Rick Jore: Panty Sniffer

by Rebecca Schmitz

Hey, I know. Look at what I typed up there. That’s an incendiary title for a post. But I’m not going to pretend otherwise; I’m not calm, cool and rational about my access, or that of any other woman, to safe abortion and birth control. You and I know, reader, that both strike at the very heart of what it means to be a woman in the 21st Century. Thanks to the pill and legalized abortion, we’ve been liberated from the idea of biology as destiny for nearly fifty years. I don’t care what your politics are–nearly every single one of us uses birth control, knows someone who’s had an abortion, or has faced an unplanned pregnancy thankfully knowing there are medically safe options out there for us. No, instead I’d like to win you over, Republican, Independent, Libertarian or Democrat, female or male, to what I’m about to say.

I think Rick Jore’s initiative should be allowed to make it to the ballot next year. Yes, that’s right. I’m rabidly pro-choice and yet I think he should be allowed to gather signatures and try to make it to Montana’s 2008 ballot without our lawsuits or other rigmarole. I’ll admit, normally the very idea that my body, my genitalia, my civil rights should be up for a vote incenses me in a way I imagine Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. DuBois felt when they saw the outcome of Plessy vs. Ferguson and the encroachment of Jim Crow on American culture and politics over 100 years ago. They were not defined by the color of their skin and I am not the sum total of my uterus, vagina and fallopian tubes. The idea that people out there still want to control all three disgusts me to my very bones. But you and I are able to fight back in this case, thanks to the very person who’s bringing this initiative forward. That’s why we should let Representative Jore gather signatures and that’s why we should be there every time someone thinks about signing one of his petitions.

Why? Well, because of the very party of which Rick Jore is a proud member: the Constitution Party. Near the top of their platform is the following:

Under no circumstances may the federal government fund or otherwise support any state or local government or any organization or entity, foreign or domestic, which advocates, encourages or participates in the practice of abortion. We also oppose the distribution and use of all abortifacients.

Do you have any idea what extreme pro-lifers consider abortifacients? The pill. Birth control. The same birth control option that 30.6% of American women use. Currently, 98% of American women have used birth control, 62% of us are using birth control as I type this and you read it, and as I mentioned above, nearly a third of us–Republican, Democrat, Libertarian and Independent, are using an oral contraceptive. The pill prevents ovulation. Ovulation does not equal fertilization, let alone implantation. But that’s the fallacy Rick Jore and his fellow political travelers would have the vast majority of us who use these products believe. They’re wrong.

First of all, they’re wrong because they’re still operating under the old rules: women are either whores or Madonnas. Sorry, Rick. Sorry, Constitution Party. Sorry, religious extremists. We’re both and yet we’re so much more. Humans are sexual creatures. Nothing these folks believe, nothing they say in presidential debates on Fox News or CNN, nothing they post on their blogs is ever going to change that essential, realistic fact. Sooner or later, despite how much they publically proclaim to support “family values”, they’re going to want to get their rocks off. Unfortunately, because of America’s screwy (pardon the word, it isn’t a pun) Puritanical politics, they can’t admit to that fact. If you’re reading this, you’re on the Internet right now. What do you think is the most popular use of the same? I can guarantee you it’s not looking for Thanksgiving turkey recipes or George W. Bush’s latest speech. Nope, it’s a search for “Asian girls + white panties”. I don’t care how reserved or saintly Jore and his supporters think they are, sooner or later everyone finds themselves surfing certain websites or purchasing certain products in search of la petite mort. And because of our sexual nature, those products include birth control.

Secondly, Representative Jore and the Constitution Party are wrong because they’ve somehow convinced themselves–naively–that abortion was not common before Roe vs. Wade and will fade again into a pretend obsolescence that will commence once this ballot measure becomes law in Montana. But remember, their definition of abortion includes birth control. We’ll also have to surrender our contraceptives to the state. The police would have the power to search our homes for evidence of murder: packs of pills in the top left lingerie drawer. The punishment for taking an oral contraceptive would be severe.

