On November 8, voters in Mississippi will vote on a constitutional amendment declaring a fertilized egg to be a person. As election day approaches, the New York Times reports on the final push:
The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar some birth control methods, including IUDs and “morning-after pills” that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.
The amendment has been endorsed by candidates for governor from both major parties, and it appears likely to pass, said W. Martin Wiseman, director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. Legal challenges would surely follow, but even if the amendment is ultimately declared unconstitutional, it could disrupt vital care, critics say, and force years of costly court battles.
Of course, contrary to the Times headline, this isn’t exactly a new tack in the anti-choice movement. Voters in Colorado soundly rejected similar measures on the state’s 2008 and 2010 ballots. But the extremists at Personhood USA saw promise in Mississippi–a state that “already has so many restrictions on abortion that only one clinic performs the procedure.” If passed, Mississippi will be the first state to actually approve a so-called “personhood” initiative.
Read the rest of the Times article. Learn more from Genie in the Community site. Read more from Irin Carmon at Salon. And check out these grassroots pro-choice efforts to get the word out about this absurd and dangerous measure.