Okay, so what is it?
The religious right has been fighting for decades to outlaw abortions. They've tried everything and, so far, nothing has worked. Their latest gambit is a "Personhood" law that would dictate that personhood begins at conception, the moment the first little wiggly spermatozoa bangs its brainless little head into a similarly senseless little egg. At that instant, they want the law to say, another person takes his/her seat at the table of humanity.
But they are missing a simpler and more straightforward way to get where they want to go and, at the same time reinforcing one of the Right's other most cherished theory - that corporations are people. That's already the law of the land. So why not bootstrap their personhood movement on that already extant law rather than trying to create a whole new law?
Really, I'm shocked the Right has missed this one. They are usually more diabolically clever than this. Even Tony Perkins could get his head around this one. And Pat Robertson could kick it off on his 700 Club show which he uses to release God-backed revelations, like that Katrina was God's punishment for New Orleans' sinful ways, and such. What better launching platform for this one?
So, here's how it would work. As soon as an egg is fertilized it would immediately be granted under law the status of a corporation and automatically incorporated in Delaware. Parents or parent-to-be would not have to do anything. As soon as their doctor confirms the pregnancy a central federal databank would assign the embryo a corporate identity. (For example, "EmbryoPizzo95472 Inc.") From that moment on the embryo would possess all the protections and privileges of a full-fledged American corporation. And, since the US Supreme Court has ruled that "Corporations are people," viola! Instant personhood.
Corporate status would afford corporate embryos extraordinary protections, far more than full-term non-corporate humans enjoy.
And, of most interest to the religious right, the would-be mother could not just end a pregnancy on her own. No Siree. Instead she'd have to go to federal bankruptcy court and try to prove that, since the embryo has no assets even as it continues to rack up medical bills it cannot pay, that the corporate embryo should be ordered "liquidated" by the court.
Ah but corporations have protections that make liquidation a highly subjective decision. Opponents would argue that, since the corporate embryo is currently residing rent-free inside of and being entirely supported by a non-corporate entity, (aka, a "mother') it has no assets but also has no liabilities, at least not in its corporate name. Therefore negating any lawful reason for liquidation.
Corporate status for embryos would also afford other protections to embryos not now available to non-corporate zygotes. "Corporate personhood" is the notion that a corporation also has all the rights of a person under the US Constitution.
So, a corporate embryo could not be denied the right to "keep and bear arms" for example.
Oh, I know, a lot of libs out there will say that a uterus is no place for guns, but too damn bad. As a person under the law, the soon-to-be kid has a right to have a piece for protection. Protection against what? Well, think about. One of those back-alley abortionists, that's who. Once embryos attain corporate status there isn't a legit doc in the country who'd dare try anything... because doctors know how ugly corporate lawyers can get. So some pregnant women might turn to back-alley abortionists and meeting the barrel of .357 magnum halfway up the creek would put a quick end to all that.
Thanks to the Third Amendment, "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner," meaning Big Government won't be able to station a soldier outside a corporate embryo's "house" - (uterus) without the embryo's permission.
And, the 9th Amendment states: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, ....." This one can come in darned handy after birth, prohibiting hospitals from holding the kid hostage for a big medical bill. Hospitals will hate that one but either a corporation is a person or they're not. And if they're persons then the Bill of Rights applies. Spring the kid or else.
I tell ya, this is a sure fire winner and right-wingers should give serious consideration. And, it gets even better.
Thanks to the recent Supreme Court decision removing any limit on how much corporations can contribute to politicians, imagine the possibilities! Think of this one as a bonus benefit to those baby factories in the Mormon, Catholic and other faiths that produce babies like Hostess cranks out cupcakes. Every one of those little corporate embryos could be used to circumvent the $2500 limit their parents' face under federal law as just plain people. Instead they could make huge contributions in the names of their yet-to-be born little corporate embryos. Imagine how many religious-right-wing-nuts they could get into federal offices with corporate power like that!
That's it. That's my modest proposal for solving the right's long-standing battle against choice.
Don't thank me. They might actually embrace it. They're certainly crazy enough!
(Editing courtesy of Robert Duffey)