Our bodies come in several types of shapes and sizes. We change them, augmenting them with clothes and accessories. We love and hate them, but ultimately live with them. In a rapidly changing and often chaotic world, our bodies ideally represent the last frontier of control. We can manipulate, adjust, enhance, supplement, or do none these, to our bodies to express our individuality. Imagine a world where our bodies were regulated by an oppressive government. Not pretty.

Today, November 8, the registered voters of Mississippi are in a unique position. Today is the day that voters will be able to decide the fate of Amendment 26, coined the Personhood Amendment. It says:

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

If it passes, this one sentence will completely change the pro-choice/pro-life conversations in Mississippi. Clearly, this amendment will outlaw abortion, ultimately the heart of the issue. However, as reporters from Slate.com have theorized, there are further implications of this amendment:

·         Outlaw birth control

·         Restricting in vitro fertilization

·         Complicating life threatening pregnancies

·         Banning stem-cell research

·         Potentially criminalizing miscarriages

Read the article here

Talk about history in action. Currently this amendment is mostly a Mississippi wide topic, but if it passes it could potentially blow up to become a national focus: becoming a key issue in the upcoming presidential elections. Nevertheless, it still has to pass. The state of Mississippi seems pretty split on this Amendment.

Amendment 26 is an example of how bodies, especially women’s, can potentially be controlled by governmental policy.  This amendment would very much effect how women treated and interacted with their bodies. Women smoking and drinking while unaware of pregnancy could potentially be charged and persecuted. Oppression! This amendment, if passed, could open the door for nation-wide change.

Voting is today. We will see what happens tomorrow

Jonathan Merrill