Overheard on CNN.com: 'Life at conception' amendment is backwards
Mississippi votes on a "personhood" initiative this year. Similar measures in other states have been soundly defeated.
November 4th, 2011
06:07 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Life at conception' amendment is backwards

Comments of the Day:

"Why is it that everywhere I turn the religious people are trying to destroy civil rights in this country?"–shockerwhoa3

"GOP legislating morality again, I thought they were for small government?"–TheMFTruth

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says he decided life does begin with conception, an issue Mississippi voters will vote on this Tuesday. Most CNN.com readers said the state amendment to define when life begins was regressive and poorly thought out.

Mississippi voting on amendment to declare fertilized egg a person

Norps asked, "What right have the voters to decide such a question? Most of them are uninformed on the medical or scientific facts and are voting by their gut feelings: completely inappropriate to put such a question to the voters."

new2wi said, "This type of primitive thinking is not surprising; after all Mississippi public schools rank 50th in the nation."

discofever21 said, "This is a philosophical question as much as it is a question of science or religion. It needs continued debate so I applaud the measure on its merits at least. I personally go back and forth on the issue." CedarRapids replied, "I'm not sure making state constitutional amendments based on philosophical questions is a great idea."

rfulle12 said, "And so it begins. The attack on Roe v. Wade will be a big issue this coming election. The conservative right does not look too different than the mullahs in Iran. They want to control every aspect of our lives based on their view of religion. Scary stuff indeed!"

Capercorn said, "I'm a Roman Catholic. However, it only takes a trip to your nearest closet to be reminded that coat hangers exist. And everyone and their grandma agrees that those are bad. This is one of those many instances where something looks like it works on paper, but in practice, works horribly."

soporifix said, "It's easier dealing with stupid stuff like this than any actual problems. That's why Republicans love abortion."

MOrsini said, "We can assume that the state will take care of all the unwanted children then, meaning taxpayers will pay for each and every single one of them that is given up for adoption yet does not end up adopted ... talk about poorly thought-out propositions."

NuttinWrong said, "If people don't want kids, they don't have to have them. I'd rather hear about 2,000 abortions than 2,000 unwanted children."

MET100 said, "When men start having babies, as in being pregnant, it would be an appropriate discussion as to 'Choice.' Until then this is a woman's decision and the state has no right to interfere."

waldenu08 asked, "So does this mean that 1) child support begins at conception, and 2) corporations are NOT persons in Mississippi?"

toth88 asked, "When does America get to vote on whether Mississippi is a state?"

Put the elderly on ice?

At what point do we surrender to death, asks 83-year old sociologist and CNN.com columnist Amitai Etzioni. Regardless of age, "we should learn to accept death more readily' and "stop aggressive interventions when there is little hope," he writes. Many CNN.com readers said they wanted to be able to exit gracefully.

MindFire07 said, "I want to die on my own terms. I refuse to be forced into confinement in a bed with a useless, broken body until I finally expire.If I ever find out that I'm on Death's short list, then I'll ask him to put me on the VIP list. No need to spend resources on sustaining whatever's left of my time. Spend it on those who need it, those who need just a jump start to be productive."

LBColorado said, "For me, personally, I do not want my family to endure my pain. Therefore, if a machine is keeping me alive, unplug it. The percentages are not in my favor and I am OK to 'Let go and Let God.' "

Christie said, "Quality of life, not age, should be the # 1 criteria. What is the point in living if you are unable to enjoy the simplest things? We should all be able to say enough is enough and be allowed to go off into the sunset in peace."

AngryDeuce said, "I watched all four of my grandparents suffer and die as they were ravaged by terminal cancer. After going through that, I made a decision: I refuse to suffer needlessly. When there's no hope left for me, I plan to leave this world on my own terms, regardless of what the current legal status of euthanasia is."

But rickygf said, "There's no such thing as dying gracefully. I'm terminally ill and want every minute. I do have good health care, thanks to the VA."

COULROPHILE asked, "Can someone please explain to me why people in their 60s are getting organ transplants?" Guest said, "Try asking this again when you're 60 and lying in a hospital bed with only 6 months to live and you need a transplant. Once you experience that you will have your answer."

handshake said, " 'Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die to get there' is an old saying."

seallover said, "I plan to live to 150 because I have a lot of work to do and intend to do it to benefit my fellow man. I don't care if I have to wear a Darth Vader suit to stay alive, I damn well better be compensated by my Medicare."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (279 Responses)
  1. Andreas Moser

    What if a foetus wants to commit suicide?

    November 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dr.RUFFNUTT

    WHEN i bust a nut, a weenutt is made.. unless it gets flushed down the toilet..

