Monday, October 31, 2011

Unalienable Rights and Personhood

Last night I was tooling around Facebook looking for inspiration when I came across something on Bill Fortenberry's facebook page called The Personhood Initiative. He had put up some "debates" that looked more like a compilation of regurgitated talking points and conversations he's had with people who don't support fetal personhood laws. I read with interest his quote from John Quincy Adams which said:

"The acknowledgment of the unalienable right of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is at the same time an acknowledgment of the omnipotence, the omniscience, and the all-pervading goodness of God."

From this quote, Bill concludes that unalienable rights can only come from God. I find this both amusing and incredibly dishonest for a few reasons.

1. Just because John Quincy Adams believed something doesn't make it true. Neither is a thing true just because some of the Founding Fathers wrote it down. If anything ought to be a "self-evident" truth, then that should definitely be.

2. Adams's concept of God was far different from what most Christians' (and I suspect Mr. Fortenberry's) concept of God is. Adams was a Unitarian and, in this oration to the Cincinnati Astronomical Society, he refers many times to the "One True God" of his understanding. As a Unitarian, he denied the Trinity which means he denied that Jesus Christ was God, a belief that most people would say earned him a one-way ticket to hell.

3.  Jefferson's mention of the Creator when he wrote, "...are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..." refers to his previous paragraph when he appeals to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," a god-concept that is more deist in flavor than orthodox Trinitarian Christian.

4. The concept of the "natural rights of man" was a philosophical product of the Enlightenment era and was diametrically opposed to the "divine right to rule" that was predominant in cultures for most of human history. The entire point of natural rights is that they an emergent property of humanity, something intrinsic to a living, breathing human being. Natural rights could not be granted by a king's decree. They could not be taken away by a priest's dictate. They were in no way contingent upon the favor of another person whether that person be mortal or divine.

Adams' oration to the Cincinnati Astronomical Society is an interesting read. He speaks of these unalienable rights as being specific to born humans. He also couples these rights with the "law of duty" in which it is understood that the only purpose of these rights is to use them for moral and intellectual pursuits that strengthen society. It is the duty of man, he says, to use his unalienable rights to unravel the scientific mysteries of the world and to pursue truth. He praises the pagan philosophers and scientists who persisted in their inquiries against heavy opposition from both pagan religions and the Catholic Church. He held scientific truth to be greater than any religious dogma. And he described man's "pursuit of happiness" as being the pursuit of this knowledge for the benefit of the rest of society.

Nowhere in any of his speech do we find the idea that unalienable rights are contingent upon the existence of a particular god-concept. What we do find is that those rights are contingent upon our nature as humans and that the words we use to describe that source of humanity (God, Nature, etc.) are just that - descriptions based upon our perceptions and belief.

If we hold to Adams' beliefs about the rights of man, we must conclude that no unborn can enjoy full unalienable rights because they lack the capacity to understand and exercise the duties that go with them. This belief is consistent with modern law which recognizes corporations as legal "persons" because they are entities endowed with certain rights and charged with certain duties. They are persons because they have needs and desires like any other born human and they are capable of benefiting society. So legal personhood is not simply based on having unique human DNA and being self-replicating - it is also based on the human will to prosper and the responsibility to promote the general welfare. Regardless of how much a fetus is wanted and loved, it cannot meet those requirements.

Does this give us carte blanche to rip every unborn out of the womb any time we wish? Absolutely not! Although the unborn cannot have full legal personhood before birth, it is on the path to personhood - just as it is on the path to becoming born. And the longer it remains on this path, the greater its rights become as they bloom and unfurl over those 40 weeks. Roe v Wade made this clear and established that this unripe "right to life" must be balanced at all times with the full rights of the mother. Therefore, the farther along a pregnancy is, the more difficult it is to justify (and obtain) an elective abortion.

The Founders' concept of unalienable rights is a fascinating and complex one that takes the reader on a journey of what it means to be a human. The answers they describe are not simple soundbytes to be parroted at one's convenience like so much propaganda. They require us to examine ourselves and to study the nature of human society. They require us to harness our talents and pool our resources so that we can promote the preservation of those rights and passionately defend them from kings and priests who seek to usurp our freedom. They challenge us to constantly reexamine our social contract to ensure that, in establishing our legal rights, we have not ceded the natural rights that define us. The unalienable rights of men and women are, fundamentally, the gold standard by which we as human can judge ourselves and society.

What fertilized egg can do that?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Learn Some Logic!

School's in session, folks! Sit up and pay attention.

No pencils and paper? Don't worry. If you're here, you're probably living in the 21st century with the rest of us and you don't need it. For those still using oil lamps, quills, and such...well, you may have a problem.

Please enjoy our collection of logical fallacies committed by Yeson26, not as a part of their campaign, but as the totality of their campaign. Some of these, especially the appeal to authority, can be part of a legitimate argument but standing on these alone doth not a conclusive argument make. Yet we do it all the time and we fall for these all the time. Why? Because our brains aren't perfectly logical computing machines - they are simply organs evolved to do the best they can to survive (and survival does not equal logical perfection).

We kept the music a bit lower for this video since more reading is required (and we are working to get away from text and into voice as soon as possible) but I hope if you like the song, you'll listen to it a second time and enjoy the very appropriate lyrics by StatueofDiveo:

Welcome to a world,
Where you will never be alone;
You will never leave,
You will never go back home.

There's nothing you can do,
You are under our control;
Watch as we destroy you,
and take away your soul.

Welcome to a world,
Where you are under our command;
We have infinite power,
Too much to comprehend.

Ripping you to shreds,
With forces nobody can stand;
Wait until you see
All the delights that we have planned.

Welcome to the black hole...

[Additional sound effects by: Digifish]

Something to think about.

As I sit here daily reading everything I can get my hands on, pondering blogs to write that haven't been written. I find myself reading and understanding even more. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1.) The diversity of people that have come together on both sides is amazing. As always when there is an issue or cause that not only effects men, women and children, but every race, creed and color we act as something we often forget we already are "Human beings".

