Pro-lifers co-opt African American history to declare embryos people

Amendment 62 is a Colorado Constitutional proposition on the November ballot. It would grant embryos ‘personhood’ status.

The geniuses behind the ‘fertilized eggs = citizens’ movement have decided to sell their amendment as a struggle akin to Blacks fighting for their long-denied civil rights. Accordingly, their attempts at outreach come off as callow, insulting propaganda:

[Keith] Mason continued: “I think it’s important to note with the term fertilized egg, that’s the same thing as using the N-word for an African American. Because it’s a dehumanizing term and it’s not based in science. The term would be a zygote, or an embryo, speaking of a unique individual.”

Ugh. Yeah, I bet Mason really cares about science, it’s probably equally sacred to him. Zygote: “A cell in diploid state following fertilization or union of haploid male sex cell (e.g. sperm) and haploid female sex cell (e.g. ovum).” So, a person is a zygote is an F-bomb. Super.

Hey, along with the people who were once called the n-word, you know who else totally gets the ‘a cell is the same as a person’ movement? Slaves:

That totally makes sense. American embryos are sick and tired of picking your cotton, caring for your babies and being raped by the plantation egg-master in the middle of the night. Ugh.

When organizations opposed to reproductive rights promote a “documentary” that makes the charge that the most dangerous place for a Black baby is in a Black woman’s womb, they are attacking Black women’s capacity to parent and make health care decisions. Under the guise of protecting life, these groups are making a full frontal attack that promotes the dangerous lie that Black women are unfit, uncaring and selfish.

When anti-choice groups mount “Freedom Rides” to promote their anti-choice message, they are attempting to rewrite one of the most important moments in Civil Rights history . .

Amen. Read Pamela Merritt’s take on this crap here. For a little fun juggling the birth rate numbers after the passage of a bill like this, here’s something I posted after North Dakota’s House of Representatives tried the same thing.

No need to go on about these people. When African American history isn’t anything to learn from, to honor or venerate, when it’s just a weapons cabinet for someone’s personal use, you know who you’re dealing with.


4 thoughts Pro-lifers co-opt African American history to declare embryos people

  1. avatar Diana Hsieh says:

    Thanks for this post. The comparison between slaves and zygotes that the “personhood” movement is drawing on this time around is offensive, and I wish it were getting more attention.

    FYI, the Coalition for Secular Government recently published a policy paper by Ari Armstrong and me on Colorado’s Amendment 62 and similar “personhood” measures: “The ‘Personhood’ Movement Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters that Rights Begin at Birth, Not Conception.”

    You can find the PDF, HTML, and E-Book versions via this page:

    The paper discusses the current state of the growing “personhood” movement, as well as the effects of a “personhood” law on abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization, and stem-cell research. It offers a strong defense of abortion rights, arguing that the nature of rights and the biological facts of pregnancy entail that rights cannot begin until birth. And it discusses why “personhood” measures violate the separation of church and state.

    I hope that you’ll read it — and pass along the URL to anyone else that you think might be interested.

  2. avatar toma says:

    Thanks Diana for all the hard work. Your policy paper is well-written and thought out, I recommend it thoroughly. I have a background in genetics and am shocked that anybody would be so stupid as to forward a reckless proposition like this — it would decimate the legal codes. It would take years to figure out how to step outside of your house without risking a capital murder charge.

    The proponents, unsurprisingly, are complete idiots. I came across this bit of foolishness in your paper:

    “The beginning of the biological development of a human being who is created through sexual reproduction is the instant when the sperm and the ovum touch to form a unique human being. It is different from fertilization or conception in that it accounts for modern forms of asexual reproduction such as cloning. In the case of a cloned human being, his or her biological beginning is when the DNA in the cell/cells is deprogrammed or reprogrammed to the same state of differentiation as a human organism.”

    When they touch? Sperm and egg ‘touch’ pretty frequently without anything happening. And we molecular biologists don’t program or deprogram, whatever that means, anything. These people are dangerous morons.

    Keep up the good work and tell Boulder ‘hello’, my parents met while going to school there.

  3. avatar rmf says:

    “…raped by the plantation egg-master…” !!!!!

    Awesome…circle of life in six words or less. Well played sir.

  4. avatar toma says:

    I don’t imagine Sir Elton John will be singing your theme song.

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