Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Beauty of the Personhood Amendment

Finally, somebody did it.

Instead of diddling around the margins of the abortion question, playing elaborate political chess with parental notifications and ultrasound requirements and waiting periods, the Sovereign State of Mississippi has placed on the ballot for November 8 an amendment to the state constitution that would simply clarify:

The term “person” or “persons” shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.

I humbly submit to you that this is exactly what the pro-life movement needs to be doing…needed to be doing all along.

It's Philosophically Sound

Perhaps the greatest beauty of the Personhood Amendment is that it does nothing more than to state simply and succinctly the core truth—the beautiful, life-affirming truth—of the pro-life movement: A human being is a person even before she or he is born. Even Horton the Elephant can understand this simple, timeless truth.

Detractors really don't know how to respond to the profundity and simplicity of this amendment. The best that they can do is to refuse to enter the conversation about whether your baby was a person while she was in your womb. I've read scores of articles and heard or watched dozens of interviews and panel discussions about the Personhood Amendment, and I've yet to come across a single one that ever featured any serious attempt by the pro-abortion crowd to assert that an unborn baby is not a person and to offer any biological argument as to why that might be the case. They just don't have an answer.

Consider, for example, today's article in the New York Times entitled, "Mississippi's Ambiguous Personhood Amendment." Before delving at all into the text of the article, let's consider the implication of the title. You just read the complete text of the amendment. Was "ambiguous" the word that came to mind when you read that simple sentence? Liberals never cease to amaze me; liberal lawyers all the more so. There is a class of people in our society who will defend socialist texts like the 907-page Obamacare act, containing gems like:

For years after 2014, if the Secretary of Health and Human Services determine it to be appropriate, the Secretary may incorporate participation in a Maintenance of Certification Program and successful completion of a qualified Maintenance of Certification Program practice assessment into the composite of measures of quality of care furnished pursuant to the physician fee schedule payment modifier, as described in section 1848(p)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w—4(p)(2)). [As added by section 10327(b)].

A sentence like that one doesn't strike these authors as ambiguous, or at the very least not as ambiguous enough to motivate them to pick up their pens, but the simple sentence given above—entirely unmistakeable in its meaning—merits an entire article in the New York Times to explain how "ambiguous" it really is. In fact, these lawyers are not satisfied to call this amendment merely ambiguous; it is, somehow in their minds, "profoundly ambiguous."

I submit to you that it is only after years of law school that you can see "profound ambiguity" in simple truths like those expressed in the Mississippi Personhood Amendment. Profound? Yes. Profoundly ambiguous? Not at all. That's what they find so scary about it.

Moving beyond the title, what are the specific arguments advanced in this article? First, the authors suggest that we can't declare human beings to be persons from fertilization onward because we don't really know what fertilization is (my high-school science teacher is in BIG trouble the next time I see him). Fertilization, they say, is actually a gradual process rather than an instantaneous occurrence. For a more rigorous treatment of this question, see Phillip G. Peters Jr., "The Ambiguous Meaning of Human Conception", in the UC Davis Law Review. The case being made here is that the law is ambiguous because the phrase "the moment of fertilization" is ambiguous.

I find this argument to be disingenuous for several reasons.

  1. It's a bad argument because, until language achieves perfection, there will ALWAYS be some small level of ambiguity in EVERY law. The question is not whether some cloistered activist legal-academic team can find a way to argue ambiguity; they question is whether this law is more ambiguous than other laws—than the legal status quo that it replaces.

    Fertilization is a process? I submit to you that BIRTH IS A PROCESS. Why are our authors not bothered by using the ambiguous process of birth as a demarcation for personhood when they are so troubled by the use of the "ambiguous" process of fertilization?

  2. It's a bad argument because, if you want to get downright picky about it, every natural phenomenon is a process rather than a momentary event. You turned on your light switch? What ensued was a process, not a momentary event. You ran a stop sign? Process. You murdered your boss? Process. You refused to pay your taxes? Process.

    If we can't mark moments in time that are actually, in arcane technical analysis, processes in some way or another and then base laws upon those "momentary" occurrences, then we can't have laws at all.

  3. It's a bad argument because we have a great system for resolving minor ambiguities in law—our court system. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America was, in some sense, ambiguous. By that, I mean to say that we've had to have a lot of court cases, many of which have gone all the way to the Supreme Court, that have had to define the precise meaning of the First Amendment as applied to actual cases. Would Cohen and Will throw out every "ambiguous" amendment? Goodbye, Bill of Rights.