We favor the right of states and localities to execute criminals convicted of capital crimes and to require restitution for the victims of criminals.

This alone should give you pause and make you realize Jore’s initiative is not realistic. The long arm of the law should not be reaching into our medicine cabinets.

I’m going to bring it all back to the title of my post, “Rick Jore: Panty Sniffer”. Jay’s posted about this before. In other countries where abortion is illegal, the state becomes, in essence, a pervert: the panty sniffer. El Salvador employs “forensic vagina inspectors” to search women’s genitalia for evidence of abortion. If Jore’s initiative were to become law and abortion equaled murder, then the Attorney General’s office would have to inspect each and every one of us at the slightest whiff of suspicion. Do you want Mike McGrath’s successor rooting around in your underpants? Anyone who is a woman, loves women, or is close to their mother, sister or daughter must recoil at the presence of government authorities inspecting our genitals for evidence of abortion. The very notion inspires fear, pain and emotional upheaval. That’s the future Rick Jore and his supporters want you, Republican, Libertarian, Democrat or Independent, to experience. And that’s why we should let him try to gather the necessary signatures.

Ask yourself, do you really want your local police department to search your or your loved one’s vagina, cervix and uterus? Do you want to be charged with murder for taking Yasmin or Ortho Tri-Cyclen? Do you want to have the bleak future of the state as orifice inspector? If you’ve answered no to all, then ask the same of those who want to sign his petition because of their sincere desire to stop abortions. It’s their decision and our fate, but I can guarantee once you’ve explained all the consequences they’ll say “no”, too.

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  1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    The ONLY people who are suprised by this jore move are people who don’t understand what christian reconstructionism and domionism are all about. The Constistupid party is part and parcel of the above. Check it out.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm

  2. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    For God’s sake, READ IT! And spread the word. Jore and his pals are friggin’ NUTS!

  3. Ha! Did you know your link goes to a Christian website that first plays a Disney ad before you can go to the article? Yes, the very Disney Corporation that provides benefits for gay partners. Oh, how the so-called “culture wars” have been lost.

  4. Dang. And I thought my Jore post’s title was incendiary…

  5. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    p.s. The GF Trib has a great editorial today by Travis McAdams about the Constistupid Party that explains exactly what these wackos are about. But, Rebecca, that just happened to be a site that I found. There’s tons of stuff out there on the C party. I suggest the Montana Human Rights Network’s fine report on the C party. It’s available on line. It is definitely worth a read. For you see, educating our fellow Montanans takes time. And the sooner we get to it, the sooner these jokers will be laughed outta the state! The C party can NEVER be allowed to present itself as legitimate. That’s all I’m saying. Spread the word.

  6. Heck of a headline; heck of a post. Good job.

  7. Thanks, P!

    Here’s the editorial Larry is referring to: Travis McAdam on the Constitution Party. These folks think this is their big chance to push their far-right anti-science agenda on the rest of us. That’s why it’s important to get the word out: their agenda includes taking prescriptions away. It’s the government playing the role of Snyder Pharmacy in Great Falls. However, the pharmacy’s owners didn’t have the power to execute anyone for using the pill.

  8. jjack

    Did you notice something funny on that “Pro-Life Action League” website, where they have the photos of all the speakers across the top?

    Only one of the speakers is a woman.

    Innnnteresting.

  9. goof houlihan

    There’s really nothing positive to be said about the guy or his mission. Perhaps it is time for Montana voters to repudiate his ideas in a statewide vote.

    I’d rather not go through it, though, and it might be closer than you think.

    Any indications/ideas about how voters might react? I’d say we’d have a huge split in Gallatin County, the county saying yes to this, the city saying no, both lopsidedly.

    Would it be the montanans who voted for medical marijuana, or the very same montanans who at the same time voted against gay marriage?

    I don’t think Locke’s ideas support the fetus making a slave of the mother.

  10. goof houlihan

    Is this the most important issue of this election season? Bigger than the war? Bigger than partisan politics? Bigger than global warming? Bigger than free health care for families making three times the average income?

