Amendment 48, if passed, will define a person at the moment of fertilization. This will give a fertilized egg inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law, according to the state legislator.
What the law fails to mention are the serious repercussions that it will have, not just on abortion, but on many contraceptives.
The most common type of birth control, the pill, prevents pregnancy by averting implantation of a fertilized egg. If fully applied, the amendment would ban all types of birth control that use this same method.
Couples, even married couples, would be forced to resort to more difficult and more unreliable forms of birth control, which would increase the amount of unwanted pregnancies.
Furthermore, sometimes a woman’s body will naturally abort a fertilized egg. Some researchers estimate that 80 percent of fertilized eggs fail to implant.
Activities like exercising and drinking coffee or alcohol can cause a miscarriage, or natural abortion. Some women take part in these activities before they even realize they are pregnant, and it causes a miscarriage.
Would these pro-life enthusiasts suggest that women who unknowingly harm a fertilized egg be charged with negligent homicide?
Could a man who fertilized an egg charge a woman with wrongful death in a civil lawsuit if she has a miscarriage?
And what about couples who have difficulty conceiving and use in vitro fertilization? In vitro fertilization usually works by creating several fertilized embryos and freezing them. But once pregnancy occurs these extra embryos are discharged. But, according to Amendment 48, that would be murder.
So would this ban in vitro fertilization altogether or would it just not allow the superfluous eggs to be discharged? Either way, this would create a sticky maze of laws.
And, if this law is fully applied, women who knowingly have abortions would be considered murderers who should be tried for murder, along with anyone else who is an accessory to this “murder.”
The guess is that, if this amendment does pass, it will be selectively enforced.
The amendment also goes against the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade which defined a fetus as a “person” only in the third trimester of pregnancy. What the Supreme Court case mentions, but this amendment fails to, is the other person in the pregnancy, the mother.
Under Roe v. Wade, abortions can be banned in the third trimester as long as exceptions are made for the protection of the mother, who is also a “person.”
Voters should reject this amendment at election time because it takes abortion to the extreme, and the aftermath could be severe.