2.) We all have the same basic needs and wants. To live a life as full as possible, free of persecution and hatred from others and to have a better understanding of our fellow humans around the world.

3.) If you talk to someone the same way they talk to you, how far will the conversation go, can you find it in yourself to try and understand their viewpoint as well as your own?

4.) Name calling and berating is really just a person calling their reflection in a mirror a name, it doesn't make you look any better it just reflects the person saying these things.

5.) People tripping or tying you up in a negative discussions are just speed bumps, their purpose is to slow you down in reaching as many people as possible. This in no way means that all lengthy discussions are a waste of time and energy, it applies to those discussions were the other person is not acting in good faith.

Just some food for thought.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Following the Money

Yeson26 is back to their old ad hominem attacks again trying to discredit Mississippians for Healthy Families by claiming it's a front for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Of course, anybody with any sense could have just gone to the Secretary of State's website to see the organizers are members of PP and the ACLU. Nobody has denied that. But what Yeson26 didn't count on is that people might take a look at their financial reports as well and see its ties to big money out of Colorado and the numerous donations they are getting from prominent and wealthy backers. Perhaps Yeson26 thought folks around here are too dumb or lazy to do any research. Perhaps, as with so many other things, they know just how to spin it to make their true believers go even wilder for them.

Regardless, if I were Brad Prewitt, I'd want 26 to fail by a narrow margin this year so I could push it for the next couple years and keep milking that cash cow. $10,000/month to regurgitate memorized lines? Absolutely! Where do I sign up?

So sit back, relax, and don't let the numbers scare you off. In the end, the figures aren't nearly as important as the fact that Yeson26 is just as much an out-of-state movement as anything else and they are raking in the money with no reservations.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Faith-Based Medicine

Please be aware: this video contains a couple of graphic images that might not be suitable for children. Use your own discretion.

Today we look at some of the religious motivations behind 26 and how people want or expect 26 to impact your life. You would think that after 200+ years of religious freedom, people wouldn't want to go back to theocracy but apparently there are some who want to do just that.

Surrender to dark waves of Hades' Rebellion and keep in mind when viewing the images that child abuse is still a real and growing problem. While we work to preserve the mother's who give them life, let us also continually work against abuse in all its forms. Every child - wanted and loved!

Bad Media: Shaking Up the Starkville Daily News

If you'd like to see an example of what's wrong with our media, check out the article by Gwen Sisson in the Starkville Daily News. Besides being strictly one-sided reporting, the article repeats a lot of mistakes and lies with absolutely no rebuttal. How can anyone get any factual information from an article that is simply not fact-checked? So we took it upon ourselves to pick apart this nonsense and try to provide some information to counter what was presented.

According to Mississippi’s Secretary of State’s office, if passed Initiative 26 would amend the state constitution by the addition of an new section to read: “Section 33: Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, ‘The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”

This is true and the SDN completely failed to tell you the most important truth of all - amending the Bill of Rights through ballot initiative is 100% illegal. Let me explain:

(5) The initiative process shall not be used:

(a) For the proposal, modification or repeal of any portion of the Bill of Rights of this Constitution;

Here is the language of 26 straight from the site:

Article III is the Bill of Rights and, as shown above, it CANNOT be modified by ballot initiative. So 26 is already illegal on its face. SDN should have told you that. But let's not sit here and hope our judges do the right thing. Let's continue through this letter and see how else it fails.

Executive Director of Yes on 26 Brad Prewitt said this amendment is not as big a step for the state of Mississippi as the opposition makes it. “You should know that personhood already exists in Mississippi law. Criminal statutes hold the fetus is a person from conception forward,” Prewitt said.

If Mississippi law already acknowledges the personhood of the fertilized egg, then why the need for 26? The MS Code of 1972 says in Sec. 97-3-37.(1):

(1) For purposes of the offenses enumerated in this subsection (1), the term "human being" includes an unborn child at every stage of gestation from conception until live birth and the term "unborn child" means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb:

So why 26? Because supporters want the legal personhood of the unborn recognized in every single law - not just homicide statutes. That tells you right there that the intention goes far beyond ending abortion and extends into the domain of giving the unborn rights superior to that of the mother. The difference between the homicide statute and general personhood is not one that most Mississippians have probably considered. Most people have no idea the chaos that will be created when every single Mississippi law must be reinterpreted with the rights of the fertilized egg in mind.

Prewitt said Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have a $1 billion interest in abortion and are fighting this initiative.

What SDN didn't tell you is that Planned Parenthood only has one clinic in Mississippi and they do not do abortions. Also, the ACLU doesn't make money on abortion issues when abortion is legal. They make their money fighting strict legislation that reduces women's access. Both these groups stand to make money from legal fees when they take on personhood laws and win. If they are indeed funneling money into the state for the No campaign, none of us has seen any of it.

“Personhood also corrects the falsehood that unborn persons are simply tissue or property,” Prewitt said. “That will inject a new dynamism in battling not only abortion but some of the unethical scientific research in cloning, embryonic stem cell research and beyond, such as the monstrous scientific experimentation that is transforming humanity beyond the image of God but into some hybrid animal-human creation.”

Prewitt and other 26 supporters seem to enjoy sensationalizing cloning as if it were some 1950's B sci-fi movie. I suspect this is because it helps them peddle personhood and because they really have absolutely no idea what cloning is, how it works, or why it's done (aside from whatever they've read in the Daily Mail.)

As we've stated before here, cloning occurs in nature every day when multiple births, usually twins, occur. Now this is not the same kind of cloning that happens in labs but we present this so you can understand that cloning, in and of itself,  is not the product of some new, diabolical technology. Therapeutic cloning is used in medical areas to research new regenerative medicines from adult cells. The hope is that we can eventually grow tissues and organs specific to each person for transplantation. Imagine a world where no person needs to be put on a list for a kidney, liver, or heart transplant. Reproductive cloning is generally used for fertility treatments though it might have some other applications.

These therapies have great potential use and are not nearly as scary or evil as 26ers pretend. There are some ethical questions that need to be addressed but by fearmongering and trying to ban these procedures, 26 supporters are taking their voices out of the equation completely.

