GOP: Protect Embryos! (Until They Are Born. After That, Fuck It.)

The Huffington Post reported today that some Republicans are aiming to end birthright citizenship. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) have introduced bills this year to end the practice of giving U.S. citizenship to all children born in the United States, according to the site.

And yet, the Republican party has also been steadfast in its efforts to promote Personhood Initiatives, which call for amendments to state constitutions to give fetuses rights.

Can these two initiatives exist at the same time? Is an embryo to have full constitutional protection, until the moment it is born? At which point, if the parents are undocumented, the baby should have no rights? Or does the embryo of an undocumented woman not deserve the same rights as other embryos? Does pro-life actually mean pro-American life?

Here’s something I wrote about it a few years ago, when Oklahoma was pushing a Personhood Initiative.


I am an American Person

Day One

I am conceived! I have not yet implanted myself in my mother’s womb. My father’s sperm has just wriggled its way into my mother’s egg. I am only seconds along in my gestation. But already I know it: I need a lawyer.

Day Two

I hear the police enter our house. OK, I don’t hear it, since I don’t have ears, but I sense it. My mother’s belly growing taut. The adrenaline flowing through her system, giving me an embryonic high, making it ever harder to latch on to the wall of her womb. They tell her she has to leave. She is not here in the United States legally, they say. Undocumented. And yet, according to my lawyer, I am a US citizen, afforded all the rights guaranteed under the US Constitution, thanks to the Personhood Initiative that has so strongly swept my great nation. Sure, it started out with just state rights, but they pushed it all the way, baby, and finally got that constitutional amendment. So from that first moment of conception here in Oklahoma, I was protected, even if my mom wasn’t. Sorry, Ma. If they make you leave, I’m staying here in the Land of Opportunity. Maybe it’s better I haven’t implanted yet. It will make it easier to let go.

Day Three

My lawyer tells me he has found a slight wrinkle in the system. Some of the very same people who afforded me, as an embryo, all the rights of an American citizen, are trying to end citizenship for babies born in the United States to non-US citizens. I have to contemplate this, as any embryo would. But as I see it, that whole US Constitution thing is only going to protect me until I am born. At that point, these people no longer want me to be a US citizen. I better pursue all the happiness I can in the next 40 weeks, if I could only latch on to my mother’s womb!

Day Four

Trouble sleeping last night. Thinking about my embryonic peers. What about that European embryo I saw on CNN’s The Situation Womb last night? Its mom conceived it here in the United States. But when she got back to Europe, she realized she had left the country with this all-American embryo. I hope her doctor realizes the United States could sue him to protect that embryo, which must enjoy all the rights of a US citizen, given that it was conceived in Oklahoma. Am I right, or am I right?

Day Five

Wait a minute. Is this a dastardly plan hatched by illegals to plant their anchor babies here? They just have to prove conception in the United States, because, of course, that pre-placenta person is a citizen of the United States now. I understand the area just north of the Tijuana border is becoming a romantic refuge. And proving North-of-the-Border conception has launched a whole new series of South-of-the-Border videos on YouTube, if you know what I mean. I imagine there are hordes of undocumented embryos scaling that fence. If they can just show they were conceived here, they can be born in Mexico but be protected by the US Constitution, right? Since they were US people from the beginning.

Day Six

It’s dark in here. Let’s one do a lot of thinking. I am thinking about my frozen peers. Some have been US citizens for a long time, enjoying their freedoms inside a freezer. Will they get to vote once they’ve been frozen for eighteen years? Maybe I could rally them to vote in favor of undocumented embryos, to give all zygotes the chance to pursue the American Dream, even if their parents cannot.


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