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Duly Noted

Wednesday, Nov 2, 2011, 1:34 pm

Egg-as-Person Proponent Predicts Initiative 26 Would Ban Birth Control

By Lindsay Beyerstein

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Mara, Creative Commons.

A spokesman for PersonhoodUSA predicted in a radio interview that a proposed amendment to redefine fertilized ova as persons would also ban any form of birth control that kills a fertilized ovum in Mississippi.

PUSA spox Walter Hoye is very confused about human reproduction, but he's crystal clear about his agenda, as he told Diane Rehm of NPR:

Hoye: Any birth control that ends the life of a human being will be impacted by this measure.

Rehm: So that would then include the IUD [intra-uterine device]. What about the birth control pill?

Hoye: If that falls into the same category, yes.

Rehm: So you’re saying that the birth control pill could be considered as taking the life of a human being?

Hoye: I’m saying that once the egg and the oocyte come together and you have that single-celled embryo, at that point you have human life, you’ve got a human being and we’re taking the life of a human being with some forms of birth control and if birth control falls into that category, yes I am.

The logical follow-up question is whether women with IUDs would be prosecuted as serial killers. If fertilized ova are legally people from the second the sperm meets the egg, that would be the only just response. But that's stupid. Even Hoye doesn't believe that women who use IUDs are murderers.

He wants to ban birth control, of course, but it's not politically correct to come right out and say birth control should be banned because women shouldn't be allowed to have sex without making babies.

It's much easier to solemnly pretend that fertilized eggs are people. In that case, regrettably, your birth control must be taken away because it's killing people.

This whole "personhood" gimmick is just an excuse to control women's sexuality.

Lindsay Beyerstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and In These Times staff writer who writes the blog Duly Noted. Her stories have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and other publications. Her photographs have been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times' City Room. She also blogs at The Hillman Blog (, a publication of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, a non-profit that honors journalism in the public interest.

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