Not content to ever take “no” for an answer, Personhood USA has announced that it is returning to Mississippi to have another go at forcing a vote on an amendment that would grant all rights of legal personhood to fertilized eggs.
Personhood Mississippi filed paperwork for another ballot initiative, and the language of it looks very familiar to those who rejected the 2011 version. Amendment 26 read: “Initiative #26 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word “person” or “persons,” as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution, to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.”
According to Parents Against Personhood, this year’s version is just a little different. This year, it’s all about God. “The right to life begins at conception. All human beings, at every stage of development, are unique, created in God’s image and shall have equal rights as persons under the law.”
Opponents of the personhood push are frustrated that the same battle is being forced on them again. “Mississippi voters have already spoken: Health care decisions should be left to a woman, her family, her doctor, and her faith – not politicians. Mississippians expect real solutions to the real crises facing our state—not government intrusion into private medical decisions,” said Planned Parenthood Southeast Director of Public Policy Felicia Brown-Williams via statement. “Given Mississippi’s high rates of infant mortality, unintended pregnancy and teen births, it is time to focus on expanding access to affordable, quality health care.”
The earliest a new amendment would end up on the ballot is 2015, which is also the next gubernatorial race. Current Governor Phil Bryant was a chair for Personhood Mississippi’s 2011 campaign.