Initiative 26: Do you believe that an unborn baby is a person?

 

This post is for Christians.

If you are one of my friends or family members who don’t believe in the God of the Bible, then I understand how you may fall on a different side of the argument than I do. You may agree with me. But I get it if you don’t. I would love for you to read this post, but it’s not intended to address you.

This post is to address my Christian brothers and sisters who may have succumbed to the confusion that is circulating concerning Initiative 26.

Initiative 26 is an attempt to amend the constitution of the state of Mississippi.

The official ballot summary of the measure reads:

“Initiative #26 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word ‘person’ or ‘persons’, as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution, to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.”

 

I want to address this issue on my blog because I have been shocked and grieved to see how many Christians are listening to what they hear on facebook, websites, google searches, etc. They are making decisions based on arguments they hear and their own fears instead of facts.

Initiative 26 only establishes the personhood of the unborn.

As Christians ,we have a lens through which we must see all of life. EVERYTHING must be filtered through this lens. It’s how we make sense of the world. If we believe the Bible to be true, then we won’t believe it when someone says the world was created by a huge random explosion. We won’t be swayed when someone says there is more than one way to get to heaven. We have a plumb line by which everything is measured.

Let’s address the plumb line first. What does the Bible say about the unborn?

Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart…”

Isaiah “The Lord has called me from the womb; from my mother has he made mention of my name.”

Job “Did he not form us from within our mothers…”

Psalms “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

I could go on and on. This is my question to you.

Do you believe that an unborn baby is a person?

Let’s address the arguments.

Argument #1 They’ll take away our birth control pill.

I’ve been most surprised to find this is one of the biggest arguments against this initiative. Women are very afraid to lose their pill. A few years ago, I read that the pill (not the morning after pill, the regular hormonal birth control pill) can be abortifacient. Meaning, it can allow an egg to be fertilized and then cause a miscarriage. I was shocked. I was more than shocked, I was horrified. I grieved. I wondered if some of my babies had been aborted (yes, that’s the word I meant to use) by my using the pill. Then I became angry. I had researched it enough to find that it was, in fact, true. I couldn’t understand why Christian leaders weren’t standing up and telling us this! I started to tell my friends. I knew that they would have the same response that I did.

I was wrong.

They didn’t want to know. Most people that I told either didn’t believe me (I understand, I didn’t believe it at first, either) or they didn’t want to know. I even had close friends say, “Well, I just can’t get pregnant right now.” My heart aches just thinking about that. If this just rocks your world and you just can’t imagine life without the pill. Please, please examine your heart. I beg you. We CAN’T make decisions this big looking through a lens of convenience. This is not okay. We just don’t have that right.

Does this mean that things might change? Probably. Does this mean that you may have to do something that is more complicated than popping a pill or using an IUD? Most likely. Does this mean that they will make the birth control pill illegal in this state? Hopefully. I understand that there are people with issues (PCOS, hormones, etc) that take the pill for reasons other than pregnancy prevention. If you are also using the pill as a form of birth control because you are sexually active, you could be CAUSING miscarriages. You could be CAUSING miscarriages.

Argument #2 What about ectopic pregnancy? They will let a woman die because they won’t remove the embryo.

An ectopic pregnancy is where the embryo implants in the fallopian tube and begins to grow there. There is no chance that the baby can live. Yes, it is still a baby, but it can’t live because it never made it to the womb.. NO ONE is saying that the life of the mother is now (or ever) invalid. “Life of the mother” cases have always been decided by the mother and her family. This was the case before Roe versus Wade, when abortion WAS NOT LEGAL. No one is going to require a mother to die to save a baby that cannot live. Please don’t believe this lie. No one is going to require a mother to die PERIOD. Sanctity of life concerning the unborn does not oppose the sanctity of life of the mother.

Argument #3 What if a person is raped? They won’t give her the morning after pill.

Before I begin to address this argument, please hear me say that I have deep compassion for anyone whose life has been violated in this way. I cannot imagine the emotional and physical devastation this brings. However, if she were to get pregnant as a result of rape, that doesn’t change the fact that it is a pregnancy. It is a baby. It’s not okay to kill. a baby. Causing an abortion, in my opinion is not only NOT protecting the mother, it is causing her further harm and distress.

Argument #4 This initiative is legislating morality.

Huh? Isn’t that what laws do? Name one law that isn’t somehow legislating morality. Someone argued with me this week saying, “Well, I would never have an abortion, but…” Well, why not?! You wouldn’t kill your baby, but you wouldn’t tell someone else not to kill theirs? Do you believe that an unborn baby is a person?

Argument #5 They won’t let us do in vitro fertilization.

