November 8th, 2011
01:44 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Personhood’ measure stirs heated debate

Comment of the morning:

“Wouldn't creating a life through in vitro fertilization be ‘pro-life?' ” - centrisright

Mississippi amendment taking heat

Voters in Mississippi on Tuesday will face one of the most controversial measures on ballots nationwide. Mississippians will vote on whether to amend the state constitution to define life as beginning at conception, which would eliminate abortion, including in the cases of rape and incest. Initiative 26 would define "personhood" as "every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof." The measure would also outlaw certain forms of birth control and the destruction of embryos in laboratories, putting in vitro fertilization procedures in question because of the resulting unused fertilized eggs.

CNN.com readers were largely against the measure.

EurekaJim said, “Yup. The party of ‘less government" except when they want the government to do something they want it to do.”

ovipconsult said, “Mississippi being the poorest (or at least one of the poorest states) with one of the highest unemployment rate in the country, and many still live in poverty ... and abortion is what they really care about? My goodness. Politicians should just go hide in the cave. Judges ...  should just be removed if they want to control women's productive organs.”

BubbaJ said, “Eliminating abortion, Social Security and Medicare are their primary goals. They have become the party of ‘100% support for life ... when it's a fetus. Once it's out, it's on its own."

1alicia1 said, “Have you read recently the world population count? Enough already. How about giving out condoms on the street corner in every town?”

bobthemoose said, “This bill would not force anyone into a lifetime of unwanted motherhood. In all 50 states in the union it is perfectly legal for a woman to give up custody of a newborn to the state with no further responsibility on the part of the woman, and legal mechanisms in place to prevent them from being tracked down at a later date.”

sam0326 said, “I'm shocked that an obstetrician would support this amendment. What happens in the case of ectopic pregnancies, when allowing the egg to develop will kill the mother and there is no chance of the egg developing into a viable fetus? How about other cases when the mother's life is (in) danger? Cancer during pregnancy occurs in 1/1,000 pregnancies. Are those woman expected to forgo treatment to prevent killing an embryo? Most people don't realize the implications of this amendment; voting for religious and emotional reasons instead of evidence and understanding is dangerous.”

Darkwolf57 responded, “There is also the fact that 1/2 to 3/4 of all ‘persons’ (actually ‘concepti’) are aborted spontaneously. If ‘personhood’ does indeed begin at conception, then God himself is a mass murderer, according to this amendment. This, to me, is likely the most asinine measure to ever come before the voters."

salvat said, “My daughters were born via IVF. I dare you to tell me that my wife and I were wrong to go through the procedure to have our daughters. If my government tells me I cannot have children or I was wrong to have children the way I did, it will cease to be my government."

ChipsHandon said, “Government's main responsibility in forming legislation is to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens. What is being legislated is when citizenship begins for unborn humans. I think we can all agree that if you push your wife down the stairs on her way to go give birth, you are committing murder, not abortion, since the child was 100% ready to enter this world. Enter the gray area between conception and birth where life, citizenship, and jurisdiction under our laws become vague. Clearly, if an unborn child is ready to live outside of the womb, to kill it is to take a life; however, when does a pregnancy cross that threshold? This is the debate. When does abortion become murder?”

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

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

soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    @Doug:

    Beautifully put.
    Thank you.

    November 8, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Black Beauty

    @ banasy
    first point you spoke to is false, when you give up a child for adoption the cost of delivery do NOT fall to the mother, rather the state.

    second point, I'm stating a FACT that it is MURDER! and I also CAN NOT force anyone to NOT get an abortion!

    Are you gonna take a that girl into YOUR HOME? answer please?

    I have stated FACT and my opinion just as YOU have!

    Good night

    November 8, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kim

    I'm glad I don't live in Mississippi and they don't ever got to worry about me going there because they are really putting women back a hundred year. I never want to go there never.

    November 8, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    You have stated your opinion only, Jazz, just as I have.
    No facts.
    Nothing more, nothing less.
    Belief in something doesn't make it fact, no matter how much one believes in it.

    I don't think I'll be judged as harshly as you wish.

    @JIF:
    Hi.
    And, thanks.

    November 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pmk1953

    I believe that when the final trump sounds, many of these "christians" are going to be surprised. A great many of them already qualify for retro-active birth control in my eyes.

