Last time I checked personhood initiatives have been pretty roundly rejected everywhere they’ve been proposed. Yet, nonetheless, the principle behind “personhood”–that fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses should be treated as completely, legally separate from the pregnant women–has already worked its way into the legal system.
And, as we’ve always known and this report makes crystal clear, the consequences–which are already being felt by the most vulnerable women under our racist criminal justice system–go far beyond outlawing abortion or even birth control. As Lynn Paltrow notes, personhood initiatives would “subject all pregnant women to surveillance, arrest, incarceration, and other deprivations of liberty whether women seek to end a pregnancy or not.”
Because there’s simply no way to give fertilized eggs full constitutional rights without taking some away from pregnant women.