IVF creates an embryo (a fertilized egg) outside the womb and then implants it. This initiative is not proposing that you can’t make babies (inside or outside the womb). This initiative IS saying that you can’t kill them. This WILL affect the way we do IVF. The fact is, there are OVER 500,000 frozen embryos in the U.S. ALONE. I didn’t accidentally type too many zeros. OVER HALF A MILLION. Someone on facebook said that this initiative would cause a crisis because we couldn’t “discard” them the way we have been. The reason we have over 500,000 right now is because there are a lot of people that know that those are actual babies and they are not willing to “discard” them. Many of these frozen embryos are available for adoption. They’re called snowflake babies. This initiative will require us to be responsible with the way we do IVF. Probably, people will not be able to fertilize more eggs than they are willing to eventually implant. Inconvenient? Maybe. Expensive? Probably.

I believe that human life begins at fertilization. I also believe that this is what the Bible teaches. Human life equals personhood. I have asked several people on facebook that are arguing against Initiative 26 this question, “When do you believe a baby (an embryo) becomes a person?” They all give very vague answers, even saying, “No one can know for sure.” The same person then states, “I am 100% sure that an embryo is not a person.” Anyone can see the huge fallacy in this argument. If you are completely uncertain of when personhood begins, how can you be entirely certain of when it does NOT begin? Someone then argued, “There is no magic line that an embryo crosses into personhood!” My point exactly. There is no magic line. An embryo is already a person.

Argument #6 The initiative is poorly written.

I will admit I am probably as much baffled by this argument as by any other. I have heard it stated, “I am a Christian and I am against abortion, but the wording is too vague.” Too vague? Let’s have another look.

 “…to define the word person…to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent…”

 

Vague?  Hardly. The wording could not possibly be any more clear and concise. May I suggest that this is a misunderstanding concerning the purpose of an amendment? Take a look at our Bill of Rights. These amendments are one sentence. ONE SENTENCE! They do not address every possible implication of the amendment. They couldn’t possibly. They do not address ONE SINGLE implication. That’s not the purpose.

 The purpose of this initiative is ONLY to establish a foundational truth, a fundamental principle. As of right now the concept of personhood is not defined in the constitution. IT SHOULD BE.

 Now, if we are talking about the implications of this initiative being unknown, I whole heartedly agree. However, the initiative Is Not Vague. There will always be unknowns. Always.

 Are there absolute implications if this amendment passes? YES! I am voting for this amendment for that reason, as well as the fact that there are ABSOLUTE IMPLICATIONS IF IT DOESN’T PASS.

 We can’t be sure how some things will be interpreted if it passes. We CAN, however, be sure that the courts will continue to treat the unborn as expendable if it does not pass.

Friend, I ask you the question again, Do you believe that an unborn baby is a person?

Initiative 26 only establishes the personhood of the unborn.

This is the only question.

If you believe that an unborn baby is a person, vote yes.

Please stand up and speak for those that can’t defend themselves.

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45 thoughts on “Initiative 26: Do you believe that an unborn baby is a person?

  1. Emily, my sweet precious daughter of 34 years and 9 months (today). I am so proud of you for standing up for this truth and for all others. All truth is God’s truth. And the anwer to every question can be found in the Bible. God values every life and we should do likewise. I love you for speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves.

  2. I cannot begin to thank you enough for this. Michael and I have been discussing it (even last night!) about the misconceptions and misunderstandings and arguments we keep hearing that have made us uncertain as to what the initiative actually states and what it doesn’t. We are 100% pro life and are certain of the truths you wrote about. Now we know exactly what the initiative is about and I thank you again! Even many of our christian friends have spoken against it which has made us more confused. Thank you dear Christian friend for telling us the truth!

  3. I most definitely agree with you and thank you for lifting up the standard of God. God is all of mankind’s Creator and Maker! You have shown that He has told us in His Word, when an unborn is a person. There is only one truth and that’s the Creator’s truth. God’s truth. Man cannot change God’s truth. As Christian, it’s God’s way or no way. IJohn2:4, He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. My church is voting “YES” for 26 and we are going to try to get the word out as well.

  4. Very interesting post Emily. Catherine and I decided to stop taking birth control when we found out that it could abort a fertilized egg; however, we were under the impression that not all birth control did that. We determined that “low dose” birth control could be used to terminate a pregnancy. (Which is what we were using)

    Right after we decided to get off the pill we found out that we were pregnant with little Ms. Emma. We are convinced that if we had continued to take the pill that we would have terminated Emma. So we always tell people that God saved our daughter’s life by convicting us the dangers of “low dose” birth control.

