The Battle, Not The War

9 Nov

I’m trying to do a big girl grown up piece for Like The Dew. I’m having trouble stringing everything together. Fortunately, you dear people are used to my semi-coherent ramblings, so I don’t feel bad for just posting a bunch of stuff and letting you sort out the meaning. Like reading tea leaves. Or entrails.

Here are some thoughts about yesterday’s personhood vote:

  • I’ve been asked a couple of times today if I was surprised about the outcome of the election. No, I wasn’t. Understand, however, I’d be saying the same thing had personhood passed.
  • Normally I’m not a political wonk. I don’t study the numbers like baseball fans study statistics. I did wonder how the poorest counties, the Mississippians who could least afford for this amendment to pass, voted. I looked at AP results by county. Turns out, of the twenty counties (of 82) in Mississippi with the lowest per capita incomes, only two (Marion and Greene) voted to ratify. One showed a tie (Benton) and two were not reporting results (Tunica and Wilkinson).
  • Was there an income gap? Of the five counties with highest per capita income, only Lee County voted yes. Tupelo is in Lee County and is the home of Donald Wildmon, former leader of American Family Association and a vocal anti-choice leader.
  • Here’s what I think. I’ve got nothing to back me up on this, just my gut. I think there were many Mississippians who felt they had to publicly support personhood, then got in the voting booth and voted what their consciences and good sense told them. I think there were women with husbands supporting the measure who, in the privacy of the voting booth, decided to stand up for all the women this would impact.
  • I think Mississippians saw beyond the slick websites and highly-paid lobbyists to see this was a purposely vague amendment with dangerous ramifications well beyond banning abortion.
  • Remember, the overwhelming majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose. That little fact gets lost in the fray.
  • Like MacArthur and herpes, this issue will be back. Personhood proponents are well-funded zealots who will not go away.
  • I think this amendment scared people into paying attention. I think voters will remember this and make an effort to educate themselves better on ballot issues.
  • Tennessee, you’re next. There’s an amendment out there saying that women do not have a constitutional right to an abortion.
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