Mississippi is the first state to bring this issue to the voters to amend the state constitution with the “personhood” addition.

Nice try but Colorado has already done this twice and failed miserably both times (see Amendment 62 and be sure to check out their "Birth" Control Talking Points where they say that birth control is abortifacient and their misinformation about steroids where they claim that Plan B is the same as anabolic steroids). That's why they've brought their dog-and-pony show (and all the money they can squeeze out of donors) to a more right-wing, less educated state. They seemed to think Mississippians are so stupid that they'll pass this initiative no questions asked. We're proud to be part of the group that proved them wrong.

“But (the opposition) are scared because Mississippi’s law will burst the bubble of the lie that the unborn person does not matter and has no rights,” Prewitt said. “That lie is essential to their billion-dollar business, which includes fetal tissue sales. It is gruesome but it is real.”

No, we are afraid that this amendment will diminish or negate the rights of the mother and give undue power to the government. Roe v Wade established that unborn do matter and the state has an interest in protecting them; however, that interest must be reasonably balanced against the mother's rights.

This also perpetuates another lie there is some nefarious get-rich-quick scheme going on whereby aborted fetuses are harvested and sold like garbage. While it is true that fetal tissue from legal abortions may be sold and used in research, these measures fall under very strict guidelines. The purpose of the research is to better understand birth defects and disease, to develop cures for cancer and other serious ailments, and previously to develop powerfully effective vaccines. The research done legally on these tissues has saved countless human lives. While 26ers love to claim that the unborn are being slaughtered for profit, the truth is that a Congressional investigation in 2000 showed absolutely zero evidence of any wrongdoing.

Prewitt said there are some birth control approaches which would be called into question - such as some IUDs, the morning after pill, other embryocidal pharmaceuticals, but not the hormonal birth control pill. “If you are trying to prevent pregnancy, that is fine, but if you are trying to end a pregnancy, then that is an issue,” Prewitt said.

And here is probably the worst lie of all. IUDs, the morning-after pill and the birth control pill all work on the same principle. You can't ban one without banning the others. The problem occurs because 26 grants personhood at the moment of fertilization and all three of these methods may act after fertilization has happened. 

Adoption agencies are begging for babies. There are as many parents awaiting babies as abortions each year. That's a fact - proven.

Except, of course, that it's not proven. In order to prove this claim, we need to compare abortion statistics for a given year to the adoption availability for that same year. The closest year we could find numbers for both on was 2009. In that year, there were 820,151 legal abortions performed in the U.S. Also there were 423,773 kids in foster care and only 276,266 of those exited. Of those who did exit, only 20% (roughly 55,684) were adopted out. The number of children waiting to be adopted out in 2009 was 114,556  and they'd been on the waiting list an average of 38 months. Of those on the waiting list, 52% were black and Hispanic while only 38% where white. We don't have figures on private adoptions but the numbers seem to suggest that we have more kids in the country than are wanted and, when children are wanted, whites are preferred.

As Christians, we are asked to do the right thing, according to God’s Word. We must be committed, and that is not always comfortable, as Dr. Jimmy Porter says. But we must do the right thing here. Personhood is right because it is Biblical, it is scientific, it is fair and just. It is common sense.”

Who gets to ultimately decide what God wants and why should we enshrine any one group or person's religious opinion into law? How can personhood at fertilization be scientific when the science clearly states that pregnancy is not established until implantation? And how can 26 be "fair and just" when it robs couples of their guaranteed Constitutional rights and gives them instead to something that has no awareness and no life experience upon which to decide anything?

“In an ideal world, Amendment 26, the Mississippi Personhood Amendment, would not be necessary,” McKibben said. “We should not have to define personhood -- it should be a given. But, unfortunately, there are folks out there are who want to kill the unborn for mostly selfish reasons. There are truly no unselfish reasons — although some may attempt a weak argument based on one’s perception of quality of life." 

In an ideal world, people like McKibben who don't know anything would ask questions until she has learned enough to intelligently speak on a subject. She is confusing the acknowledgment of a fetus as a human being with a fetus as a legal entity. There is a tremendous difference. As for the selfish reasons of these evil sluts who abort, I wonder if she's ever been forced to bear her rapist's (possibly even a father or grandfather's) child. I wonder if she's ever had to terminate a wanted pregnancy because her life was in danger. I wonder if she's ever had any kind of life experience that would give her authority to say such words.

McKibben said she feels this initiative is not unconstitutional, it only seeks to define “person.” “It will not outlaw birth control methods that prevent fertilization,” McKibben said. “It may effect methods work after fertilization that cause spontaneous abortions.”

What McKibben "feels" isn't worth a red cent. She is wrong for reasons that she either could not or did not articulate. She's also wrong about the birth control for reasons mentioned above. A lot of 26ers are supporting the amendment based on their "personal beliefs" and how they "feel" when they see pictures of cute babies. That is not a solid basis on which to make laws. And when she vacuously states:

The opposing side, of course, wants to confuse the electorate. They have dollars and an errant ideology at stake.

We'd like to remind her that her side has the money, the celebrities, and a rabid, religious ideology at much so, that her side has changed its FAQ page a number of times in order to deceive the voters. We've stuck to the same script because we're backing up our position with scientific and legal facts. We've also donated our time, efforts, and money into spreading our message because we do not have out-of-state financial backers who can ship in truckloads of propaganda materials for us.

Another citizen, Rebecca Haffey, says:

“I have not found any reason not to wholly support it as it is written right now, and I do not understand how someone who claims to be pro-life would not take this monumental opportunity to make positive change in the law. I am unequivocally pro-life, and if I were to not vote yes on 26, I would be a hypocrite.”

Unfortunately, Haffey buys into the fallacy that if one is pro-life, one must support 26. The number of pro-lifers in our anti-26 groups proves that this is untrue. One wonders why she has found no reason to support 26 - is it that she hasn't really read up on the law or is it that she hasn't lived long enough to experience a problem pregnancy? We cannot know but, if she is like most Mississippians, she naively believes that her favorite pro-family organizations and her pastor would never sell her out. Perhaps she will soon discover otherwise.

