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On Nov. 7 the voters of Mississippi soundly defeated the state Initiative 26 called the “personhood amendment.”

According to the news, Oregon voters may face a similar initiative next November. This initiative is fraught with strong emotions from both sides of the discussion.  It has been my observation that individuals and groups tend to vote with their emotions and not the facts, often confusing the two.

According to Medicine World. Org, approximately 10 percent of all pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage. Let’s look at some of the facts:

1. 95 percent of all first trimester miscarriages are due to a genetic problem.

2. 15 percent of all second trimester miscarriages are due to uterine malformation, fibroids or cervical problems. One study showed 19 percent are caused by problems with the umbilical cord or placenta.

3. Other factors are uncontrolled diabetes, severe cases of hypothyroidism, or diseases such as rubella or chlamydia.

4. Tobacco smoking (even from fathers) increases the risk, as does alcohol consumption.

5. Antidepressants such as Paroxetine and Venlafaxine create an increased risk.

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How would the courts know whether it was a spontaneous or induced miscarriage? Some would say that a spontaneous miscarriage is an act of God. According to the “personhood amendment” does God become the murderer? How about tobacco, alcohol, and drug companies and their addictive products, can they be held as accessories? Could a women beheld responsible for murder because she passed on a genetic disorder or has a uterine malformation?

This amendment would set a bad precedent. 

Roger Paul, Corvallis


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