    November 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Black Beauty

    It's not my place to judge, just spell it out like it is.... MURDER
    I don't your beliefs, but they ARE vastly different than mine!
    Look at the bible, taking a life that is NOT threatening you IS murder!
    Anyway, I'm done and I like Jazz but you got the wrong person crazy lady, at least I'm assuming your are a women.
    Nite

    November 8, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    Hi, pmk1953.
    I have nithing against pro-lifers.
    Nor the religious folks, as long as they don't try to legislate their beliefs into law...

    November 8, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pmk1953

    Banasy, enlighten me on the sarcasm font. If they don't get it without a hint, they're too dumb to bother with. After I wrote it I went outside and enjoyed a beautiful day. Just a boy and his grill. Cheezeburgers!!!!

    November 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brian

    Perhaps a human reproduction scientist could correct me if I'm wrong, but what I learned in high school (a while ago, now) was that the ovum is usually fertilized at a place high in a Fallopian tube and the zygote (fertilized ovum) then continues to drift downward anywhere from 8 to 10 days before reaching the womb, where it may begin the process of implantation - or may not. What my class learned was that roughly half of all zygotes (actually, blastocytes of from 2 to 8 thousand cells, by the time they reach the womb) succeed in implanting. A few attach themselves but fail to implant successfully, stop developing and die (still no bigger than a healthy speck of dust). But the rest, nearly half, never come close to implanting, pass through the womb and are simply excreted in the urine. I asked my biology teacher into how many cells the non-implanting blastocyte might develop before dying or being excreted, and he said he didn't think that question had ever been studied.
    Anyway, according to the Mississippi "definition," tens of thousands of Mississippi citizens will soon begin being swallowed alive by the sewers and septic tanks of that great state! Who will rescue all these precious babies? Will maternal urination be recognized for what it is - MURDER!?

    November 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean Blevins (not the sportscaster)

      One quibble: the unimplanted zygote passes out via menstruation, not urine.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Observer

    "Look at the bible, taking a life that is NOT threatening you IS murder!"

    Wrong. The Bible is full of instructions to kill people that were absolutely no threat. If you are going to try to claim you support it, at least read it.

    November 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Zadoc Paet

    If a fertalized egg were a person, then people would hold funerals for an early term misscarriage. To suggest that they are, to me, is crazy. What does everyone think?

    POLL: Would you support a law that declares a fertilized egg to be a person?
    Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/p/4732969

    November 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean Blevins (not the sportscaster)

      Some people DO do that. All this debate really comes down to one question: is the child wanted or unwanted? That is truly what determines how we treat them.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Whatever, "Black Beauty"
    You know exactly who I am, because you replied in a manner that belies your sudden amnesia.
    Tell THAT GUY hello.

    @Brian:
    *Applause, Applause"
    (Golf clapping)

    November 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pmk1953

    Banasy, too many posts to scroll through. I'll look to bs on a shorter thread.

    November 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini Silver Wraith Sheryl

    Don't these guys know that we recognize their mentalities instantly?
    I've argued with that woman many times. Her name is Legion.

    November 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Phil

    What is it in a person that thinks they should dictate to other what they should do with their body. A woman becomes pregant and that egg that was fertilized is HERS. So therefore it should be her decision what to do wtih it. Life is only after the baby breaths. Otherwise since it is dependent on the mother for blood and oxygen – it belongs to her. NUFF SAID. Mississippi you are bringing your state down even lower that it already is in the public's eyes. If a woman loses a baby at two months miscarriage – it was alive before it died is she a murderer? Is God???

    November 8, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean Blevins (not the sportscaster)

      Of course not, and I think you know that (at least, I hope you do). No more so than my grandfather dying is anyone's fault. By the way; at the end he was dependent on machines to do his breathing and to clean his blood for him; does that mean he wasn't alive while in that condition? Here are some other points to ponder: the egg that was fertilized was hers, but the sperm that did the fertilizing was not. Also, a fetus does not depend on her mother for blood; he or she has their own circulatory system completely separate from the mother's.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Dean you need to check your facts. Know what the cord is that runs from the mother to the child. You know the one that they cut and makes a belly button. within that cord the mother's blood supplys the baby. And her breathing furnishes the oxygen to the baby. You need to study up on facts. Until the time it is born, breaths breaths on it own and the cord is cut then its system kicks in. Right? Thought that you knew that.

      November 8, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
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