‘Personhood Amendment’ Defeated In Mississippi, But Supporters Not Giving Up

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Mississippi voters yesterday rejected the state’s “Personhood Amendment” – also known as Initiative 26 – which declares that life begins at fertilization and that an embryo should have the same rights as a human being (that would make abortion illegal and it would also deny women the right to IVF treatment as well as birth control such as the morning-after pill and IUDs). More than 55% voted against it – but that hasn’t stopped supporters from fighting for change.

In fact, abortion opponents announced today that they’re still pursuing “personhood” initiatives in six other states. Keith Mason, co-founder of Personhood USA – the main force behind the Mississippi proposal – said his group is trying to put initiatives on 2012 ballots in Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Nevada and California. He also said they may revive efforts for another ballot initiative in Mississippi.

I, for one, am relieved that voters rejected the initiative, which takes away a woman’s human rights. Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the initiatives represent an “extreme, dangerous and direct assault” on abortion rights – and I couldn’t agree more.

It’s astounding to me that anyone would impose his or her personal beliefs on an entire nation and deny women the right not only to abortions – just imagine the victims of incest or rape – but also to birth control and fertility treatment in general. It’s mind-blowing, really.

Even Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who is staunchly pro-life, began to express concerns over the initiative, which is about so much more than just abortion. Again, it’s about a woman’s basic human rights.



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  4. Pons

    June 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    “It would essentially make abortion illegal”

    I am pro choice, but I do not think personhood would make abortion illegal in fact, I think it would strengthen a person’s right to abortion. Think about it, what person has a legal claim on your body parts? Under what conditions can a person be forced to donate an organ to another person?

    “If every embryo is a person, than each one taken from the mother must be implanted and given the opportunity to grow into a child.”

    Not necissarily, because the mother is also a person who must provide her consent to the use of her organs by another person. The biggest fail of all forced birth advocates is that they forget this, pro choice advocates should not make the same mistake.

    Say you get into a car to go to the store, on the way you get in a wreck and die. You are not an organ donor. Does driving, in an of itself, constitue consent to be an organ donor? Your intention was certainly not to die while driving, but, accidents happen. Can your refusal to donate your organs be overridden by anyone?

    Law says no, a person’s organs belong exclusively to the person they were born with, no other individual or entity has a say in what you do with your organs, (other than to ban the sale of those organs, meaning what is up for debate is the legality of charging a childless couple to carry a child for them) Even if your refusal to donate would result in the death of another person, you can not be forced to donate any of your organs.

    The right to life argument is also very weak on it’s face. If my kidney fails and I need a new one in order to live, who do I speak to about my right to life?

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