Then comes in our favorite, Nikki Langford. She is a psychology student at MSU, not a M.D. candidate as is obvious from her total lack of knowledge about how birth control works and that she buys into the pseudoscientific claim that abortion is traumatic. 

“Not to mention that if these women were using the birth control to begin with, abortions wouldn’t be needed. Plus, there is only one way to make sure you don’t get pregnant and if you’re not ready to have a baby, then you’re not ready for sex.”

Langford seems to be oblivious to the fact that 54% of women who have abortions had to do so because their birth control methods failed. She also seems to be ignorant of the fact that 61% of abortions are had by women who already have a child. It's hardly reasonable to tell a woman not to have sex with her husband when some religions tell her that it is her duty to gratify him sexually upon demand lest he be tempted to stray.

And about rape exceptions, Langford says:

“No, they will not be allowed to abort the baby, but in my many hours of research, I have found that this actually ends up being better for the mother anyways,” Langford said. “They can give the child up for adoption and not have to face the physically and psychologically traumatic experience of abortion. It is physically traumatic in that it damages the uterus and increases the likelihood of future miscarriages. Abortion is psychologically traumatic in that another negative experience -- the abortion -- is compounded onto the experience of the rape. There is a sense of guilt and shame that comes along with abortion where as mothers (rape victims) who chose adoption over abortion felt a sense of joy at having brought happiness to someone who could not have children.”

Langford apparently doesn't know that, according to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion complications requiring hospitalization are less than 1% and, when done in the first trimester, pose almost no risk to future pregnancies. They do not increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Abortion does not increase the risk of breast cancer. Most importantly, and this is something a psychology student should know, abortion poses no risk to a woman's mental health.

She continues to fail on basic biology by saying:

“It is dependent on but not part of the mother’s body,” Langford said. “To clarify this point, consider that 50 percent of developing babies (boys) have an X and a Y chromosome in each of their cells. They also have two eyes, two ears, a nose, a brain and male genitalia. If we are to believe that the child is part of the mother’s body, then we must accept that she has both male and female chromosomes, four eyes, four ears, two noses, two brains, and a set of male as well as female genitalia. Of course this is absurd.”

Well, of course it's absurd because it's nothing more than a strawman argument. We all know that the fetus is a separate entity from the mother but it is also part of her and cannot survive without using her tissues. And while it's true that a baby's sex is generally determined at fertilization by the presence of X or Y chromosomes, it's also true that the embryo is essentially female until the middle of week 6 when certain genes turn on the necessary hormones that will create male or female genitalia. Keep in mind also that defective Y chromosome males can develop into females so this biology is nowhere as simple and surefire as Langford states. Much of what the developing embryo will become is based on the environment of the womb so the rights and health of the mother must be considered.

We strongly suggest, therefore, that Langford switch her major to journalism and go work for the AFA or some other organization with substandard guidelines rather than pursue psychology any longer. It is clear that she lacks a basic understanding of science and a willingness to seek out the evidence before making authoritative statements. This is unacceptable in a scientist of any kind.

And we'd also like to wrap this up by suggesting that the Starkville Daily News and its writer, Gwen Sisson, should take some remedial journalism courses themselves. By publishing such sloppy opinion uncritically, they have done our community a major disservice. I urge everyone to let the paper know that this level of incompetence will not be tolerated. If SDN wants to give a bully pulpit to 26 supporters, they should at least have the stones to be honest about it. And if they want their newspaper to have the shoddy reputation of publications like the Daily Mail, then they are well on their way.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Because I Say So

If there's one thing a rational person hates, it's the appeal to authority. You'll find it employed by parents who don't want to parent, teachers who don't want to teach, and pastors who don't have any answers that they care to share.

In this video, we look at some of the arguments from authority from the BECAUSE I SAID SO crowd and give them their due. We believe that some people are so caught up in themselves, so in love with being on the "right side," that they've lost the ability to reason and to change. Let's be real here, the only way a person can reasonably think s/he is entitled to impose beliefs and values on everyone is if that person thinks s/he is absolutely right. My kids are beautiful, my pregnancy went fine, I waited until I was married, I never got caught, I have the right religion, I have a real relationship with God unlike those other folks, My pastor said so, I just personally believe've heard it all before. Those are justifications, not arguments, and they aren't worth a damn.

Watch your headsets as you thrash about in the milieu of self-centered assuredness to the beats of Duir's Killer. And for the kinder, gentler folk, we've included a vintage photo from the Deutsche Fotothek.

Most importantly, remember: nothing is true just because we say so!

Answers, Go!

Since Yeson26 swings such a big banhammer on their Facebook site, I thought it might be nice to answer a few questions from their supporters. Blast off into headspace with Sekula Wieslaw's "All Systems Go" and see if you agree with our answers. If not, let us know why. We always enjoy a lively discussion!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The McMillans and 26: What Everyone Needs to Know

This is my opinion based on the facts presented. It is not an argument against 26 specifically but rather a warning for people to be careful who they listen to.

So I was not very surprised to see that the executive director of the Christian Action Group in Jackson, Mr. C. Roy McMillan, wrote a letter to the Clarion Ledger and the Hattiesburg American newspaper. After all, the newspaper is a good way to get your opinion published provided that the newspaper editor likes what you have to say. What did surprise me was to find out that the exact same letter had been printed in the Daily Journal and in a local newspaper in our small town. Apparently, he submitted his letter to every freaking newspaper in the state.

When I first saw his name, I did not recognize it. I wondered briefly if he was kin to Beverly McMillan, one of the board members of Yeson26, who has written that, "I painfully agree that birth control pills do in fact cause abortions," and stopped issuing contraceptives in her clinic to both married and unmarried women. Then I forgot about it.