    And perhaps this is the worst indictment of this terrible article: Law professors should know better…have to know better, really. They TEACH their students every semester about the beauty of this legal system that works out over time the unavoidable ambiguities of legal language. Real ambiguity is something that law professors love. Ambiguity is to a constitutional lawyer what water is to a fish.

    Indeed, the ambiguities of the process of "birth" have been worked out in case law. A person has been born and is a person (at least in some jurisdictions) when she or he is completely outside of the mother's body and has taken a first breath. That definition isn't in the Fourteenth Amendment, but these authors aren't decrying the Fourteenth Amendment as "profoundly ambiguous." We worked out the details along the way. That's the way our legal system works. Law professors ought to know that.

  4. Finally, this first argument is a bad argument because alignment with truth and justice is a higher purpose for law than is the elimination of ambiguity. This much is clear in science: Attaching personhood to the first drawing of breath outside the womb is dramatically too late. Human beings are human beings LONG before then. Even if birth were less of a process—less ambiguous—than fertilization (and I've shown pretty conclusively that it is not), an ambiguously just and true law is superior to an unambiguously unjust and false law.

    The authors don't want to interact with that idea. They devote not even a sentence to address the question of whether these are living human beings deserving of basic constitutional protections due to persons. That's the key underlying question, but they must avoid it at all costs.

Second, the article argues that the implications of this amendment are not entirely known beforehand.

OK. Again, I submit that this is true about EVERY amendment and every law. Do Cohen and Will believe that the Founding Fathers anticipated a ban on school prayer when they adopted the First Amendment? The federal government wasn't involved in education at all in 1791. Do they believe that the Fourteenth Amendment was written with a right to abortion in mind? What doublespeak! Defenders of Roe are all about celebrating the opportunity for unelected, unaccountable jurists to create new "implications" of law that were entirely unanticipated by the authors of legal prose.

What frightens these people about the Mississippi Personhood Amendment are the KNOWN implications of the amendment, not the mysterious ones. The amendment doesn't necessarily make abortion illegal in Mississippi. It is legal to kill those who are legal persons, in some circumstances. The law simply has to spell out the legal reasons why it is not a denial of due process to kill a legal person. If the amendment passes, pro-abortion hacks will set about immediately to craft laws that spell out when it is legally justifiable to murder an unborn person.

But it will be the lasting impact of this amendment that in order to do so, they will have to tell the truth: They will have to acknowledge that they are murdering an unborn person, for whatever reason. THAT is the major implication of this amendment. And with their second argument, Cohen and Will rested their case.

By the way, if you are a Southern Baptist in Mississippi, this anti-Personhood-Amendment article that we've been discussing is an example of your Cooperative Program dollars at work: Co-author Jonathan F. Will is a professor at CP-supported Mississippi College.

It's Pragmatically Sensible

This amendment is not a new idea. Elements within the pro-life movement have resisted ideas like this one for years, endorsing instead a strategy of incremental changes to existing abortion law (waiting periods, parental notification, mandatory ultrasounds, mandatory counseling, etc.). Their rationale has been that it is not pragmatically sensible to try something as "radical" as constitutional amendments defining unborn human beings as legal persons.

This fact reveals the lack of common-sense wisdom that plagues so much "political science" these days.

Here are the pragmatic realities: Any pro-life legislation, no matter how incremental, is going to face the unrestrained wrath and campaign prowess of the pro-abortion lobby in the USA. No matter how small the action, opponents are going to brand every action as "just one step toward the ultimate goal of reversing Roe." And they're right! And people know it!

The result is that the pro-life movement looks disingenuous. We face no weaker an opposition force for these piecemeal attempts, and on those occasions when we win, we gain very little, if anything at all.

This amendment is a stroke of political genius. Simple truths are the easiest ones to sell, and this amendment embodies a very simple truth. It is reminiscent of the efforts to extend civil rights to African Americans and gains strength from that fact. It places opponents in the unenviable position of having to argue which human beings aren't really persons in order to mount any strong campaign against the amendment.

It's Politically Achievable

Because this amendment simply states a profound truth, it is inspirational. People who love life and love babies can rally around this amendment, because it so beautifully states something that we know to be true and about which we are passionate. I would support a "parental notification" law, but I wouldn't fall in love with it. This amendment is beautiful and life-affirming. I have fallen in love with it.

So have the people of Mississippi. Even DEMOCRAT officials in Mississippi are lining up in favor of this amendment. When that happens, you know that the politics are on your side.