    Overall, well written article; in which I agree with all the points. I just wish that argument 3 & 4 had a little more “heft” to them. In my experience, (limited though it may be) the issue of rape and morality legislating is one of the biggest push backs I get from those who name the name of Christ.

    Thanks for the post,
    Be Encouraged:-)

  5. I have really been struggling with this, so I appreciate you putting into perspective. My one and ONLY concern is the issue with IVF. It isn’t a question of termination, because, as you pointed out, the mothers of these embryos want to preserve their lives. However, I was told that there is “gray area” and that since an embryo is a person (which I believe) that embryos would no longer be able to be frozen/cyropreserved. IF (and big if) this is true, this would make the IVF process even more costly and emotionally tolling. I thank you for the post about birth control – I had NO idea and will not be using that anymore. It is heartbreaking to think that my pregnancy prevention could have actually been pregnancy terminating. As far as rape goes, just like you said – a life is a life. I cannot tell you how wholeheartedly I agree with this. Thanks again!

    • Hi Carley,

      I am in the process of IVF in Louisiana. We have strict laws having to do with personhood. My understanding is this is equivalent to what MS is getting to. Basically, you have options: 1. to donate your embryos to another state to discard (not that I would do that) 2. Donate your embryos to those who cannot conceive there own. 3. Preserve them for later use. The cost for us is $732/for your first 2 years and then about $400/year after that. You have the say in how many embryos they can “make”. So you really have a lot of pull. The personhood amendment isn’t doing away with IVF or freezing the embryos – to the best of my understanding.

  6. Thank you Emily!!!!! I’m going to post a link to this WONDERFUL article! Thank you so much for speaking your heart. I had no idea about the birth control. Ive always had an uncomfortable feeling about taking birth control pills, so I refused to take them. Now I know why I was uncomfortable. May everyone that reads your blog, VOTE YES!!!

  7. I really enjoyed reading this. Someone I am friends with posted it on Facebook. First I am so sick of hearing I don’t believe in abortion but is my daughter were raped. I have a 5 month old daughter and if she were raped and to get pregnant God has a reason for that child. I really appreciate the people that are standing up for what’s right!

  8. Wish we had this initiative in FL. One point about the life of the the mother vs. the life of the child arguement: what mother wouldn’t give their life for the life of their child? The problem is not recognizing that a “fetus” is a child. I’ve heard so many stories of mothers who didn’t understand, until too late, that they had valued their own lives over the life of their child, and regretted having to live with that guilt for the rest of their lives.

  9. Emily, this is a great post! You are so spot on! I, too, have a passion for this issue because I am a post-abortive woman and I’ve been in that pit! God drew me from those depths and gave me a testimony of His grace and love, then taught me about how He values life! Keep writing, girl! Please check out my blog at http://www.ladybugmorning.wordpress.com. To read my testimony, look the October 13th post titled “The Power of Hidden Things.” I will be following you, sister.

  10. This is great and I agree with you 100%. Thank you for putting this in such concise form! I’ve had an ectopic pg & am going through IVF. This is a world that I have lived in for almost 6 years. Even though we are in LA now, I hope and pray MS will pass this amendment!!! The laws in Louisiana are equivalent to what MS is trying to pass with IVF and it’s a good thing.

  11. Em-

    Amen! And thanks for putting it out there!

    A little snippet of how I’ve dealt with this personally:

    I believe you already know, we did IVF to get Gray since we were not able to conceive otherwise. During the process, we were told that of all the “stuff harvested”, only 2 fetilized embryos existed. We implanted both and we had Grayson. A few months after we were home, we received a call from the clinic asking us if we wanted to keep the remaning embryos or destroy them. Our floor fell away! We were shocked and immensely petrified at the idea that we had more babies that we didn’t know about since we were originally told only two developed. We immediately agreed that we would not destroy them in any fashion, but we had also resigned ourselves to the fact that we would not try for an additional pregnancy since Gray and I both came so close to dying. So, what to do? (We did not know at the time about embryo adoption.) We immediately prayed and knew that we would determine our options other than destruction. We called the clinic back and told them our beliefs, that only two had formed and we needed to know if we were told incorrectly in the beginning or now. Upon further investigation, they determined that the person that called us stated embryos when in fact it was only “stuff” from one of us. No fertilization had occurred. I still to this day hope that was the truth and not something they said to keep us from “flying off the handle”.

    There was never a question in our minds about destroying the embryos. It just wouldn’t have happened. And my husband and I have since discussed what we would have done after we were over the initial shock. We think we would have tried for another baby and put it all into God’s hands to bring us through another birth.