Now that he's writing a bit closer to home, I wanted to know more about him. What I found was not very encouraging. I don't want to engage in any kind of character assassination but I think this man's words speak clearly for him. So I'd like to give him the chance to (figuratively) cut his own throat here and I'd like to show you why I think this man is not pro-life and is not a good moral guide for anyone. McMillan writes:

In addition to my knowledge of basic biology/embryology and the historical Christian ethic of the sacredness of all human life, I speak as one who was adopted from an orphanage in 1943 after having been abandoned soon after birth.

McMillan has a degree in journalism, not medicine, so everything he has learned about "basic biology/embryology" is from his wife. I do not advocate getting important medical knowledge from someone who is not licensed to practice it. He also mentions the "Christian ethic of sacredness" without bothering to mention that not every Christian agrees with the Catholic Church's rigid dogma that "every sperm is sacred" or the anti-science view of some Biblical literalists that pregnancy begins at conception. So I find here no reason to put much stock in his claims so far.

I speak, also, from the unique perspective of a veteran "sidewalk counselor," trying to help pregnant mothers and their companions choose life as they enter Mississippi's abortion centers.

From what I read, his brand of "help" sounds more like harassment - especially when I found that by 2006 he had been arrested 65 times. And I can't imagine that he was very encouraging to these young women when he considers abortion to be the same as murder and those who have or do abortions are murderers. You don't counsel women by screaming at them, "Mommy, mommy, don't kill me!" and "Don't let them get their grubby bloody hands on you!" He also visited the abortion doctors' neighbors to let them know an "abortionist" was in town. As he described it, "We have a duty to expose wickedness."

I can't imagine that he was much help to anyone in the black community either despite the facade since he once said the state's high rate of unplanned pregnancy was because of "the moral degeneration of the black culture, and I submit it's caused by the welfare mentality." It's kind of hard to feel good about yourself when your gender and your race are on trial.

It's also rather telling that McMillan's "counseling" partner often felt he was too abrasive and turned women away from their cause with his ranting. The National Women's Health Clinic President called his actions "abuse," saying that he yelled at other pro-lifers as well as the patients.

What I have not seen is a mother gleefully exiting the center after undergoing an abortion appearing "emancipated." We know the devastation that will follow.

First, you won't see a woman joyously skipping away from an abortion because it's a very important, sometimes life-altering decision and it can be an invasive medical procedure. I wouldn't expect McMillan to know that from experience since he doesn't have a uterus and will never get pregnant. However, you'd think with his wife's instruction in "basic biology" that he'd have some clue.

Also, we don't know that "devastation" will follow. Some women have struggled after their abortions. Some have not. Each experience is very personal to the woman who made the choice. It is not a decision that most women make lightly as the extremists would like us to believe.

What is the purpose of government? The first purpose of civil government is to protect its innocent citizens, especially those in the dawn and dusk of life.

Actually, government's purpose is to secure the rights of its citizens. Whether you like it or not, that includes a woman's liberty to decide what's in her best interests medically. Life certainly is an important right but it is not, in and of itself, the most important right. As Patrick Henry rightly said, "Give me liberty or give me death." Our founders and the American people risked their fortunes and their lives for liberty - they knew that life without liberty was worthless.

This is one reason why I think Roe was rightly decided. It weighs the mother's liberty against the unborn's life. The longer the fetus lives, the greater its rights become until, near the end, its right to life is equal to (but never more than) the rights of the mother. But I digress...

In order to give God a reason to hear our prayers and heal our land, the killing of the holy innocents must end!

Well, we don't make laws in this land so that a particular religion can be happy. We have freedom of religion. McMillan needs to buy an island and set up his own theocracy if he wants law based on religion. Also, who ever said that the unborn were "holy innocents"? My copy of the Bible doesn't say that ANYWHERE. The word "innocent" is used 38 times in 37 verses and I couldn't find where it was used in reference to the unborn specifically. In fact, it says "There is none righteous, no not one." McMillan doesn't seem to know his Bible any better than he knows his biology. He's just repeating Catholic doctrine and we don't make laws favoring Catholicism.

But this is not the most troubling part. The thing that angers me is that this clown is masquerading as a "pro-life" guy when he appears to be nothing of the sort. Yes, he is against abortion. And yes, he is against the death penalty. No doubt that comes from his family converting from Southern Baptist to Catholicism. I give him full points for being consistent in this regard, but what I cannot ignore is that he claims that murdering abortion doctors is justifiable.

His business cards proudly proclaim, "If you believe abortion is murder... ACT like it's murder." That might not seem so odd at first but it's chilling when you consider it along with his signature on a defensive action statement for the acquittal of Michael Griffin, a "pro-lifer" who murdered Dr. David Gunn as well as his ties to Paul Hill, another "pro-lifer" who was executed in 2003 for murdering two other abortion doctors.  The statement McMillan signed simply says:

We, the undersigned, declare the justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life including the use of force. We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child. We assert that if Michael Griffin did in fact kill David Gunn, his use of lethal force was justifiable provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children. Therefore, he ought to be acquitted of the charges against him.

Paul Hill and Scott Roeder (the man who murdered Dr. George Tiller in his church) are labeled "Anti-Abortion Heroes of the Faith" on the Army of God website. They are a radical "pro-life" group who only appears to care about life so long as it's in the womb - so much so, in fact, that they consider birth control to be "evil." That McMillan would defend such a deprivation of life and due process reveals his claims of "pro-life" and "patriot" for the shams they really are. McMillan can say all day that he doesn't condone violence but the fact is that he did so and in writing. For this reason I consider him to be an apologist for domestic terrorism.

And so, let me just say that I have absolutely no intention of letting someone as immoral as C. Roy McMillan make my voting choices for me. And I have absolutely no intention of letting his wife sit on the Yeson26 advisory board and claim on one hand that the threats against birth control are "scare tactics" while she has publicly stated that the pill is an abortifacient and banned it from her practice. I find these two people, in this regard at least, to be unethical and dishonest and I do not appreciate the way in which they are working hard to deceive Mississippi voters about initiative 26.

For more information, check out the links here and here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Appetizers: Do It Right

We've all heard the ugly names and slurs by now. We've all heard the claim that the good and virtuous people will vote YES on 26 while the evil, baby-killing, abortionists will vote NO.

