Another Pakistan flashback: This girl and her family are 2010 flood victims. On the day I took this photo, they had just been given a new house, compliments of a couple of nonprofits and a generous Belgian man. I love this bright yellow wall, which is actually the color of all the walls in the house. The girl was shy at first, but then she started grinning like she would never stop. Read more about these families here.
It’s been awhile since I’ve given you any pictures of Pakistan. Okay, actually, it’s been awhile since I’ve given you anything at all. I can’t seem to stay off the road these days, and since an iPad is, unfortunately, not in my immediate future, y’know how it goes…
Anyhow, Pakistan has lots of nifty carts. Here are two of them.
Run Dan Run has just released a new shoegaze-y, pretty and kinda (sometimes) jazzy album called Normal. And I’m just listening for the first time now–only four songs in–or I’m sure I would’ve rambled along for a nice, self-indulgent, few more lines of adjectives.
I interviewed the band for The Southwing when they played New York a few years back. These guys are fantastic musicians and fantastic people, and that is my objective, journalistic statement.
So yesterday I had to drop by Starkville to pick up a car tag. While I was there, my friend Delores and I managed a quick photoshoot for Kissing Cousin, my online vintage boutique. Okay, well, boutique is a bit flashy. Kissing Cousin is more like a five and dime. You know, its more like Kissing Cuz. Kissing cuz?
Anyhow, Delores is rocking the Amelie things these days. She makes a fantastic model. And you should check out her etsy shop too.
Because, ahem, last time I checked, women are considered persons (with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), too.
Okay so Initiative 26 or Personhood Mississippi—this alone is enough reason to make a point to vote. You’ve seen those “say yes to life” signs around town, right? This amendment has been touted as “anti-abortion” legislation, but please know that if enacted, it could be used for many purposes beyond stopping abortion.
The actual wording of the article is: Section 33. Person Defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.”
This means that all Mississippi law that applies to persons, including inheritance, property, civil protection and zoning laws, will apply to zygotes created both naturally and in a lab.
Kobi-Molinas, an ACLU lawyer, pointed out the potentially expensive (to you, the taxpayer) legal debates that could result from this: “What does it mean for property or inheritance law? What happens when you’re trying to make districts for voting, and you have to consider fertilized eggs as legal persons? The meaning of the provision could come up in any number of lawsuits,” she said.
But there are more immediate and intimate consequences to debate. The biggest question is, where would this law end? Should this initiative pass, it will make abortions, ALL abortions, illegal in Mississippi. Perhaps a doctor could perform an abortion to save a mother’s life after obtaining a court order, but what if her health doesn’t permit time to go through this legal process, which would undoubtedly take an emotional toll on the woman and strip her of her right to privacy? Does a woman not have a right to life that equals that of the fetus she carries? What if a woman chooses to treat her cancer rather than carry a fetus to term? What if she tries to do both, but in the process, the fetus suffers irreparable damage—will she be held criminally accountable? Should a preteen girl be legally forced to carry a pregnancy to term (or until she miscarries naturally and physically traumatically) regardless of the implications for her health or the means through which she was impregnated?
In the right (wrong) hands, this article could use to justified outlawing birth control pills (which can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg), it could subject women who miscarry (a quarter of all pregnant women) to criminal investigation, it could make in vitro fertilization illegal (many fertilized eggs don’t survive implantation) and set a precedent for other states to pass similar laws, setting back American women and our civil rights struggle by decades.
Plus, this law is classist and racist. Privileged women will still be able to obtain abortions of convenience. They’ll hop over a state, or a few, to get an abortion. Wealthy women will go out of state to pick up the year’s supply of birth control pills. Wealthy women won’t have to recover from their miscarriages in jail, while awaiting trial, because they couldn’t afford bail. They won’t have to appear before judges to defend their miscarriages. Their lawyers will do that for them, if it even comes to that point. It’s poor women and brown women—and Mississippi has among the highest percentages of both—who will suffer, should this article pass.
You may think that yeah, all of those things could happen, but they won’t. There’s no way this law will be implicated that radically—its whole purpose is to ban abortion. But what if there is a drastic rise in the rate of miscarriages? And there could be, because rural women once on the pill (should it become outlawed) or who simply would have chosen abortion may not have access or transportation to prenatal care, which could result in more miscarriages. And if this rise (which may even be due to unrelated factors) is deemed “suspicious?” Well, then officials could easily begin to investigate “suspicious” miscarriages and ultimately, all miscarriages.
Anything can happen, and elected representatives have a long history of acting illogically. Shouldn’t this amendment be amended before we vote it into our state constitution? (The legality of which is another debate in and of itself…)