    I’m serious. What’s the political priority?

    I know if this got on the ballot, I’d make it number one.

  11. Jedediah Redman

    The problem with all articles such as the subject shot at Rick Jore is when it strays from reality to hyperbole:

    1.) “The police would have the power to search our homes for evidence of murder: packs of pills in the top left lingerie drawer. The punishment for taking an oral contraceptive would be severe.”

    2.) ” Anyone who is a woman, loves women, or is close to their mother, sister or daughter must recoil at the presence of government authorities inspecting our genitals for evidence of abortion.”

    And so on.

    Hyperbole is at the root of the great divide which is becoming a schism–a veritable chasm between the people of our nation.

    It really is time to expose the tomfoolery at the root of our extreme right wing; but that comes down to our almost universal thralldom to fearsome superstition which is basis to all of our western religions.
    Until we shake off the fear which have led us to believe instead of think, I’m afraid we are doomed to follow good times instead of seeking a good life for all of our fellow creatures on this planet…

  12. On the state level, Goof, it would be number one for me. The Iraq War is first on the national political scene. I can’t lump state and federal issues together on a sliding scale. I think Jore’s initiative isn’t going to be something that easily breaks down along cultural lines a la the marijuana or gay marriage vote. Like I said 98% of women have used birth control, 62% currently do, and over 30% use an oral contraceptive. Those numbers are just more than liberal Democratic women. They have to be women from all over the political and cultural spectrum.

    Hyperbole? Okay, Mr. Redman, please provide examples of the following: in what cases of murder currently being investigated by state and local authorities do said authorities not search for a murder weapon? When do they not inspect a potential felony crime scene? If Jore’s initiative becomes law and abortion and “abortifacients” are classified as murder, then how are the authorities supposed to enforce the law and examine potential suspects?

  13. Jedediah Redman

    [i]Ad anauseum, ad absurdeum[/i]

  14. Yes, great argument. Misspelled, incorrectly italicized gibberish. How well did you do in high school debate class?

  15. Jedediah Redman

    Not well. The high school I went to didn’t have a debate team.
    Did the director of your debate team encourage your use of hyperbole to add snap to an otherwise pretty good argument?–or ad hominem retorts..?

  16. I’ll only waste my time once again: tell me about those instances in which local law enforcement agencies do not investigate all aspects of a case involving a murder charge, because once Rep. Jore’s initiative passes that’s exactly what women will face. There’s nothing involving hyperbole or ad hominem attacks here, just a question requiring a concrete example on your part. Surely you realize if you can prove certain felonies, like murder, are not considered crimes then I have truly used inappropriate hyperbole in my argument, right?

  17. Jedediah Redman

    I think there was nothing in my post which required a concrete example, MS R.
    I made no claims.
    I simply pointed out it might be better to make our otherwise good arguments absent extraordinary extensions of logic.
    Of which I offered two examples from your own post.

    If you wish to pursue this quarrel further, I suggest
    you contact me at my email address:
    jedzeus@yahoo.com

  18. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Yeah, I WISH TO PURSUE IT! Come ON, jed! You know DAMN WELL that the Constistupid Party consists of kooks that want to take us back to Old Testament times! Give Rebecca a break. She’s on OUR side! And, Jed, they call ME a radical! Hell, you got me beat by a mile! (but you are a good Devil’s advocate. But you see, some people take you seriously. Oh sure, that improves their debating skills. But it implies that the nuts have more support out there than the actually do! Your pal, Ratchet!)

  19. Jedediah Redman

    Finally:
    If you know me, ratchet, you know I was not in anyway supporting crazy ricky or his friends.

    I repeat:
    It really is time to expose the tomfoolery at the root of our extreme right wing; but that comes down to our almost universal thralldom to fearsome superstition which is basis to all of our western religions.
    Until we shake off the fears which have led us to believe instead of think, I’m afraid we are doomed to follow good times instead of seeking a good life for all of our fellow creatures on this plane.