I don't know about you but I'm sick their logical fallacies, misinformation, and outright lies.

People need to understand that it's ok to say NO. Just as it is with children, there is a "good touch" and a "bad touch." Laws that demand that we women forcibly donate our bodies, our tissues, our blood, and possibly our lives to support another one is definitely a "bad touch."

Yes, there is a better way, Mississippi, and we can find it together through education - not coercion. Chill to the beats of "Do It Right" and spread the message.


and it's always ok to ask questions!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flip-Floppin' on the Pill-Poppin'

A frightening look at the ministry behind the website quoted by the Personhood Booklet which was written for the campaign on the subject of birth control.

Read and cringe while you teeter on the verge of insanity with Dissolved's "Afraid Like a Halo"

Please share our posts and videos so we can get the word out about this dangerous initiative!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Appetizers: One Choice

It's just this simple, folks. When you clear away the talking points, this one fact remains.

Enjoy IceCold by Jason Shaw.
Photos by: Dave Hogg & N8tron

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Care Tactics

Enjoy this take-down of Yeson26's claim about the criminalization of miscarriages while listening to the righteous fury of Smersh's She Is Nervous.

If you have any requests for future videos along these lines, please comment, send email, or contact us on Facebook. If you like our work and think it is accurate, please share it with everyone.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Science of Life

Our first video presentation examining the claims of

We were intending to specifically critique the version on's website. However, we had to get our source material from the YouTube version. Imagine our surprise to find out near the end that the two versions were not the same! Yeson26 scrubbed all the Bible verses and God references. 

Now why would they do that?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Personhood Pastor Strikes!

Personhood Pastor Strikes!
by: Tweenky_Dee

A wild pro-lifer appears and messes with the wrong nurse. (Transcript below)

Thanks to Lilly Gabriella for making us aware of

Pastor:  Excuse me, ma'am. I'd like to encourage you to vote yes on the Personhood Amendment this November.

Nurse:  Why would I vote to make a zygote a legal person? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.

Pastor:  You should vote yes because life begins at conception.

Nurse: Oh really? What's your proof?

Pastor: Well, at the moment of fertilization, a new and unique human being is created.

Nurse: No, at the moment of fertilization, a zygote is formed that has the potential to become a person, or two, or zero. Also, the zygote is not genetically unique until meiosis takes place. That happens some time after fertilization.

Pastor: I don't know what meiosis is.

Nurse: Well, it’s…

Pastor: Never mind. The point is that you should vote yes on 26 because we want to protect innocent life.

Nurse: Are you for the death penalty?

Pastor: Yes…

Nurse: Do you support our military efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan?

Pastor: Of course! I always support our troops.

Nurse: Well, we've executed many innocent people in the past few years and we've bombed civilians and killed many innocent children. It doesn't sound like you're very "pro-life" to me.

Pastor: Now don't try to sidetrack me. This initiative is about ending abortion and cloning.
Nurse: Why are you so scared of cloning? It happens in nature all the time! Do you know what we call a natural-born clone?

Pastor: What?

Nurse: A twin.

Pastor: Look, I don't understand this science stuff. All I know for sure is that God isn't going to keep turning a blind eye to the murder of millions of innocent babies!

Nurse: The Bible says no one is innocent, doesn't it? Otherwise, there would be no need for Jesus.

Pastor: You know what I mean! You know in your heart that abortion is murder and murder is wrong!

Nurse: What I know is that the issue isn't as black and white as your simplistic mind wants to think. Life isn't an on or off switch - it's a gradient. Furthermore, legal personhood is about much more than simply being human. It's about being able to fulfill your duties as well as exercising your rights. How can a zygote be responsible for anything?

Pastor: So now you're trying to trip me up with law. Planned Parenthood must have paid you an awful lot to harass me like this.

Nurse: Yeah, they sent me a potential check and said it's just as valid as a real one. I'm going to cash it this afternoon.

Pastor: You're mocking me, aren't you?

Nurse: Yes, it's too easy and tempting to resist. You're trying to do something that makes no legal sense and could have many unfortunate consequences. Also, the lack of exceptions in this initiative seem very immoral to me. No exceptions for rape or incest? Really?

Pastor: The child shouldn't be punished for the sins of the father. We must protect women from abortion!

Nurse: But you guys are always telling us that humans are being punished for Adam's sin and that's why we need a savior. Also, you guys say you don't want big government protecting people from failure and then you want to turn around and "protect" women from theirs. I wish you guys would make up your mind about what you believe.

Pastor: It's clear to me that you are a pro-death person. You obviously love abortions. How much money do you make off murdering babies? I'm going to unfriend you and tell everyone how awful you are!

Nurse: Umm....ok. Was there something else you wanted?

Pastor: Yeah, uh, are you free to go out with me Friday night? Drinks, dancing, a little fun?

Nurse: Are you asking me out?
Pastor: Yeah…

Nurse: Let me make sure I understand. You support legislation to take away my reproductive rights and my ability to make my own medical decisions. And then you ask me out?

Pastor: Yeah, something wrong with that?

Nurse: Honey, you might as well go home and cuddle up with that big Yes on 26 yard sign because these legs are closed to you FOREVER! Goodbye.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Just the FAQs, Ma'am

Since has had such a hard time getting their FAQs straight (pun intended), I thought it might be fun to rewrite it for them in a way that I feel is more honest and more clear. This is my opinion of their stance based on their language and the words of their supporters. It is a parody. I hope you find it interesting.

When Proposition 26, the Mississippi Personhood Amendment, passes in November....

"Will Personhood outlaw contraceptives?"
WE SURE HOPE SO! We've been telling everyone that it won't since that's not very popular - even in Mississippi. But we made sure the language of the amendment is clear that life begins at fertilization so, when doctors are called to testify as expert witnesses, they must inform the court that the Pill and IUDs can affect the ability of the embryo to implant, thus rendering them illegal. We're pretty sure that our supporters are too stupid to understand this and won't believe it when someone tells them.