    As for the bith control, because I cannot conceive naturally, I do not need it for that reason. But, because of a medical reason, I take it every single day of my life, not just 3 weeks of the month. I personally have the assurance that I am not causing miscarriages due to our particular situation of not being able to conceive. That said, I have FAITH that if it becomes illegal, the Lord will provide another option to treat my medical issue. I know that if I stand on what He wants me to, He will take care of me!!!!

    And I fully agree with your other points as well! Love you!!!

  12. I want to thank u so much for writing this. My husband and I have had so many questions on this . All I had to do was read the scriptures u wrote quoted from the Bible to know wherein will stand. How could I forget that my God knew me and created me even before I was in my mothers womb. GOD doesn’t create mistakes r accident. We r voting Yes. Thank you.

  13. I believe. Yes, I believe!! We’re so quick to state our belief in Santa. I don’t get why it is so difficult to proclaim even more bodly a fact about life that is far more important than fantasy. Thank you, Emily. Great post. Wish I could have a snowflake baby…

  14. Thank you also for mentioning the issue of hormonal birth control. That’s one of the reasons my husband and I decided against using it. I wish more Christians knew and cared about it!

  15. Megan Johnson sent me your blog! I have to tell you that I don’t normally comment on blogs, but I just felt led to leave you a message. I could not agree with you more! Thank you so much for standing firm on your convictions and informing us on the truths about amendment 26! I will be voting “yes!!” My precious twins were conceived through IVF, and “disposing” any extra embryos was never an option for my husband and me. IVF is wonderful for couples, like us, who cannot conceive naturally. However, we were willing to have 10 kids if that’s what it took! Those embryos were little lives that God blessed us with! Thank you so much for this post!

  16. Hi Emily,
    I lived in Columbia all of my life and now I am in MIchigan. My daughter lives in purvis and she wanted me to read your blog. I totally agree with what you have written and I only wish I was there to vote. What I wanted to share was the story of a precious child that I get the honor of babysitting. I also have him in the church nursery. He is a child of a rape victim. His mother could not keep him, so she allowed a family from my church to adopt him. They had tried for 10 years to have a baby. I can tell you, that this is the most precious child. He has the biggest and brightest smile and he touches everyone’s heart that he meets. And he is the most wonderful blessing that these parents could ever ask for. His birth mother, will always deal with the memories of that horrible time, and I know through Christ she will get by. but, also through Christ strength, she gave a family a chance to have a child, and a child a chance to live.

  17. Nikki Bonham linked to your blog post. This is the best thing I have read about the issue. Would you mind if posted a link to it on facebook?

  18. Thank you for sharing your time to develop an insightful blog on this extremely important issue. God bless you and yours.

  19. Emily, I wrote two long comments today and neither of them would publish, so this one might not be as good as the others were, but I want you to know how special you are. Thanks for sharing your heart here today. We need it. I have chills right now becuase of your blog post and I’m serious when I say this is so profound. Full of truth. Convicting to some….yes. But, sometimes that’s what it takes for us. We aren’t comfortable with conviction, but it’s just the way it works. 🙂 I’m so proud to call you my friend and you’re such a light in such great darkness of this world. So proud of your light shinning brightly! You know, I believe that the world is full of so much darkness because so many Christians shine their light ONLY among other lights (Christians). When we turn a flashlight on outside in the middle of the day, we can’t see the light. We must find the darkness and be “in” this world…but not of it. (ok, I’ll get off my soap box)

  20. Wow, this is very shockingly enlightening!!! Thank you so much for posting this! I perspnally have never used any form of birth control but I sure have been giving some false information! Wow! Wow!

  21. “Name one law that isn’t somehow legislating morality.”

    Plenty of laws don’t legislate morality. For instance, speed limits protect safety, and criminalizing burglary protects people’s homes and property. In fact, very few laws legislate morality; most are designed for practical considerations. This is because not everyone shares the same morality, and many people would agree that it’s wrong to force others to adopt your moral view. Laws are designed to give society a practical basis on which to function, and taking away women’s rights serves no practical purpose.

    “Someone argued with me this week saying, ‘Well, I would never have an abortion, but…’ Well, why not?! You wouldn’t kill your baby, but you wouldn’t tell someone else not to kill theirs?”

    Again, if one person finds something morally abhorrent, that’s no reason to impose a government ban on that behavior. I think mushrooms are disgusting and would never eat them, but it would be ridiculous for me to ask the government to ban consumption of mushrooms because I find them distasteful. If you think abortion is wrong and would never get one, that’s fine, but don’t take away my rights based on your morality.