    There are no more ardent supporters of the feminist point of view than yours truly; but–as it has been since the first burning of a bra–their willingness to sprinkle their arguments with hyperbole has lent greater strength to the nay-sayers.
    To pretend that arch-feminism has not led to a strengthening of patriarchal self-satisfaction is as unproductive as pretending our invasion and occupation of Iraq has not led to a strengthening of anti-American feeling among Islamists of all stripes…

  20. goof houlihan

    “our almost universal thralldom to fearsome superstition which is basis to all of our … religions.”

    “Imagine”.

    I edited my agreement a little because exclusivity and fundamentalism isn’t only the province of WESTERN religions. It’s not even confined to the middle eastern monotheisms. The animosity between the India and Pakistan comes to mind immediately.

    Otherwise, a clear and perceptive point.

  21. as it has been since the first burning of a bra

    Sounds like someone’s using some hyperbole there. Commenter, argue with thyself.

  22. citizen1

    Your headline could probably be considered slander. Keep up the good work Rick. If there this opposed to you they must be afraid you might actually win.

  23. Technically it would be libel, not slander, because it’s the written word. Regardless, it’s neither because I clarified further:

    I’m going to bring it all back to the title of my post, “Rick Jore: Panty Sniffer”. Jay’s posted about this before. In other countries where abortion is illegal, the state becomes, in essence, a pervert: the panty sniffer.

    But hey, thanks for visiting!

  24. I’m not sure what this means: If there this opposed to you… Where’s “there” and what’s “this” then?

  25. [Graham Chapman pompous voice]

    What’s all this, then?

    [/Graham Chapman pompous voice]

    I swear, everything comes back to Monty Python.

  26. Jedediah Redman

    Gee, folks, I guess I must have stepped in it!
    Has nobody ever critcised this Becky chick before..?

  27. Actually, they have. Read other posts on this blog. Goof and I have gotten into it more than once. Just like any other topical blog out there, you should always expect lively debate to spring from criticism. Otherwise, it would be a boring read. You shouldn’t assume you can post statement x to any blog and the owner will say to herself, “Yes, this guy’s opinion is the only correct one.”

  28. No one is shutting you down Jed….and I second Rebecca’s comment.

    One of the purposes for blogging on a blog that allows comments is to encourage discussion.

    Sometimes you get zonked – sometimes you’re zonking….that’s the way it works.

  29. I’d also argue that your accusations of hyperbole are misplaced here. After all we’re talking about folks who prefer theocratic law — and that comment appeared on the post about the woman who was whipped and imprisoned for being gang raped!

    The problem isn’t Rebecca’s hyperbole. It’s the outrageousness of these people’s beliefs that make our descriptions of them sound fantastic. Don’t blame the messenger.

  30. Hey, it’s feisty disagreements like these–among liberals–that disprove the accusation progressive/liberal/Democratic blogs in Montana are little more than an echo chamber.

  31. Jedediah Redman

    Perhaps I’m simply naive (idealistic?); but it seems to me our nation is more divided now than it has been during my lifetime.
    And it has seemed to me that can be traced to each facet of our population exaggerating differences–instead of celebrating similarities.

    I am horrified by the notion of abortion, for instance; but, it has seemed to me, until a woman can be offered some alternative other than a lifetime of simulating a queen bee, the government should not deny her control of her own reproductivity.

    I am pro-life in every aspect of my philosophical nature; so the notion of killing babies is anathema to me.
    I have no problems with any kind of contraception.

    It would seem to me that rather than trivializing opposition to abortion, it would be far better to press for availability of effective contraception.

    It seems to me run-of-the-mill religious opposition (like the Bush administration’s) to contraception has had far greater effect than rightwingchristiancrazies like Rick Jore.

    I have always categorized people like Mr. Jore as sociopathic. They are not well. To make fun them is not to unlike public derision of cripples.
    I cannot see a modern state–not even a state where the leftists are basically Reagan Democrats–ever embracing the lunacy which is epitomized by Mr. Jore.