"Will Personhood end in-vitro fertilization, which helps couples who want to become pregnant?"
WE SURE HOPE SO! In the Bible, if women were barren, they rightly went to God for assistance. If He has decided that a woman is infertile, then so be it. She's probably deep in her sin and God is punishing her. Or else maybe he's going to make an example of her and open her womb later in life. Either way, man should not play God.

"Will Personhood prevent a doctor from saving the life of a mother with a problem pregnancy?"
WHO CARES? Our ideology is way more important that making sure women come through a pregnancy safely.

"Will Personhood result in the criminal prosecution of a woman who suffers a miscarriage?"
WHO CARES? If she didn't do anything wrong, she doesn't have anything to worry about. This is about protecting the unborn, not the born.

"Will Personhood end abortion and cloning in Mississippi?"
YES, HALLELUJAH! When that one Planned Parenthood clinic that doesn't even do abortions is shut down for good, we'll put a crisis pregnancy center there and get federal funding. As for cloning, what is that anyway?

"What about rape or incest?"
WHAT ABOUT IT? She was probably asking for it. You know how sluts are. She should be grateful that we're allowing her the chance to get 18 years of welfare and food stamps...for now.

"Will Personhood increase health care costs in Mississippi?"
YES but who cares? Worthy citizens have jobs and insurance. The unworthy can put their kids up for adoption. Maybe if we repeal the child labor laws, we can get these kids working for next to nothing.

"Doesn't the Personhood ballot language leave unanswered questions?"
YES but don't you worry about it. Everything is in God's hands and it isn't right to question His will. Besides, it's better to err on the side of life, right? Right?

"Will the Mississippi Personhood Amendment overturn Roe v. Wade?"
NOT YET but that's the plan. Of course, if we ever manage to do that, we're going to have to find a new cash cow to milk. Hmm, what right should we take away in God's name next?

"Will Personhood take away a woman's 'Right to Choose'?"
YES, HALLELUJAH! Because everything's gone to pot since those women got the right to vote, to work, and to decide when to have kids. Before that, they were slaves to their biology and, in essence, to their menfolk. If we can get them back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, the world will be a better place for us men. Hell, with all the job openings that will come available once that happens, our economy will be on the fast track again.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

To Err on the Side of Life

How many times lately have I heard some mealy-mouthed supporter of 26 say, "Well, I don't know anything about [insert fact here], but I'm going to err on the side of life."? If you've been participating at all in this conversation, I'm sure you've seen or heard that defense more than once.

The only problem is that it's largely untrue. Now, granted, there are a few people out there - probably mostly Catholics - who have thought about it and they really do mean what they say. I recognize that and I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about the rest of the crowd who is pulling out their hair about "life" when it comes to the unborn but doesn't give a damn about what happens to that "life" once it comes into this world. 

You know these folks: they are the ones that want to cut funding for vital social safety nets for mothers and children in need. No more medicaid, no more CHIPs, no more welfare, no more food stamps - why can't these sluts just keep their legs closed? No more money for education - why are these useless kids graduating with no knowledge and no skills? No more money for unemployment or college aid - let these loser kids sign up for the military. Might make a man out of 'em. We didn't breed 'em, don't need 'em, & ain't gonna feed 'em. 

Sure, let's sign these unwanted, problem kids up for "overseas adventures." Let's give them inferior training, subpar equipment, and send them to the desert for our ideology. Let's order them to drop bombs and shoot guns on brown children. Let's blow off those kids' arms and legs because they aren't "life." They don't count. And when those veterans come back from war, let's take away their government-run healthcare and cut off their access to mental health services so they can't recover from the trauma. Well, it's not trauma really. If the "life" is a different color, a different religion, or speaks a strange language, then it's not really a life, right?

And if one of those kids is arrested through sloppy police work, no worries. He was probably guilty of something. So what if his Fourth Amendment rights were violated? We need to make sure we're safe! So what if he's wrongly convicted and sent to death row? Are we going to "err on the side of life" like we've always claimed? Hell, no! Stick the needle in his arm and be damned because justice must be done. Someone's gotta pay.

Folks, don't let 26 supporters get away with saying this. Most of them are NOT willing to "err on the side of life" when that life is already born. Press them. Ask them. Make them clarify their position. Expose this lie for what it is. Most of these people are not willing to throw any kind of life preserver to those already-born who are in need. I think we deserve to know why not.

Friday, October 7, 2011

If at First You Don't Succeed, Lie, Lie Again! must have built their website on shifting sands because they've done more put-ups, take-downs, and redos of their FAQ than one would probably consider necessary. After all, if the issue of personhood is so simple and obvious, then a simple and straightforward FAQ should have served them well throughout their entire campaign. As we've seen here, however, Yeson26 had to walk back their language on birth control when they discovered that Mississippians actually want to keep their rights to contraceptives such as the Pill and IUDs. Then they had to revamp that FAQ into a decent looking flyer form for easy distribution that guaranteed that the Pill and IUDs wouldn't be threatened (even though their original language implied that they would).

Now it appears that something struck another nerve because they've put the language back onto their FAQ page - well, some of it...sort of. Let's take a look at the old FAQ (pre 9/21), the new FAQ (9/21), the flyer FAQ (post 9/21), and the new-new FAQ (post 10/06) each category:

Ectopic/Fatal Pregnancies



Flyer FAQ

Since Yeson26's original statement that "every effort be made to save both lives" was ludicrous, they had to walk it back a bit. Ectopic pregnancies are fatal to women if the embryo is not removed and the embryos are almost never viable. I found three cases where live birth occurred after laparotomy and, in all three of those cases, the fetus grew outside the womb but not in the Fallopian tubes as is normal in these pregnancies. When an embryo grows in the Fallopian tube, it will die and the mother will die a painful death as well if nothing is done. The problem is that Yeson26 wants you to think that these dangerous pregnancies are so rare that they almost never happen. They seem to imply that when these cases occur, doctors could save the embryo but just choose to abort for some reason. We've already heard Brian Fischer claim that fatal pregnancies just don't exist in the medical literature and we've seen the numbers proving him dead wrong.