It's About Time

I think a lot of people have dismally concluded that abortion, like the poor, we will always have with us. The pro-life movement has been very successful since 1980 in getting presidents elected. Saving babies from the abortionist's murdering grasp? Not so much.

What a breath of fresh air to see bold new steps like Personhood Mississippi! What a beautiful thing! Who will now bring it to Texas, so I can vote for it?


Joe Blackmon said...

The embarrassing thing is there are people that will oppose this. I mean, I know all Christians agree with this but it's sad that anyone would oppose this.

Matt Brady said...


Unfortunately there are some folks who wear the name Christian in Mississippi who are against this initiative. They don't deal with the issue of personhood as they have no grounds to stand on. They simply eat and regurgitate the insinuations and outright lies of "unintended consequences" being peddled by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

It's so very simple. At conception a distinct human life begins. It is not plant life or animal life. It is human. It is alive. It is a he or a she, and it is a distinct he or she. All we are doing in Mississippi is agreeing with what science has already proven.

Thankfully, our Baptist Churches and Baptist Politicians are among the staunchest supporters of this initiative. How nice it would be if we could also get our "Baptist" professors to see what is so clear to the rest of the Baptists in our state who are paying their salaries. It's long past time to defund Mississippi College and William Carey University.

Bart Barber said...


Especially in this season of SBC life when we are re-evaluating so much, we have to ask the question of whether such expenditures really advance the gospel.

Adam Harwood said...

Well-written article on a fantastic development, Bart.

Matt, I don't know much about MS Baptist colleges, but I'm a professor from a GA Baptist college who is excited to see this kind of legislation!


Adam Harwood, Ph.D
Asst. Prof. of Christian Studies
Truett-McConnell College

Big Daddy Weave said...


The authors argue that the amendment...

"...as a LEGAL MATTER, it is profoundly ambiguous."

You write: "Second, the article argues that the implications of this amendment are not entirely known beforehand. OK Again, I submit that this is true about EVERY amendment and every law."

Aren't y'all making the exact same argument?LEGALLY, the amendment is ambiguous.

As to the prof from Mississippi College School of Law: I had two friends graduate from the law school there. It's located in Jackson. The MC campus (my dad is an alum) is in Clinton. Granted Jackson and Clinton are next-door but there's a disconnect.

I do wonder if any CP dollars actually make it to the Law School. From what my friends told me, the law school was pretty much religion-free at least in terms of identity. The law school had regular social functions where alcohol was served, I'm told. Typical law school. Of course, I highly doubt alcohol is served at ANY event on the campus in MC. Seems like the law school operated by different rules with a different identity.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Also Bart,

What's the problem with this MC professor writing this op-ed? His article deals with the legal aspects and potential implications from that perspective.

He doesn't identify himself as an abortion rights supporter. He writes as a legal scholar.

So you find his arguments weak and have picked at them. But do you really think he crossed some line? Your "CP Dollars at work" line leaves the impression that he's pushing heresy or something.

Pro-lifers have never had anything close to an unanimous view on legal strategy.

It's not like the folks in Mississippi invented the idea of a personhood amendment. Perhaps this path has not been previously traveled due to legal considerations as articulated by the MC prof. In fact, a pro-life legal scholar active in the pro-life movement could have written much of this same article.

I suspect that there are pro-life legal folks who like this Personhood Amendment not because of its simplicity but because of its intentional legal ambiguity - which ultimately opens more doors, more potential avenues to travel in raising different constitutional questions. Thus, what the MC prof sees as a downside, others may see as an upside. Or at least they see this maneuver as a long long down-field 4th quarter pass.

Matt Brady said...

Dr. Harwood,

Thank you! Faithful leadership and faculty is precisely why Truett-McConnell brochures are prominently displayed in our church's magazine rack. I don't have any young people that are likely to move that far away any time soon, but at least they, along with the rest of our congregation, know that there is a faithful Baptist college in Georgia.

Truett-McConnel is a bright ray of hope that there might still be a Christian college worth going to when my children reach that age. Thank you for your part in keeping such a school in operation!

Matt Brady said...


You mention the initiative's "intentional legal ambiguity." What is so ambiguous about life beginning at conception? The beauty of the amendment is that it is so simple that any child can understand it. Even toddlers understand that it is their little brother or sister that is in mommy's tummy.

It is an incredibly simple question. Is the baby a person or not?

Matt Brady said...