    November 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Argle Bargle

    Well then, make those little buggers get off their duffs and get a job. Just because they're a fetus is no reason not to be living off welfare. All these gooy-two-shoes christian wannabes can't take care of the kids they have, but they wanna make sure that everyone else is hip deep in 'em as well.

    November 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. pmk1953

    These religous nuts all want to protect the unborn, but after they're born, they don't care. I've NEVER heard one of them volunteering to adopt or otherwise care for an unwanted child. Especially after they grow out of the Gerber baby looks. They're all hypocritical fools. Does this mean it will be illegal for a tubal pregnancy, that will probably kill the mother, to be terminated?

    November 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bill Lazzarini

    So if Haley Barbour contends life begins at conception I pose this question. What happens if the mom dies one week after conception? The fetus lives? If life begins at conception that would only make sense, oh that’s right Barbour does not make sense. Game over I win! Feel free to counter my opinion but I believe I just destroyed his argument.

    November 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Bill Lazzarini:
    Hai ragione.

    November 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    It's when citizens of Mississippi do something like this that I remember why I climbed aboard the City of New Orleans when I was eighteen years old and escaped to Chicago.

    November 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    A very old or very sick young person knows whether his life is worth sustaining or not.
    If I were unable to move but still able to find joy in my life, I'm sure that I would want to live as long as possible.
    Limited joy in life is better than no experience at all, which is what I expect after I die–in spite of some bloggers here who have promised me that I'll be in Hell, which would be a blast, since most of my friends will be there too.
    I'll know when it's time to die, and, at that point, the choice should be mine.

    November 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • dennis

      hell will not be fun at all, unless you call weeping or crying, and (gnashing) grinding your teeth together fun, because of the torment you are experiencing, and by the way, which will never cease.

      November 4, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat2u

    You know as well as anyone Joey, how messed up our laws are down here. But as bad as Mississippi laws are, Alabama just tries to keep one upping them. The only thing better about living in Alabama now, is the cost of the car tags. But enough on that.
    The government local, state or federal, need to stay out of the moral issues no matter what they are. They no right how to tell anybody what to do with their bodies. If that were the case then, fast food would be outlawed because it leads to obesity. Tattoos would be outlawed because it offends some people who look at them. I mean, where the hell would it stop ? That is just too much government buttinsky business.

    November 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • tell it

      Well my beloved and backward a** Alabama won't be far behind. Will we ever escape these religious nut jobs?

      November 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Matthew S. Pollack

    Aside from the aforementioned philosophical, religious, privacy and ethical arguments, passage of this amendment will raise some very unexpected legal but pragmatic questions: 1) If an expectant mother smokes, forgoes early prenatal care or fails to follow advice regarding healthy diet, etc., and she has a miscarriage, will she be guilty of callous disregard/negligent homicide? 2) If the fetus is considered a person, is he/she also a citizen before birth? If yes, what happens if the pregnant woman travels overseas and the baby is born in a foreign country. Would the infant's status be revoked now that it is not a "naturally born citizen"? That would be a first. 3) Once conceived, if the embryo is now a person (and presumably a citizen), would a SSN be granted? Will a tax return need to be filed under its name? Will the child tax credit be applied to the embryo? What if there is a miscarriage between the time of tax filing and expected due date? Would an amended return be required? 4) Can an embryo get a passport? 5) How does this affect the U.S. census?

    These seem arcane questions, but they are likely to be the first to be raised if the amendment passes.

    November 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. fernace

    This reminds me of these very religious people I 1ce knew! They were staunchly against abortion & for the "life at conception" theory! They felt every child was a gift from God & interfering with His plan was a sin! Curiously they didn't feel they were "interfering" with Gods plan when using in vitro fertilization to have their 3 kids! Even though they knew there were kids in need of adoption! Funny how we humans justify our own motives, but want to legislate for others to live by rules we don't practice ourselves! And what about the smaller government that will not interfere with our lives & choices, that is touted by the GOP-TP! Does it exclude women to be the owners of their own uteri??

    November 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Overheard on moc.NNC .....that"s backwards! 😉

    November 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mmmmm

    such foolish "men" so much to say yet you don't carry a baby or give birth to a baby?

    November 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ fernace: hello!
    @ bobcat2u: hello!
    @ dennis, 8:03 PM: I'm not sure whether your post about the torments of Hell was intended seriously or not, because, if you meant if seriously, you have no idea how funny it was to me. Regardless of your intention, thanks for the laugh: I needed that.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Mmmmm:
    I cannot give birth, but I'd like to improve my empathy, so if you can figure out a way for me to function in that role, I'd be happy to try it.
    Otherwise, I'll just keep making the doughnuts every morning and serving pickles when desired.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
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