  32. I don’t think I was trivializing opposition to abortion at all. In fact, I take it very, very seriously. Which is why I donate money to NARAL and Planned Parenthood, and why I have chosen Blue Mountain Clinic to be my health-care provider.

    I can’t imagine why Representative Jore would waste his time on his ballot initiative if he knew for certain it would be soundly defeated. He knows there are plenty of people in this state who would like to end what they call “abortion on demand”. However, I’m willing to bet many of those same people use the pill as their primary contraceptive. They would be appalled if they knew his initiative would cover their oral contraceptives. He may be a “rightwingchristiancrazy”, but his efforts here can shift the debate far to the right in an election year.

    And I would never refer to the Bush Administration’s efforts at limiting contraception as merely “run-of-the-mill”. Dr. David Hager, Bush’s 2004 FDA appointee, was as far out there as you can get.

  33. Jedediah Redman

    As I said–you folks on this site are just way too sophisticated for a country boy like me…

  34. JC

    ” can’t imagine why Representative Jore would waste his time on his ballot initiative if he knew for certain it would be soundly defeated.

    It is a wedge issue designed to get out the conservative vote. This has become common ploy at national elections to get out a segment of the electorate state-by-state, with state ballot issues, who wouldn’t otherwise turnout. And while they are turning out voting for their favorite ideological fantasy, they might as well vote for the candidate that is closest to their political bent. Got GWB elected in ’04 by swinging the Ohio vote. The ROL’ers are scared to death that their base is going to stay home in this election.

    As I said–you folks on this site are just way too sophisticated for a country boy like me…

    uh, you’re using a computer and commenting on a blog. That’s pretty sophisticated… ;-)

  35. Jedediah Redman

    My naivete is such that I haven’t developed the inside knowledge nor the apparently the technical knowledge, endemic to most bloggers, JC.

    JC is short for what?–Jesus Christ?

  36. I’m assuming that’s sarcasm, Jedediah. This ain’t rocket science. We just do this a lot and are passionate about our issues, so we’ve got all our links and arguments lined up already, and we like a good donnybrook. So keep popping by; your insight is always appreciated…even if we use you as a foil!

  37. Jedediah Redman

    Sarcasm?
    Sure, jay, and would you really think me capable of such a thing?

    I’ve been watching the country crack apart since Joe McCarthy and his crowd–and the Dixiecrats–were pounding the first wedges; but I’ve felt it was Tsongas, Lieberman, and Clinton whose leadership tilted the crack to port.
    Until then I thought the split would be pretty close to fifty-fifty…

  38. BTW, despite my self-avowed liberal/progressive/populist tilt, I agree with you in that we can actually find common ground on issues even as divisive as aboriton.

    IMHO, I think we can reduce the number of abortions without criminalizing them, while bringing broad benefits to everyone simultaneously. That is, through health care reform. If you give everyone access to health care providers and we concentrate on long-term health issues and preventative medicine, that would go a long way to reduce unwanted abortions…

    No one likes abortion. But instead of trying to punish “bad” behavior with legislation like Jore introduced, we should be proactive and work with the societal conditions that exist…

  39. Al. Hamilton said Society was a great beast.

    It has not changed much, j, but we could work with nature by preventing insted of ending unwanted pregnancies. There is just enough truth always in the fears expressed by lunatics to make it folly to ignore or berate them.
    Abortion–killing of any kind–tends to coarsen society further. Let us seek instead to end the need by making the means for prevention widely available.
    Progessivism instead of populism..?

  40. Abortion–killing of any kind–tends to coarsen society further.

    I think some people tend to forget that women have always practiced abortion, practically from the time humankind descended from the trees. No matter what happens in this particular battle, we will continue to abort in the future. So to assume, as many pro-lifers do, that there was some sort of civilized Golden Age prior to the passage of Roe v. Wade is naïve at best. Society is best served by having it legal and safe.