Also Aaron,

I know you asked Bart, but since you mentioned the "CP dollars at work issue," I'm one Mississippi pastor that does indeed believe that Professor Will is "pushing heresy or something." To say that a child is not a person is indefensible from the Bible. Furthermore, it matters not whether pro-lifers have a unanimous view of legal strategy. Yes, this amendment will impact the law, but the simple question is that of personhood. How can Baptists in good conscience continue to fund schools where the professors believe and teach the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches. That is why it was an easy decision for our church to put our CP dollars to better use this year. We will no longer have anything to do with funding MC and very little to do with a convention that refuses to take a stand on the issue.

Big Daddy Weave said...


As Bart notes in this post, the implications of this amendment (and any amendment) "are not entirely known beforehand." That is the definition of "legal ambiguity."

Simple statements can have far-reaching implications and powerful consequences. The first sixteen simple words of the First Amendment have been interpreted in many different ways, resulted in endless pages of competing complex analysis and profoundly shaped American society and the world.

The amendment at hand here is legally ambiguous because we don't yet know how those 21 words will be interpreted and applied. Bart says he never for sure know of the implications. While true, I think it's safe to that we are far less-certain about the implications in this instance (that was intentional, smart strategy in my opinion, still the MC prof has a point).

Here's an article that the same law prof wrote in the MIssissippi Business Journal back in September.


He notes that this amendment goes beyond the abortion context and could outlaw various popular forms of birth control including the IUD and have implications for popular fertility treatments.

These issues were apparently discussed in late October during a symposium hosted by Mississippi College.

Let me add:

As the father of a newborn boy who is 22-days, 8 hours and some change old, I most certainly believe that a baby is a person and life begins at conception (a term not mentioned in the amendment).

Also, on what basis do you conclude that the Professor does not believe that "a child is not a person" ? There's no basis for that statement.

If anything, his MS Business Journal article suggests that he supports the prohibition of abortion. The professor simply has concerns - as a lawyer who specializes in this field - that the language of this amendment is too ambiguous from a legal perspective and could have far-reaching consequences beyond what he refers to as the "abortion context."

While voters in Mississippi might ban abortion (likely with some exceptions), I think it's highly unlikely that they would ban popular forms of birth control and certain fertility treatments too. Thus, that's why the professor raises the issue of unintended consequences.

Matt Brady said...


I conclude that the Professor does not believe that a child is a person, because he is arguing against an amendment which only deals with that question.

Your last paragraph leads me to believe that you are in agreement with Professor Will concerning fertility treatments and birth control, or at least that you think Mississippians agree with him. Yes, his reasoning for pro-lifers to be against the initiative is that it MIGHT force changes in birth control and in-vitro fertilization.

First, contraceptives will in no way be affected as they PREVENT fertilization. I'm not a lawyer, but even I can figure that out. The amendment only deals with life from fertilization on. Anything considered "birth control" that takes place after fertilization is abortion.

Second, there should indeed be laws to protect embryos produced for in-vitro fertilization. They can be adopted by other couples, but by no means should they be destroyed. Why would this be a hard issue for Christians? We say that it is wrong for a couple to allow the baby they brought into being to be killed simply so they can have what they want (to be without a child). So, why then would it be right for another couple to kill several of their offspring to get what they want (to be with child). Unless the extra embryos are protected, both scenarios lead to children being killed simply to fulfill the wants of the parents.

It is all so simple, if something is against life, then we should be against it. The only things that this amendment can affect are those things that are against life. There is no reason for anyone who sees human life as being made in the image of God to be against the personhood amendment.

Big Daddy Weave said...


Again, there's no basis for you to conclude that this professor does not believe that a child is a person.

The professor obviously indicates that this is a poor-worded amendment that would have a number of unintended consequences. As a Christian, is he obligated to support any and all proposals that would have the effect of banning abortion EVEN if they have a number of unintended consequences "beyond the abortion context" ??

If you believe in-vitro should be legally banned, then why not adopt an amendment that explicitly bans in-vitro? Legal scholars argue that this amendment which is apparently "so simple" would ban in-vitro - yet in-vitro is not mentioned. Shouldn't the voters understand what they are voting for?

Again, there are a number of birth control methods that are popular and legal that, the same scholars argue, would be likely outlawed with this amendment. While I've heard many pastors speak out against abortion, I've not yet heard a pastor preach against the IUD! I'm sure there are many married women in churches of all denominations who use the IUD.