    • Hi John,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I would disagree with you still. I would suggest that public safety is ultimately a moral issue. The two laws that you site directly point to a fundamental and moral belief that human life should be protected by the government.
      This initiative prohibits the murder of the unborn. It protects human life, which is our government’s responsibility.
      Our laws protect human rights. I believe that unborn babies are human beings and should be protected under the law. Thank you for contuing the discussion.

      • Hi Emily,

        I understand what you’re saying, but I think the key lies in the fact that not everyone agrees that life begins at conception. That fact has been demonstrated by the close balloting in Mississippi. By making a law declaring that “life begins at conception” when reasonable people can disagree whether that’s the case, the government is getting in the business of deciding scientific truth, then building policy upon that decision, and I’m very uncomfortable with that level of governmental intrusion into private lives.

        Personally, I can’t point to a specific moment when I think life begins, but I don’t think a clump of cells on the uterine wall a few hours after conception is a human being, and I certainly don’t think this clump of cells deserves all the rights and protections that a living, breathing human does. This clump of cells can’t think, breathe, or survive even with the help of all our medical technology, much less on its own.

        More than 20 percent of fertilized eggs are miscarried for unknown reasons – many times before the mother even knows she is pregnant. Since 4.3 million babies are born in the U.S. each year, this means that there are over 800,000 miscarriages every year, usually in the form of a few cells sloughing off almost unnoticeably. Is this an annual tragedy three times worse than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed about 250,000 people? Because counting those clumps of cells as full humans would indicate that it is.

        My point is only that many people disagree over when, exactly, a human being starts. I completely respect your opinion that life begins at conception, but I disagree with it. Therefore, I (along with many others) don’t see this as an issue of public safety – it’s only an issue of morality, which by its nature varies from person to person. When the government starts legislating morality, it tends to trample on people’s rights.

        Thanks for your response!
        JD

      • First, I think you have to consider who this post was intended for before responding. Unless you are a christian, you definitely won’t agree with the post. If you are a christian and your argument is not based on scripture but on society and how they vote, your argument is weak. Whether you are a christian or not, we are all sinners and our human thinking is flawed before we ever open our mouths. God knows why he allows miscarriages to take place just as well as to why special needs people are brought into this world. Don’t base your argument on what the majority of society believes. All events, tsunamies, earthquakes, miscarriages, yes even abortions are pre-ordained by God. He allows these things to happen for His own purpose and glory. He uses evil and good for His own purpose. We as christians should search scripture and guidance from the Holy Spirit on how to vote on these issues. Sadly enough there will be very few christians that will bow a knee before they head to the voting places tomorrow. Let God be your guide.

  22. Jeffrey Sones,

    I appreciate that your life decisions are based on your Christian faith, and I fully support your rights to be guided by what you believe. However, not everyone in the U.S. is a Christian. When you vote to restrict the rights of others based on your Christian faith, you impose your values on others by force.

    Like you said, people who aren’t Christians almost definitely won’t agree with this post. So why would you force your religiously-based decisions upon them? I’m sure you would be uncomfortable if another religious group attempted to pass a law codifying some of their beliefs, so why doesn’t this principle apply in both directions?

    Best,
    John

    • John, 
      All legislation is based on a representative democracy.  That means it is the majority of the people that decides our law (either through a direct vote or through the representatives we elect to office).  Therefore, law is based on what a majority of the people in that nation (or state, etc) view as right and wrong.  We decide what is right and wrong through the lens of our worldview.  For a Christian, that worldview lens uses Scripture as its foundation.  For others, it may be the Koran, self-help books, or their own minds/opinions/feelings.  We ALL have worldviews that are based on our beliefs and assumptions about life.  Even if you are not a “religious person,” you still have beliefs and values about life.  Let me say that again, EVERYONE has a worldview based on values, beliefs and assumptions about life.  We ALL bring this worldview to the table when we vote.  A law that makes murder illegal is adopted because most people agree killing is wrong.  A law that says stealing is wrong is passed because most people believe stealing is wrong.  Based on your logic (assuming you believe murder and stealing is wrong), you are forcing your beliefs upon someone who doesn’t believe it is wrong to murder or steal.  Is it wrong to impose your belief that murder and stealing is wrong on other people in our nation?

      This initiative is simply our democratic way of finding out if a majority of the people in Mississippi believe that a person becomes a person upon the fertilization of the egg.
      -Nate

  23. I want to thank everyone that has been willing to engage the discussion. Today’s the day! At this point, I don’t have the time to continue to moderate all of the comments coming in. Please know that I truly appreciate all of your comments and opinions. Thank you. Comments are now closed.

Comments are closed.