Montana’s CI-108

November 6, 2011

As promised, I’m posting about CI-108, the latest personhood amendment attempt from the MT anti-choicers.  I’ll be honest though. It’s actually difficult for me to get fired up about it this time around.  Montana’s citizens have rejected similar attempts before.  None of the previous initiatives have gathered enough signatures.

My concern, however, is that I’m not the only one having a hard time getting fired up, and the signature gatherers will be able to use that to their advantage this time around.  Are they just reintroducing the same initiative over and over to wear us down?  It might not be a bad strategy.

CI-108 would be a particularly dangerous amendment, if it made it to the ballot.  It modifies the Due Process clause of the state constitution to define “person” as anything from a fertilized egg onward.  And you may recall the the Due Process clause reads “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

Ponder that for a moment, if you will.  Replace the word person with fertilized egg, zygote, embryo or fetus.   No fertilized egg shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.   Can you see where this is going?

It is clearly a method of outlawing abortion or at least making it so difficult to obtain that it is effectively outlawed.  It could even be used to outlaw the use of certain types of birth control, including Plan B, IUDs, or anything that might prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.

And even though many people think this is a bit ridiculous it could actually bring about a situation where miscarriages had to be investigated to determine if they qualified as negligent homicide or something.  Did the woman drink or smoke, exercise too much or too little?   Did she eat sushi that included raw fish?  What about unpasteurized cheese or anything else known to be harmful to fetal development?

These amendment attempts keep cropping up all over the place.  I believe Mississippi and Colorado are also targets at the moment.

My sincere hope is that the initiative will fail to qualify for the ballot again due to lack of signatures.  I haven’t quite figured out when the deadline for submission is, though.  As always, I encourage everyone to be very aware of what it is you’re being asked to sign.  We’ve had instances of petitioners being very deceitful in the past.

I’ll share more information as I find it.


Hello again!

November 2, 2011

Hi there!

I know that it’s been just over two years (2 years and 1 month exactly!)  since I posted anything at this blog, but I really think that it’s time that I resurrected it.  The boring story (that you’ve heard before) is that I recently got out of the relationship that I had just gotten into not long before I abandoned this blog.  I won’t be hashing out the details of that relationship or that breakup, but suffice it to say that I’ve got a few more deal breakers than I did before, and yes the relationship and the blog-abandonment were related.

Going forward, my plan is to write about politics, movies, television, the exciting world of dating and whatever else I feel like sharing.  In terms of my political posts, I will do my best to stay away from the kinds of accusations that one should have the spine and decency to make under one’s own name.   The point of this blog isn’t so that I can attack political figures and hide behind my anonymity.    However, I do still plan for this to be a “secret” blog so that I can talk about really personal things here without my real life friends being able to be sure that it’s me.

I’ve opened a twitter account as well.  It’s  Feel free to follow it, if you wish.

I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting, but I’ll try to be reasonable about it.  I am not really watching any tv as it airs these days, and posting about old episodes of Supernatural or Warehouse 13 seems a little silly.  Also, the Montana Legislature is not in session at the moment., but we do have some interesting ballot initiatives that I may get fired up about from time to time.

I will still be screening comments, though.  Comments that disagree with my positions are fine so long as they are polite and not obviously trollish.

So, I hope there are still a few people who haven’t cleaned me out of their readers yet, and of course I’m excited about new readers as well.

Keep your eyes peeled for a post about CI-108 in the next few days.

A recent study conducted by the Kinsey Institute seems to show that women are overly concerned about their vaginas in terms of how they look, taste and smell and that this can lead to difficulty having orgasms as well as heath issues as a result of avoiding gynecological visits.

An article at The Globe and Mail quotes study author Dr. Debby Herbenick as saying, “Individuals may adopt negative attitudes toward women’s genitals as a result of cultural-level scripts that suggest that women’s genitals are unclean or dirty.”

The article goes on to suggest that even those of us who know better than to buy into these concepts are still so bombarded with these negative messages, in the form of commercials and through seeing products such as “sex wipes” that we are likely affected, at least on some level.

Dr. Herbendick does go on to give us a little bit of good news, stating that men are generally more positive about women’s genitals.  “Women are assuming the worst, and they’re anxious, and men are just happy to be invited to the party.”

I’m pondering, right now, how affected I am or have been by these messages.  I can certainly recall being more self-conscious when I was younger, but I know I’ve gotten more confident over the years, partly due to the positive attitudes of the men I’ve dated, including my current boyfriend.  (Thank you, honey!)