Let me add:

Just last year there was a similar Personhood amendment on the ballot in Colorado. It failed 3-1. Baptist Press reported:

[Amendment 62 would have added a section to the Colorado constitution's Bill of Rights noting that the term "person" shall apply "to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."]

If you remember, Tim Tebow's mom endorsed the amendment.

Yet, the 2010 Colorado amendment was not supported by many pro-life groups including National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Colorado Citizens for Life and the Catholic Church.

They opposed the amendment due to political and strategy considerations.

In light of the history of pro-life opposition to a similar personhood amendment, is it really fair to conclude that opposition to a political proposal means that one is "against life" ?

volfan007 said...

Big Daddy,

But, we still have those in the land of Baptist, who promote abortion as being okay.

Look at this link in the ABP....



Matt Brady said...


Again, the only "unintended consequences" that can come from this amendment are consequences that will support life.

The arguments being made by Professor Will are against life.

If he were to argue that this amendment will likely end up at the Supreme Court where President Obama has recently added a couple of horrendously pro-death justices, and that perhaps we should wait in hopes of getting a more favorable group of justices, he might have an argument. But he is not dealing with that kind of legal strategy. He is dealing with issues of maintaining procedures and methods that continue to devalue human life and cause the death of fertilized embryos.

As for legal strategy and support for our amendment, we have not had pro-life groups opposing ours. Both the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates are supporting it. The Republican gubernatorial candidate (who will win by an overwhelming majority) is also the co-chair of the "Yes on 26" committee. Perhaps more importantly, even our Democrat attorney general has issued his support and has promised to defend the amendment. Mississippi isn't Colorado. We have a state government in place to support the amendment. Let's not cloud Professor Will's argument with legal strategy. The only legal strategy that he is concerned about is whether or not abortion causing methods will be allowed to continue or not.

Matt Brady said...


I failed to respond to your in-vitro argument. Number one, this amendment will NOT ban in-vitro fertilization. It will, however, protect embryos.

It might surprise you to know that one of the amendment's most ardent supporters, the executive director of "Yes on 26" and his wife have two children, twins, by in-vitro. The fact that the ACLU and PLanned Parenthood SAY that in-vitro will be outlawed does not make that the case.

Bart Barber said...

I see that there has been robust discussion in this thread in my absence. That's always rewarding to the host. Thanks for that.


My point is that this constitutional amendment is no more ambiguous than, for example, the federal constitutional amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights. In my opinion—and I think it is an opinion well supported by real-world examples—elements of a constitution function best when they are articulations of general philosophical truths that serve as the foundation of specific laws that flow from constitutional principles.

As an articulation of a general philosophical truth, this amendment is not ambiguous at all.

I will confess that I have performed no research whatsoever to determine whether Dr. Will is in support of the Bill of Rights. I have chosen to presume that he is. If that is the case, then we must conclude that he does not oppose, in general, the adoption of constitutional principles that are at least as ambiguous or are more ambiguous than this one (What, exactly, is "the free exercise" of religion? Can you answer authoritatively without any reference to subsequent case law?).

So, to answer your first question directly, yes, Dr. Will and I do agree that this amendment is the statement of a general principle, and is therefore not without ambiguity. Where we differ (as I argued in the OP) is that I see no need why this and only this constitutional amendment needs to pass a stricter standard with regard to ambiguity than other constitutional amendments in our history (and, indeed, some of the most celebrated ones and most cherished ones) have had to meet.

Big Daddy Weave said...


What about the pro-life groups in Colorado that refused to endorse the personhood amendment there back in 2010? Were those pro-life groups "against life" by refusing to join up with the Tebow family in backing the personhood amendment?

Your position is clearly that those who oppose this personhood amendment in MS (for any reason whatsoever) are "against life." So what does that say about the pro-life groups in 2010?

You note that Colorado is not Mississippi. That's true. But that's also a political observation that concerns strategy. The same observation surely was made by the pro-life groups that refused to endorse the CO personhood amendment.

Bart Barber said...


Now, regarding your CP question. I think the measure of this sort of thing is the intent of the godly donor who funds the Cooperative Program. Do you think that those who put money in the plate in Matt's church or other churches like his are generally motivated, at least in part, by a desire to fund salaries for people to write New York Times op-eds opposing the core convictions of the pro-life movement (that law ought to recognize the rights of unborn children as persons to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness)?

