Most of us were thrilled to see the end of the 112th Congress come to pass and the end to all the onerous bills that were proposed during that session. It would seem, however, that a number of members of the GOP’s “REPUBLIBAN” learned nothing from the election and are once again trudging forward in their attempts to once again define life as beginning with fertilization of an egg. To that end, they have once again re-introduced the “Sanctity of Human Life” bill, HR23, on January 3, 2013. That bill has subsequently been referred to the House Judiciary committee.
Thus far, eighteen members of the REPUBLIBAN have signed on as co-sponsors:
- Carter, John [R-TX31]
- Conaway, Michael [R-TX11]
- Farenthold, Blake [R-TX27]
- Fleming, John [R-LA4]
- Franks, Trent [R-AZ8]
- Gibbs, Bob [R-OH7]
- Gingrey, Phil [R-GA11]
- Huelskamp, Tim [R-KS1]
- Jones, Walter [R-NC3]
- Palazzo, Steven [R-MS4]
- Pearce, Stevan “Steve” [R-NM2]
- Roby, Martha [R-AL2]
- Roe, David [R-TN1]
- Rogers, Harold “Hal” [R-KY5]
- Ryan, Paul [R-WI1]
- Terry, Lee [R-NE2]
- Westmoreland, Lynn [R-GA3]
- Kline, John [R-MN2]
Even though a single-cell fertilized egg cannot support itself, H.R. 23 would exploit our legislative process to impose a specific religious definition of human life in place of the commonly accepted medical one. It is ludicrous that zealots would choose to bestow full constitutional rights to a single cell, while at the same time, they’re actually pursuing legal action to deny rights to an entire class of U.S. Citizens — the LGBT community at large.
The result of passage of a bill such as this would be a host of complications :
- There is no absolute guarantee that fertilization will result in “pregnancy.” How are they going to enforce the implantation of a fertilized egg to a uterine wall? What’s next, that if we fail to get pregnant, we’ll be subjected to mandatory monitoring of our vaginal secretions to see if we just happen to pass a fertilized egg? Then what? Will we be charged with murder or some other ludicrous charge of failure to “whatever”?
- What happens if a woman has a miscarriage? Will she be investigated to see if she willfully caused the miscarriage and thus the death of the cell, embryo, or fetus? Will they then devise increasing penalties based on the degree of development?
- If they define life upon egg fertilization, it ends “all” abortions, including rape, incest, and the life of the mother. So here’s the conundrum: If the egg/embryo/fetus is killing the mother, are they going to charge the egg/embryo/fetus with murder when she dies or are they just going to say, “well, it must have been God’s will”?
- Abortion would no longer be legal in the United States but would continue to be legal elsewhere in the World. Are they going to pull the passports of women during their child-bearing years? What happens if they find out she left the US and got an abortion in another country? Would she be arrested upon coming through customs? What If the pregnancy she aborted abroad resulted initially from rape? Would the rapist have a cause of action against her, essentially violating her twice?
- These guys continually rant about needing to enact “comprehensive” legislation, yet they’ve failed to address the issue of taxation as part of this bill. If the fertilized egg is granted full constitutional rights, why hasn’t a tax deduction been authorized for that fertilized egg?
- How will it affect in-vitro fertilization? Doctors currently implant more than one egg to get at least one to take. Then if too many take, they use a procedure called selective reduction to reduce the number of embryos to a realistic number the woman can carry to term (usually one or two). The cost would go up immensely in that only one cell could be fertilized and implanted at a time, else leftover embryos, with their newly legislated “right to life” would have no uteri in which to thrive. What would then happen to doctor or lab that fertilized those eggs? What happens to the woman who get’s implanted but can’t bring the that implanted egg to term?
- What happens when that fertilized egg fails to develop as expected, or when that baby is born with birth defects? Is the state going to sue the mother for somehow harming that developing fetus while in utero, thus causing those defects? Is that just genetics and the luck of the draw, or was it “her” fault some how and blame needs to be lain?
- And then, of course, there’s birth control … you know, those little pills that make the uterus hostile to the implantation of a fertilized egg. Well, you can kiss those goodbye. Hope you’re good at using the rhythm method or you’ll be having one baby after another — or worse — you’ll be being investigated either for one miscarriage after another, or for “failure to provide a nurturing uterus.”
REPUBLIBAN zealots think “life” is a black or white issue. It’s just NOT that simple. There are a myriad of grays in that analysis and no absolutes. As fond as they are of referring to their sacred “constitution” … maybe they should take a few minutes to read it, and finally realize that women have a constitutional right of freedom from being oppressed by their religion and we also have a constitutional right of privacy in our bedrooms. I’m sorry, but I am a female, a woman, a member of the human race, not just an incubator for some man’s seed. “It’s looking more like women need to start taking early pregnancy tests to the voting booth — and if the test comes out positive, they need to start demanding to get two votes.” (Karen Webb, Oklahoma Observer)
Here’s a copy of the text of the bill:
113th CONGRESS — 1st Session — H. R. 23 — January 3, 2013
To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. BROUN of Georgia (for himself, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. PALAZZO, Mr. HUELSKAMP, Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky, Mr. TERRY, Mr. CARTER, Mr. WESTMORELAND, Mr. FARENTHOLD, Mr. JONES, Mr. ROE of Tennessee, Mr. GIBBS, Mr. GINGREY of Georgia, Mrs. ROBY, Mr. PEARCE, Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin, Mr. CONAWAY, and Mr. FLEMING) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Sanctity of Human Life Act’.
SEC. 2. DECLARATION.
In the exercise of the powers of the Congress, including Congress’ power under article I, section 8 of the Constitution, to make necessary and proper laws, and Congress’ power under section 5 of the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States–
(1) the Congress declares that–
(A) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person; and
(B) the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and
(2) the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
For purposes of this Act:
(1) FERTILIZATION- The term ‘fertilization’ means the process of a human spermatozoan penetrating the cell membrane of a human oocyte to create a human zygote, a one-celled human embryo, which is a new unique human being.
(2) CLONING- The term ‘cloning’ means the process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, that combines an enucleated egg and the nucleus of a somatic cell to make a human embryo.
(3) HUMAN; HUMAN BEING- The terms ‘human’ and ‘human being’ include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, beginning with the earliest stage of development, created by the process of fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent.