Defining when a person becomes a person under current state laws is not very straightforward. In order to make the distinction more clear, pro-life activists and members of Personhood USA are trying to create a more clear, as well as earlier, definition of when life begins, according to NPR.
A person becomes a person "exactly at creation," said Personhood USA President, Keith Mason, told the radio network. "It's fertilization; it's when the sperm meets the egg. We know, without a shadow of a doubt, when human life begins, but our laws have not caught up to what we know."
The "personhood bill" has was defeated in Colorado in 2008 and 2010, and Mississippi is expected to vote this upcoming November. Personhood USA is hoping by 2012 to have proposals for half of the states and according to America’s Independent Party News, on May 24, the Alabama Senate voted 25-7 in favor of the personhood bill, and is now headed to the House.
Planned Parenthood has a different definition of when life begins: pregnancy begins not at fertilization, but when the already fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus. One reason why the medical community does not consider a woman pregnant until after implantation is because that is when changes in hormones are detectable, according to WomensHealth.gov.
If the law defining personhood changes, it could affect the use of contraceptives including birth control pills and intra-uterine devices, as they prevent fertilization and could therefore be considered abortion aids, in a sense, according to Jezebel.com.
Another facet of the personhood bill, according to WBUR.org, are the options a woman has if an ectopic pregnancy or other life-threatening pregnancy-related issues, where fertilization has already occurred, is present. Ending the pregnancy to save the mother's life would be considered abortion, even in the case of a non-viable ectopic pregnancy, where the egg has been fertilized outside of the uterus.