Mississippi Rejects “Personhood” Amendment

A constitutional amendment that defined a fertilized egg as a person failed on the ballot in Mississippi on Tuesday, dealing the so-called “personhood” movement another blow.
Amendment 26 supporter Sandy Comer puts out a campaign sign at the polls at the Chamber of Commerce in Oxford, Mississippi on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)

Mississippi would have become the first state to define a fertilized egg as a person, a measure aimed at outlawing abortion in the state.

In the end, those concerns about unintended consequences of the law won in a strongly anti-abortion state. That measure could have criminalized birth control, affected in vitro fertilization practices, and led doctors declining to give pregnant cancer patients with chemotherapy for fear of legal repercussions.

The measure earned the support of both parties in Mississippi, including both parties’ nominees for governor.

“Personhood” supporters had tried to pass a similar measure in Colorado in 2008 and 2010, but voters in that state rejected it more than two-to-one both times.

The “personhood” movement is a more aggressive maneuver than many anti-choice advocates prefer.

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