In a profile of Iowa Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Joni Ernst, NBC host Chuck Todd asserted over the weekend that a so-called "personhood" amendment that she supported would protect "unborn human beings."
On Sunday's edition of Meet the Press, Todd visited Iowa and noted that the winner of the race would likely decide control of the U.S. Senate.
"Ernst hopes to benefit from the fact that her first name isn't congressman," Todd explained. "But what could be holding her back -- in what is clearly an anti-Washington year -- is some of her very conservative positions, including something called personhood which in some cases would grant all unborn human beings with equal protections."
"It's not a mistake, it's stating that I do believe in life," Ernst told Todd. "I will never say that's a mistake because, again, I am someone who is always going to promote life."
During a debate with Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley earlier this month, Ernst declared that the personhood amendment was “simply a statement that I support life.”
In fact, the personhood amendment proposed in Iowa went far beyond granting "all unborn human beings with equal protections." It would have given full human rights from the moment of fertilization, and would have outlawed some forms of birth control.
"A fertilized egg has to continue to grow, attach itself to a woman's uterine wall and gestate for nine months before it is born, and there are many potential missteps (that can happen) along the way," American Society for Reproductive Medicine's Sean Tipton explained to CNN in 2011. "Unfortunately nature and science are messy and defy attempts to create human categories."
"There are lots of fertilized eggs that never become human beings," Tipton pointed out. "Humans are notoriously inefficient producers, and we believe most (fertilized eggs) actually go out with a woman's menstrual flow."