If media members print distortions, half-truths, or lies, they are duty-bound to print corrections. The Associated Press has printed what I would consider a lie. Below is an excerpt from The Washington Post article headlined “In little-noted LG race, GOP’s voluble and volatile Jackson debates wonky Dem doctor, Northam."
"Virginia’s lieutenant governor candidates . . . clashed over healthcare, how to care for the dangerously mentally ill, and women’s access to reproductive health services.”
In their story on the Virginia lieutenant governor candidates’ debate, it is printed as fact a false claim [easily fact-checked as false] of one of the candidates. The article states that
the “personhood” bill considered by the Virginia legislature last year would have outlawed most forms of abortion in the state. In fact, the bill would have outlawed no abortions in the state.
A brief Google search can reveal that the personhood bill’s summary declares that any rights granted to an unborn child are “subject only to the laws and Constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the Commonwealth.”
So the bill is restricted by Roe v. Wade and every subsequent abortion decision by the Supreme Court. In other words, it would prohibit no abortions. Missouri has had almost identical language in its state code for years, language that has been upheld in court and which has barred zero abortions.
King is being quite disingenuous. While a personhood law in and of itself may not bar abortions, the strategy behind them is to use such laws as a basis to ban abortion in the future:
- One supporter of a personhood bill in North Dakota said that "We are intending that it be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, since (Justice Antonin) Scalia said that the Supreme Court is waiting for states to raise a case."
- A supporter of a personhood law in Mississippi said: "In the Roe decision, [Justice Henry] Blackmun said, 'We're not gonna answer the question of whether the fetus is a person,' and so in the 38 years since, we have had a tragic number of abortions. We think that God has already told us when life begins, and science has confirmed it, and the court has just not dealt with it, so we're hoping the people of Mississippi make the right decision."
King herself made her ulterior motive clear later in her column:
Obviously, The Associated Press and perhaps millions of Americans don’t understand the concept of “personhood” that upholds the constitutional mantra that all men [people] are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Now that the door is open wider on the discussion of unalienable [civil] rights, let’s demand the basic and intrinsic civil right of life for all persons, born and preborn.
On the wings of the 50th anniversary of The Civil Rights Act enacted July 2, 1964, are the cries of the aborted babies. While the landmark legislation outlawed major forms of racial, ethnic, national, religious, minority, and female discrimination, people in the womb were left out.
If a personhood law does not prevent abortion, why would King be pushing so hard for it? Because she knows that the anti-abortion strategy is to use the personhood law as leverage to ban abortion in the future. She should just admit that this is her goal.