  41. Populism is best served by assuming–with Calvin–that homo sapiens are corrupt and un improvable. I am frequently surprised to find self-proclaimed progressives who accept that same nonsensical philosophy in the face of historic public educational evidence to the contrary.
    I have always assumed–with Hamilton–it is better to ask my fellows to rise to my standards rather than permitting myself always to sink to theirs.

  42. Hm, I never saw “populism” as an ideology, but as a means or base of a movement. That is, populists are those that appeal to, or find the source of belief from, a broad base of support. I.e., “the people.”

    So I don’t think “progressivism” is contradictory to “populism.” Actually, I think the opposite. I’m for changing the political discourse to include the concerns and ideas of everyday people.

    And heck! I think this issue, and the way you and I both framed it — that is, abortion is bad, should be legal, but we should work to reduce them — is very popular!

    So…how to get this turkey off the blogs, into the traditional media, and onto the national plate of discourse at the supper of elections, now there’s the question!

  43. I stopped thinking in terms of definitions about thirty years ago, j.
    Now I have regressed–perhaps, more accurately, retrogressed–to the more vulgar gut feelings.
    And my gut feeling places populism with the great beast; whereas I still think of progressivism as slightly more dandified than that.
    I think of populism as the crowds which filled the Hermitage, and the White House when, Andy Jackson was elected.
    I think of Lincoln’s efforts to preserve the Union as progressivism; but I also think of both Roosevelt’s major efforts from the gilded age through the Great Depression as progressivism–even though they were essentially noblesse oblige.

  44. Sinking? Nonsensical? Progressivism vs. Populism? Whoa, whoa, whoa gentlemen. This is none of the above. This is pragmatism. As with the other issues involving that special place where the human intellect intersects with our all too natural instincts, like pornography and homosexuality, abortion cannot be defined as something that needs to controlled by the state. I agree that expanded sex education and access to contraceptives is needed, but the bottom line (sorry, another sketchy choice of words) here is this: people are going to fuck. It’s not up to you to decide whether or not they’re living up to the finest principles ever introduced into our Republic. Thank goodness for that. What we need to do is face reality and give women (and men) options: the most medically accurate sex ed, the most recent advances in contraception, and, if all else fails or there’s an emergency, a safe, legal abortion.

    Anything less is intellectual and theological self-delusion.

  45. Jedediah Redman

    Our children will be making an appearance at our home tomorrow afternoon–just about long enough to overeat exquisitely and return to their homes; but in all probability I’ll find some time to take issue with the little lady’s rather summary dismissal my political philosophies.
    I think j and I are on at least parallel courses; but I have an idea MS Beck is gonna take off not at a right angle; but it looks like at least an acute tangent…

  46. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Look out, Jed! I think that Rebecca is a match for even you! Think I’ll just sit back and enjoy this show!

  47. Jedediah Redman

    You should certainly know, ratchet, that ol’ jed has been barely hanging on by his fingernails since first he began to practice his rhetoric on these forums.

    Heck, Beck wasn’t even born until the year ol’ jed turned 34, ratchet. Even a moderately smart 36 year old woman should be able to run circles arount a fellow about to start his 71st winter!–and Becky is way out in front of moderate!

    Look at the way Jay has confused ol’ jed with his dazzling denial that populism–as practiced by Bryan and or Kingfish or Perot–is actually an ideology.

    It just seems to me that neo-frontier folk like ol’ Beck are pretty much also able to define the differences between freedom and license according to their own peculiar interest-d’jour.
    She is pretty certain that ol’ jed and some seventy percent. of the entire population are behind the notion that men should not interfere with a woman’s rights to determine her care for own body–without the state having much of anything to say about it.

    She begins to feel more uncertain however and feels it necessary to become more strident as that less than thirty percent begin to point out that the coat hanger days are actually behind us–that the choice of a back alley butcher has been relegated–by modern science–to the annals of twentieth century dark ages.
    It would probably require the proceeds of only one day of peace in Iraq to fund the science necessary
    render abortion forever unnecessary except to prevent a medical emergency.
    It must be challenging to recognize the only thing standing between that erstwhile progressive flagship and infanticide is a failure to demand that same thoughtful attention to the field contraception…

  48. If there’s one thing this strident little lady is very certain of is that it’s hard to view others’ mistakes with compassion, especially if they lead to decisions we personally find morally repugnant.

