By WPF’s female staff: Bridget Conley and Lisa Avery
We are, perhaps, late to joining the political outrage that erupted on May 15th when Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law HB314, the “Alabama Human Life Protection Act.” But we felt her signature of the draconian law elevated Ivey above the fray, made her a clear winner for the June employee of the month award. Her signing statement announced the purpose of the Bill, which was not to spark new enforcement, but rather to wind its way to the U.S. Supreme Court and force a re-consideration of the landmark Roe v. Wade case that legalize abortion in the country:
In all meaningful respects, this bill closely resembles an abortion ban that has been a part of Alabama law for well over 100 years. As today’s bill itself recognizes, that longstanding abortion law has been rendered “unenforceable as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.”
No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable. As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions. Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.
–Governor Kay Ivey’s Statement After Signing the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, May 15, 2019.
The Law has been accurately identified as mysoginist, ideologically at odds with the opinion of the majority of Americans, dangerous for public health, and hypocritical, notably for a governor whose enormous “commitment to Human Life” includes endeavors to accelerate implementation of the death penalty — among a host of other fatally flawed aspects of the law. We would like to draw attention to a less recognized implication of the Bill.
If we are to take the Law seriously, then the state of Alabama has committed a terrible accounting error. The current population of Alabama is around 4.9 million people, of which 51.5% are female. If one multiplies these 2.5 million females by the number of eggs that the average female has by time of puberty (300 – 400, we use the 350 as a middle point), one arrives at the number: 875,000,000. It is unlikely that all of these eggs would under normal conditions become fertilized. Nonetheless, the mere potential for fertilization, lying dormant inside the population of female holding vessels, awaiting any man’s decisions to fertilize (with or without consent, as the law allows no exceptions for cases of rape or incest), implies the state should adopt policies to govern the woman as vessels for hundreds of people.
To correct this mistake, we offer two propositions for what we call an “egg-recognition multiplying policy”:
- The men in Alabama should be able to lay claim to some number of eggs which they would specify annually as the ones they intend to fertilize and these should be added to the census figures. Any eggs laid claim to, however, also trigger a dependent support fee, whereby the ‘holder’ of the egg is paid a monthly stipend to continue ‘storing’ it. See Figure 1.
- Alternatively, each woman should be counted as not only herself, but herself plus her eggs. One could go with a simple formula that 1 woman = 350, or 350 +1 = 351, or, in keeping with the spirit of the Law, 350 – 1 = 349 (we would leave the final decision on this matter to the good people of Alabama). Regardless, this multiplying factor should also apply to elections: women’s votes should be henceforward be counted 350 times. See Figure 2.
You may ask, why is this of significance to world peace? The egg-recognition multiplying factor has global implications: either women are seriously underpaid for their egg storage facilities, or they are seriously underrepresented in political decisions.
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