I also wonder how these images and messages affect younger women.  I like to think that I’m strong and capable of recognizing and discarding these sorts of BS messages when I see them.  But what about girls who don’t have a mom like mine to tell them that douches are bad and that we should be aware of our vaginas and vaginal health, but that they’re not inherently dirty or gross?  I can’t ever recall my parents telling me that it was dirty or bad to touch myself “down there”, but apparently that’s just what some parents do tell their daughters.

I hope parents out their pay attention to studies like this.  Teaching our young women that our genitals are icky can apparently have some pretty serious consequences.  Girls should be taught appropriate & positive language for their “shame caves“,  (That is truly one of my favorite Daily Show segments of all time.) and encouraged to feel comfortable with their own bodies.

For any of you interested in the CI-102 petition, Montana Cowgirl over at Left In the West has posted some very interesting and potentially disturbing info about the folks behind CI-102.  Please check out her post.

I’ve posted about Dollhouse before.  You can see previous posts here, here and here. The big thing I took away from most of the eps of Dollhouse was consent.  It seemed to me that Joss Whedon was exploring differing levels of consent and how valid the consent of the person who signed themselves over to the Dollhouse could really be.

It couldn’t really be informed consent, could it?  So is it really valid?

I’m not sure the show has, or ever will answer that question, but I believe it is worth pondering in any case.

Season 2 of Dollhouse starts tonight.  By all accounts it will be darker than season 1.  I’m really looking forward to finding out where the series goes from here.

I also happened across (thanks to this, somewhat dated, but recently posted interview with Joss Whedon about Dollhouse.  It gives a little insight into how he sees the show and what he intends.  It’s worth reading.

Well, it appears that the hardcore anti-abortionists are at it again.  They want to define a person as a human at any stage of life or development, from the fertilization of the egg onward.  Specifically they’re going after the Due Process clause of the Montana State Constitution.

The full text of the CI-102 Ballot Initiative can be read here.

First, the definition of person in this initiative:  “CI-102 amends the due process section of the Montana Constitution to define “person” as used in that section to include every human being regardless of age, health, function, physical or mental dependency, or method of reproduction, from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.

Section 17 of the MT Constitution reads: “Due process of law. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

In searching for a good definition or explanation of Due Process I’ve discovered that it’s fairly vague, but seems to boil down to fairness.  A simple explanation can be found here, though it is not specific to Montana.

So if a fertilized egg is a person, it cannot be deprived of life (or liberty or property, but we’ll come back to that) without due process of law.  Does that mean that anyone wishing to have an abortion would have to request legal permission to proceed?

It certainly does. That’s exactly what these folks want to accomplish. If they cannot outlaw abortion outright they will continue to seek to  make it as difficult and burdensome as possible.  That this directly conflicts with a woman’s right to privacy is of no consequence to them.  And what happens when the rights of the mother and fetus are in conflict?  In those instances where the continuation of the pregnancy could kill the mother, how does the law decide which “person’s” rights to uphold?

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.

Many of the same issues that could be seen with CI-100 also apply to CI-102.  If a person cannot be deprived of life without due process, and legal personhood begins at the moment of fertilization, what happens when a woman has an ectopic pregnancy?  Or a miscarriage?  Would miscarriages have to be investigated? Could charges be filed if a woman was found to have been less than perfect in nurturing her unborn child?

And moving on to the rest of the wording. Would fetuses be able to own property?  And what about liberty?  What exactly constitutes liberty when still inside the womb?

The proposed amendment is dangerous and more than a little potentially ridiculous.

I truly hope that Montanans will decline to sign this petition when they are presented with it.  Please spread the word and remember to always ask for the details of whatever petition you’re being asked to sign.  Petition gatherers can be fairly creative in finding ways to make their petition sound like the sort of thing any sensible person would support.

Remember, miscarriage is NOT murder.


September 22, 2009

Imagine my surprise when the folks over at 15andcounting commented on this blog to let me know they’d like to include me in a Feminist Blogs We Love post.   Looking at the list of blogs included in their post I’m struck with feelings of extreme unworthiness. Especially since I haven’t blogged in ages.

Please take the time to check out 15andcounting as well as the feminist blogs they list.  I feel quite humbled to be included in a list of blogs I love.

In other news, I am still around and will be blogging about local politics in the very near future.  We’ve got a lovely Constitutional Initiative out for signatures that I need to rant about and the new seaso of Dollhouse starts on Friday.

Thanks for having kept me in your readers or blogrolls while I was gone.