  It does not actually stop the practice of eminent domain, which in all fairness those who support this have simply framed it as ‘stopping eminent domain abuse,’ but some voters may not truly understand that point when they are casting their ballot.  I honestly do not see the need for this amendment, but that is just my opinion, and I realize there are some strong opinions in favor of it who would disagree.  Here is a piece from Leland Speed from the Clarion Ledger the other day that I think makes a good argument against the amendment.

Personhood

Now for the most contentious amendment on the ballot this year, the so-called Personhood Amendment.  I will be the first to admit that this amendment opens up quite a few questions, but I do think most are easily answered.  Some of he big arguments raised against the amendment center around in-vitro fertilization, contraceptives or prosecuting women for miscarriages.  That sure is a lot of questions that derive from this:

SECTION 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”

The idea that women could be prosecuted for miscarriages is preposterous. Just think about.  In terms of contraceptives, sure it would ban abortion pills that would terminate a pregnancy after conception and that is the whole point of this to begin with, preserving life.  It would not however prevent people from using other simple forms of birth control pills or condoms.  The in-vitro fertilization argument seems to be getting the most play and rightfully so since I believe that is where the most confusion exist and nobody really has any idea.  This is where the biggest question for me resides.  What do you do with all the unused embryos? Nobody really seems to have a good answer for that, but that is still not enough in my eyes to vote against this amendment.  The positives outweigh the negatives.  This is an anti-abortion amendment plain and simple, you can sugarcoat it all you want, but that is what this all boils down to and you either support it or you do not.  I am sure this will be tied up in legal wrangling if it passes and it will need to be polished and more defined on some of these issues that have been raised, but it all has to start from somewhere.  I believe the intentions are good.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashton Elijah Pittman permalink
    October 28, 2011 12:44 pm

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and for Mississippi women, 26 would be a living hell. Get back to me when your sisters and wives can’t be treated for cancer or ectopic pregnancies because of the “well intentioned” amendment you voted for.

  2. Barry Goldwater permalink
    October 28, 2011 1:07 pm

    “This is an anti-abortion amendment plain and simple, you can sugarcoat it all you want, but that is what this all boils down to and you either support it or you do not.”

    If that’s what it’s meant to be, why doesn’t it just say that. How any conservative could vote to give such sweeping power to the government is beyond me. This conservative is voting NO.

  3. RandomThoughts permalink
    October 28, 2011 2:53 pm

    To say that this amendment would not prevent women from taking birth control pills is simply not true. The package insert for the oral contraceptive YAZ states that one of the mechanisms in which it works is it reduces the likelihood of implantation of a fertilized egg. Thus, if a fertilized egg is a person EVERY oral contraceptive would be banned, whether you think so or not, which is precisely why this is such a bad/poorly written amendment.

  4. James permalink
    October 28, 2011 4:39 pm

    The whole purpose of the I&R process is to put to the voters issues that the Legislature, in its infinate “wisdom” will not address. The Personhood Amendment makes a mockery of the I&R process. The Legislature would have easily passed, and the Governor signed, a bill that addressed what the supporters of Prop 26 claim to want. And it would have been in a way that after discussion, debate, and voting the statute would not contain any of these possible “unintended consequences”. But the supporters of Prop 26 want a platform, not a constitutional amendment. And they want a way to get to the Supreme Court.

    Prop 26 would absolutely make invitro virtually impossible, in that a couple would not have the option of attempting fertilization of eggs more than what they were willing to implant (for normal couples, a maximum of two.) But the facts on invitro are that most implants do not succeed. Thus the reason for having additional fertilized eggs to ‘try again’. People that have not had to deal with invitro as a possible way to become loving parents of wanted children of their own don’t realize the enormous time, energy, effort, pain and costs involved with the procedure. If they did, they would never suggest things like not fertilizing extra eggs, just try it again.

    And, for those that have been thru the invitro process, while you can watch that fertilized egg that you hope becomes your future child, it is clear that it is not, nor will it ever be, a person as long as it is in a petri dish. Only after it is implanted in a womb could it begin to be considered a person.

    But Prop 26 ‘calls’ it a person while it swims in the petri dish. And that is absolutely ridiculous. And it is a shame that out-of-staters are coming into Mississippi to use our voters to achieve a purpose that is not in the best interest of Mississippians. I am against abortion; am willing to discuss reasonable legislation regarding it. And if this issue was brought to the legislature, it could be dealt with in a reasonable manner. But passing a constitutional amendment that brings about unintentional, or unknown, consequences is as disasterous as voting for Obamacare so that we could find out what was in it.

  5. Ivehadbetter permalink
    October 28, 2011 5:05 pm

    As I understand it, most oral birth control pills have, as an element, a means to keep a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall. So I’d love to see how anyone arrives at the conclusion that common birth control pills will be legal.

  6. Boarzombie permalink
    October 28, 2011 8:08 pm

    This religious pro-life gun-clinger is voting NO, period. I’m not for making government so small that it’ll fit into my wife’s uterus. Sorry.

    Want to limit or get rid of abortion? Fine. Pick another way.

  7. Daniel Strahan permalink
    October 29, 2011 12:29 am

    Abortion is murder, pure and simple. I’m voting YES.

    • Boarzombie permalink
      October 29, 2011 11:34 am

      And this amendment could be murder, too, pure and simple. Let’s not kill the patient with the cure.

      Think about it. That’s the reason God gave you that lump between your ears.

  8. Bill Billingsley permalink
    October 29, 2011 1:32 pm

    The purpose of personhood amendment is to put something on the books that can be challenged in the US Supreme Court in an effort to overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortions illegal. It will have zero impact on anyone’s life in Mississippi, because it will have to make the legal journey from Jackson to Washington and back before it ever becomes enforceable law. I’m voting against it for that reason. I can’t support millions of Mississippi tax dollars being used to fund a national fight.

  9. factord_agin permalink
    October 30, 2011 4:23 pm

    Ectopic pregnancies. ‘Nuff said.

    This pro lifer is voting no.

  10. Rankinlawyer permalink
    October 31, 2011 10:11 am

    I’m courious if any of the “pro-lifers” commenting here have ever donated to a single pro-life cause, are members of any pro-life organization or have ever donated any time to advance a pro-life cause.

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