Friday’s editorial recommending that we vote no on Amendment 62, the “personhood amendment,” pointed out that it is similar to a similar ballot initiative two years ago. The editorial concludes, “Perhaps next time they’ll move it on back and try to bestow full civil rights and responsibilities on sperm, eggs or even the gleam in a potential father’s eye.” It is common to state that Amendment 62 would confer personhood on a fertilized egg. The actual amendment extends “inalienable rights, equality of justice and due process of law, to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.” That includes eggs and sperm. For instance, the National Human Genome Research Institute points out on its web site, “Most chromosome abnormalities occur as an accident in the egg or sperm.” What more profound impact on biological development than a chromosomal abnormality that occurs prior to fertilization?
Girls are born with about two million eggs; a single ejaculate contains about fifty times that number. I don’t think that the supporters of Amendment 62 intended to extend rights to several trillion persons, but that’s what they have written. Even those who oppose abortion should vote no on Amendment 62. Gleams in fathers’ eyes are okay for the time being.