Okay, Wisconsin Right to Life

I can’t bring myself to praise them, but at least in this, they are being practical:

In a twist, Wisconsin Right to Life, the largest anti-abortion group in the state, has come out forcefully against the personhood amendment strategy, calling it “just plain wrong for Wisconsin.”

In astatement on its website, the organization says Wisconsin is “already in the best position possible to protect unborn children” because the state has a law on the books — currently superseded by Roe v. Wade — that prohibits abortion. The organization believes passage of the personhood amendment would invalidate that law. (Others, including Pro-Life Wisconsin, disagree.)

Wisconsin Right to Life also contends it would cost millions of dollars to win a ballot measure, and that, even if the effort were successful, the personhood amendment would be challenged in court and struck down.

Well, and also again forever too, it plays badly on the news to storm reproductive health clinics to liberate the frozen embryos in the lab and send the cops to bust down the doors of women who’ve just miscarried. But whatever gets them there, really. The practicality argument is one I’ve had with several acquaintances who are opponents of abortion rights, because I feel like it’s the most persuasive for the non-movement people, those who aren’t actively organizing against sluts having sex. HOW, exactly, would this work?


4 thoughts on “Okay, Wisconsin Right to Life

  1. So, what’s the difference between invalidating Roe v. Wade (which is what WRL wants) and passing the personhood amendment (which is what PLW wants)?

  2. Roe v Wade is based on a right to privacy. Overturning it would overturn the right to privacy except with regard to requiring due process, which is whole secure in their person bit. Griswold would still be in effect so we could continue to use birth control.
    A personhood amendment would extend laws designed to prevent abuse and neglect of children to a fertilized egg. Personhood would get rid of most birth control options. Further, enforcement would have to provide for control of women who may be endangering their pregnancy, since the fertilized egg cannot safely be removed from the dangerous environment.

  3. It isn’t supposed to “work,” it is supposed to raise money for lobbying groups. They know it wouldn’t pass.
    But if it did, it would be used as a tool in selective prosecution – pharmacies would stop carrying contraceptives, IV clinics would move out of state, and the miscarriage investigations would likely be constrained to ugly divorce battles. But that’s just the beginning.
    Because they write initiatives like these to be as sympathetic as possible to their own cause, they don’t explain how “personhood” would interact with all the other laws on the books. This is especially true because there would be no precedents for enforcement mechanisms. Local authorities would have wide leeway to interpret the law (which is what they want) and that would later force the courts to uphold or strike down such decisions. Unfortunately for people who believe in women’s rights, the eventual court decisions would matter less than the intimidating power of local authorities with a chip on their shoulder. And the amendment makes redress of grievances difficult – if those authorities get excessive, any litigation could be limited because there was no prior interpretation of the law.

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