  49. Jedediah Redman

    Sounds like you may have dropped some downers over the holiday.

  50. Allyson

    Rebecca: Thanks for posting on this issue. We’re going to need voices like yours from all over the state talking about what this really means for Montana women and families. Hearing Rick Jore stand up on the floor of the Montana House of Representatives and declare women who miscarry should be investigated for what they may have done to harm their pregnancy shows exactly how he feels about women and the danger of his proposal. If people think this is not an attempt to involve the state or politicians in very private and personal moments in your life, they are mistaken.

  51. Robin Spaziani

    The argument that abortion is a necessary evil panders to the anti-abortion camp. And agreeing that abortion is evil and we should try to eliminate it with more and better contraception won’t help anyway, because their position is that contraceptives are really abortifacients. (And even if every fertile woman in the US used the best available form of contraception, there would still be over 300,000 unwanted pregnancies a year due to the failure rate.) Pro-choicers must accept that abortion is not good or bad, it’s just necessary, period.

    And we need to reframe our terminology to reflect the real objective of those whom we call anti-abortion and who call themselves pro-life. Rick Jore and his constituency refer to CI-100 as a “Right to Life” Amendment”. And we allow them to set the tone of the argument by using the same term and end up arguing against a right to life! We should refer to it as what it really is: a Mandatory Motherhood amendment and argue against forcing women to bear children against their will.

    Abortion does not end the life of a person. It ends the potential for a fetus to become a person. This is the heart of the anti-abortion argument: potentiality for personhood. But, if X has the potential to become Y, then X is not Y. In the same way, a potential person is NOT an actual person. A woman, on the other hand, is an actual person, endowed with all the rights and protections of the US Constitution. So they lose the argument and a woman has the right to abort the fetus.

    But what if a potential person WERE a person? CI-100 legally redefines that potential person as an actual person, stating that a person is “a human being at all stages of human development or life, including the state of fertilization, regardless of age, health, level of functioning, or condition of dependency.” This gives the embryo, even the egg at the moment of conception, the SAME legal rights and protections as the woman.

    The Montana State Constitution, Article II, Section 17, states, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” There is no due process of law whereby one person, or the state, can deprive another innocent human being of life. CI-100 asserts that all embryonic stages, from fertilization onward, are persons. An embryo is certainly innocent. Therefore, an embryo cannot be deliberately aborted and killed. So a women who found herself unwillingly pregnant would be compelled by law to become a mother. Now you can see the real meaning of this constitutional amendment: Mandatory Motherhood.

    And make no mistake, this WOULD lead to the criminalization of women for using contraception, miscarrying, or doing anything while pregnant that may be construed as harmful to the fetus. This doesn’t simply return us to the days prior to Roe v. Wade either, it makes abortion a capital crime: murder. It condemns women to involuntary servitude. (Not to mention the men that may not want to support the unlimited number of children their partners are forced to bear.)

    Whenever anyone speaks of the Right to Life Amendment, we need to respond, “Oh, you mean the Mandatory Motherhood Amendment.”

    BTW, there is another change to the constitution that CI-100 makes that has not been mentioned. It replaces the word “born” with “created” in the first sentence of Section 3: All persons are born created free and have certain inalienable rights … This is a sneaky backdoor attempt to recognize a Creator in the state constitution, as the bestower of those inalienable rights. Their ultimate goal is to legally recognize biblical law as having precedence over state law, in the same way that Muslims extremists recognize Sharia law as having precedence over secular law. They claim that the United States was founded upon biblical law precisely because the Declaration of Independence contains the words “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. So this is a step toward bringing the Montana constitution in line with that tenet.

