Jon Huntsman, the lone voice of sanity in the Republican field. Image via Wikipedia
Last week, Mississippi voters sent Initiative 26, the “Personhood” Amendment, shrieking off into the night. Even though 58% of voters in the reddest of red states rejected the abortion ban, advocates of calling zygotes people insist that this isn’t the last you’ll see of them.
Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA, says he has no plans to give up; he plans on taking his talents to South Beach, where he’ll attempt to get Personhood on Florida’s ballot next year and solidify his status as the LeBron James of terrible ideas. He’s also trying again in Montana, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Ohio. Personhood was on the ballot in Colorado in 2008 and 2010, and voters rejected the measure both times.
Mr. Mason doesn’t blame his cause’s defeat on the fact that women (and men) like women having control over their reproductive capacities; instead he blames people being confused by the liars at Planned Parenthood. Of the rejection of Initiative 26, he says,
it’s not because the people are not pro-life. It’s because Planned Parenthood put a lot of misconceptions and lies in front of folks and created a lot of confusion.
Planned Parenthood, by the way, told people what the amendment would actually do, using facts. Anti-Personhood advocates simply pointed out that Initiative 26 would ultimately harm women.
If Personhood USA doesn’t have popular support even among conservatives, at least they have politicians willing to pay them lip service. In the Mississippi gubernatorial race, both the defeated Democrat Johnny Dupree and the victorious Republican Phil Bryant supported the Personhood amendment. As Salon’s Irin Carmon points out, it was difficult to find more than a handful of public officials willing to declare that they were opposed to the amendment.
The Republican Presidential field (with the exception of Jon Huntsman) has reached a general consensus that personhood is a dandy idea. Even Mitt Romney has said he would sign personhood legislation into law as the country’s executive.
Copied (and much edited) from Jezebel, whom I thank for the very astute LeBron James reference.