Intended Consequences: This is a solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist. The decisions aren't hard to make. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy when a woman is dying, you remove the embryo and you save her life. 

Unintended Consequences: When the mother needs aggressive medicine or treatment for pregnancy complications or other medical conditions such as cancer, will she be unable by law to use treatments that might harm the fetus? If she and the doctor choose to risk those treatments to save her life and the fetus has birth defects or is stillborn, will mother and doctor both face criminal charges?

Birth Control



Flyer FAQ

So after walking back their harsh wording against the Pill, IUDs, and prostaglandin suppositories, Yeson26 reinstated that language verbatim. I would truly love to know how they reconcile "NO! The Personhood Amendment will not ban the use of hormonal contraceptives, including most forms of the 'Pill.'" with "We are opposed to those birth control methods which act as abortifacients. These could include forms of the pill which act to prevent implantation..."

They tried to pretend that the "form of the Pill" they wanted to ban was RU486 (mifepristone) and the "morning-after pill" but if that's true, why have separate categories for contraception and RU486/morning-after? Also, if it's true that they don't want to ban oral contraceptives, how can they justify banning the morning-after pill since it's usually nothing more than a very high dose of oral contraceptive?

Intended consequences: Yeson26 claims that they simply want to ban abortifacients but the language of the amendment clearly leaves the law open to ban oral contraceptives, IUDs, and prostaglandin suppositories (the same suppositories used to help women deliver their babies in healthy pregnancies). Why a pro-life person would want to risk eliminating birth control, ban important medicine for safe deliveries, and cause abortion rates to rise is simply beyond me.

Unintended consequences: Regardless of what they claim, their language and intent is clear. They want to get rid of birth control and they'll rewrite their FAQ however they need to in order to make you think otherwise. When emergency contraception is banned by 26, unwanted pregnancies - particularly those caused by rape - will rise. If you can read, you should be able to understand why the language of 26 is a clear threat to birth control.

Rape & Incest


Flyer FAQ

Speaking of rape, I find it fascinating that Yeson26 appeals to us for justice for the "innocent" child - that we shouldn't punish the child for the sins of the father. That's odd because this is by and large the same group of people who keep telling us that God is punishing us for Adam's sin.

It's also amazing to me that they don't really consider the innocent rape victim. And when they write, "In the case of rape, we assert the need to educate women to seek immediate medical attention after they are victimized." Well what good is that going to do when you've banned the morning-after pill?

I'm glad that some rape victims have carried their rapist's baby to term and we able to make something good out of it. However, there is a big difference between choosing to carry your rapist's baby and being forced to do so. That only serves to further traumatize the woman with emotional violence and shame. They may say that, "Two wrongs don't make a right," but it's also true that, "Two rapes don't make a right." When you force a rape victim to bear that child - when you force yourself into her uterus and take away her ability to consent, you've raped her again.

Intended consequences: Make rape victims bear their rapist's child..

Unintended consequences: Rise in illegal abortions, infanticides, and suicides.

In-Vitro Fertilization


Flyer FAQ

IVF was not mentioned in the Old FAQ but people raised enough hell about it that Yeson26 was forced to address it. They claim that IVF won't be banned but any unused embryos will have to be saved. This reflects either a full misunderstanding of how IVF works or willful ignorance. I highly recommend this account from a mother who has two lovely children as a result of IVF so you can understand more about how IVF is done and why it's done that way.

Intended Consequences: Prevent the destruction of unused embryos.

Unintended Consequences: Make IVF so difficult and expensive that it will no longer be available in Mississippi. Or, if all embryos must be implanted under the law, the chances for dangerous multiple births will be greatly enhanced.


It's all well and good for me to keep presenting these facts to you but there are some people who just don't care about facts. They believe whatever their preacher tells them the Bible says and they will vote how they're told to come hell or high water.  These people delete comments and refuse to back up their assertions because they truly don't know the facts. They don't think they need to know anything because "God said so." They simply cannot debate an issue that they really don't understand. 

These people make up a huge voting bloc in Mississippi.

The chances that a single one of them is reading this is minuscule, I know, but I'm going to close with just one more idea.

A few years ago, something terrible was happening to innocent people in America. Something had to be done. We trusted the government to craft a law to protect us and interpret that law in ways that would guarantee our safety.

What we got instead was the PATRIOT Act and the complete disestablishment of our Fourth Amendment rights. What we got was warrantless wiretaps, assassinations of target citizens, data mining of our phone calls and emails, lists of our library book checkouts, seizure and detaining of American citizens without due process and without right to counsel.

We thought this law would save us. We thought it would only affect the scary brown people with the funny last names. We trusted the government to obey the written word. 

Instead, Congress wrote a blank check, the Executive branch cashed it, the courts upheld it, and now we are all bankrupt.

Amendment 26 may well work the same way. You may cause the very problem you're trying to correct. Do you really trust the government to uphold this law in a way that benefits you? That benefits most of us? Do you trust the courts to interpret this law in a way that will safeguard your rights? Do you think a zealous prosecutor will care one bit about you when he's looking to put another notch on his belt so he can appear "tough on crime" to the public?

If you trust the family organizations to push what's best for you, you're stupid. They only care about dollars. Yeson26 can say anything they want to on their page but they have ZERO control over how 26 would be enforced and interpreted. They cannot guarantee you anything.

If you trust the government to do what's best for you, you're stupid. They only care about dollars. If the pro-life politicians in Mississippi gave a damn about embryos, they'd have passed this legislation themselves. Instead, they got the people to do their dirty work while they rake in the money and the votes. They aren't going to guarantee you anything.

If you want to be a responsible citizen and safeguard your own rights, you'd best think very carefully about what you're voting for in the days to come. And if you refuse to do this thinking, if you refuse to engage, if you delete comments and disregard facts, if you're too lazy or afraid to take a stand, then you don't deserve any rights and you probably won't have them for long.

Don't be mad at me for saying it. I'm just paraphrasing Ben Franklin - a man who knew more than a little about republics and how they ultimately fall.