I have only a little hard data on this question—and not enough to draw a firm conclusion—but I'm writing on the presumption that it is not.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Let's look at one modern example of an amendment that expresses a general principle:

The plethora of state constitutional amendments that define the word marriage. These amendments define marriage - concisely I might add - as "union of a man and a woman."

Now, many gay rights and civil liberties groups have challenged these amendments on various different grounds. But I've not seen anyone argue that there is legal ambiguity.

Legally, each person in the United States is either a man or a woman. And marriage= a union that involves ONLY a man and a woman according to these amendments. One may claim to be transgendered or whatever. But for legal purposes, that person is either a man or a woman.

Now, compare the Personhood amendment to the other most famous state amendment in recent years, the Marriage amendments. Clearly, there is much much much more legal ambiguity with the personhood amendment than with the marriage amendment.

You and I both know (and Matt has even acknowledged this - see his reference to "abortion-causing methods") that the implications here are likely far-reaching and would make illegal popular legal birth control methods "beyond the abortion context" to quote the professor.

Why not an amendment that is less ambiguous and states clearly the goals and aims? The marriage amendments did that. This amendment does not.

Of course, the reason that this amendment is legally ambiguous is because - put to a vote - residents of any state would not outlaw popular birth control methods (oral contraception and IUD).

Big Daddy Weave said...

As to the CP,

Do you think Albert Mohler would turn down the opportunity to write an op-ed for The New York Times? Would Richard Land? :-)

I'm not sure how you can say that the professor opposes the core conviction of the pro-life movement when key organizations (see comments to Matt) refused to join up with the Tebows and back the personhood amendment effort in Colorado just two years ago.

Bart Barber said...

And yet…

1. Cohen and Will clearly demonstrate that "fertilization" can be construed in ways that do not involve birth control. The Supreme Court of Mississippi would have the opportunity to interpret this law. Do you think that Griswold would play no part whatsoever in their construal of the amendment?

2. The difference between marriage amendments and personhood amendments is not the quality of their respective wordsmiths but is the different situations that they address. Marriage simply is not as complicated as conception is. Conception is a biological process. Marriage is a legal act. Manhood and womanhood would be difficult to adjudge at some stages of development, but we have the blessing with regard to marriage amendments of only having to address the sex of adult humans.

…So, constitutional amendments should be written as clearly as they can be written without sacrificing the general principle being articulated.

If Will has a BETTER wording for this amendment that he desires to propose and advance to passage, then great! He can amend this amendment if the case law on this wording gets too messy.

But I don't see where he's offered any such help. There are no suggestions here. There is only someone writing in the New York Times on the eve of an election in criticism of a pro-life amendment to the MS Constitution. I can recognize that as political activity more than academic activity, and the aim of it is pretty clear.

Bart Barber said...

I would be surprised if Mohler or Land were to write an op-ed in the New York Times expressly contradicting a campaign that the SBC were concurrently conducting. Jim Futral and the Mississippi Baptist State Convention (together with their Christian Action Commission) have endorsed the Personhood Amendment.

Matt Brady said...


Let me point out again that Professor Will is not, at least in this article, suggesting a better, more articulate plan to stop the murder of children. Instead his argument concerns ambiguity that might hinder or stop some forms of birth control and fertility treatments. BUT, it is clear that those methods can only be affected by this amendment if they cause the death of a fertilized embryo. It goes back again to the foundational principle of when life begins.

If one believes that life begins at conception, then to support any procedure or method that willfully destroys life after conception is clearly wrong.

Jumble it up with all of the legaleeze that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood lawyers have said and that our own law Professor has parroted all you want, but the question remains so very simple. Do we believe that a distinct human life begins at fertilization or not?

Now, I'll bow out and let you and Bart have the conversation.

volfan007 said...

After living in the state of MS for 7 years...before I came back to TN...I'm absolutely shocked that this did not pass in MS. Shocked. Of all the states that I thought that something like this could get passed, I figured MS, Alabama, and Lousisiana would be the states that would pass things like this.

I'm dumbfounded and saddened.


Jonathan Melton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan Melton said...

I meant to say, why AREN'T Cohen and Will dismissed as Whitsitt was from old Southern (Louisville)?

Bart Barber said...


Cohen works for Harvard.

Will, unlike Whitsitt, doesn't serve at the pleasure of the Southern Baptist Convention. He serves at a state institution that relates to the Mississippi Baptist Convention. I don't get a vote on his continued employment, but neither do I have to contribute anything toward his salary.

Cathy of Eyelash Growth Products said...

Nice posted article. Looking forward or more post!