  52. That’s something that angers me, Robin. If we’re fighting religious fundamentalism abroad, why are certain politicians and political parties courting it here at home? If Sharia law is antithetical to law, order, human rights and democracy around the world, then Biblical law should be considered the same right here at home. Fundamentalism is fundamentalism, no matter the color or culture of the extremist.

  53. Trent Hill

    Hopefully Rick Jore’s intiative passes. Respect for Life is tantamount to respecting liberties.

  54. Really? Tell that to people who live in Iran or Saudi Arabia, where abortion is illegal and liberties are nonexistent.

  55. Yeah, I have to say I don’t see any increase in respected liberty by having the government clamp down on reproductive rights.

  56. Brent

    Rebecca,

    Trust me when I say, as a member of the Constitution Party, that we sincerely don’t want ANYTHING to do with your body.

    Like every “good” feminist, you ignore the real argument. We don’t seek to ban most abortions simply for the sake of controlling women’s bodies. That just does to show how deluded and dishonest you are.

    We want to ban most abortions because we firmly believe an unborn baby is a human person, entitled to most of the protections given to born citizens. Naturally, if an unborn child is legally defined as a person, they would be protected by the ‘equal protection clause’ of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution. This is what we hope to achieve.

    We accept that human beings are sexual creatures. We believe God created sex for the enjoyment of married couples, and for reproduction (but not ONLY reproduction). So your attempt to label us as prudes who think sex is evil is intellectually dishonest. But then, I really wouldn’t expect anything BUT dishonesty from a far-left wacko like you. :)

    Also, while most in the CP (and most people I know in general) believe the BCP can in some instances cause abortion, I’ve never heard it proposed that the pill should be banned. The CP does, however, propose that government funding for birth control should be eliminated.

    After all, why should we have to pay for it?

  57. We want to ban most abortions because we firmly believe an unborn baby is a human person

    That’s nice, but nowhere in your comment did you give a reason why you get to use the coersive power of the state to force other people to share your beliefs.

  58. We believe God created sex for the enjoyment of married couples, and for reproduction (but not ONLY reproduction). So your attempt to label us as prudes who think sex is evil is intellectually dishonest.

    Again, that’s nice too. However, it’s immaterial. The cat’s out of the proverbial bag. The sexual revolution is over, more or less. The Constitution Party doesn’t get to decide which consenting adults have sex, let alone use the power of the state to make sure it’s limited to heterosexual married couples. So why bring that up?

    I’m curious about how you’re planning to enforce your law when it comes to those women who can afford to simply travel to another state or another country to procure an abortion. Are they charged with murder? What about the women who don’t have the ability to travel, and who get caught? Are they charged with murder, too?

  59. Hi!! SOooooo….Rick Jore’s party SHOULD be allowed to get CI100 on the ballot? And that was because it will be defeated AND…….what? It will cure them?? I don’t think so.

    I didn’t get your point–among many–about why it should be allowed on the ballot, and hey!! I’m on your side.

  60. goof houlihan

    Rebecca, shutting this crap down is still a big priority for me…

    as for the credibility about what “sex is for”, I put it right up there with “whether a woman should cover her head”. Ayatollahs all.

  61. This post was written when there was some talk of filing lawsuits to prevent Rick Jore and his supporters from gathering signatures for CI-100, BJ. Consider it in that light. I was merely saying let them procede and let them try to explain to the rest of us how their law wouldn’t impact so many other areas of our private lives.

    I completely agree, Goof.

  1. 1 Gee…what a shame! « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Personhood Amendment”, aka CI-100, won’t appear on the ballot this November. I can’t say that I’m surprised, but still. It feels good to know Montanans rejected Jore’s […]

  2. 2 CI-102, a 2010 Montana Ballot Initiative « 42nd Wave Feminist

    […] Beyond the obvious, this amendment could have some pretty drastic consequences.  Planned Parenthood of Montana has posted about the issue here, focusing on privacy rights. And really, this isn’t all that different than 2008’s CI-100, which failed to gather enough signatures to make it to the ballot.  You can read a really well titled 4and20BlackBirds post on that initiative here. […]




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