Monday, October 31, 2011

Mississippi’s Proposed Personhood Initiative Is Far-Reaching and Could Pass

Salon: The next front in the abortion wars: Birth control, by Inin Carmon: Image1

Mississippi debates a "Personhood" initiative that could ban the pill -- but ultimately aims at Roe v. Wade

Dr. Freda Bush has a warm, motherly smile. In her office just outside Jackson, Miss., she smiles as she hands me a brochure that calls abortion the genocide of African-Americans, and again, sweetly, as she explains why an abortion ban should not include exceptions for rape or incest victims. The smile turns into a chuckle as she recounts what the daughter of one rape victim told her: “My momma says I’m a blessing. Now, she still don’t care for the guy who raped her! But she’s glad she let me live.”

Bush is smiling, too, in the video she made to support as restrictive an abortion ban as any state has voted on, Initiative 26, or the Personhood Amendment, which faces Mississippi voters on Nov. 8. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor, black or white, or even if your father was a rapist!” she trills. But Initiative 26, which would change the definition of “person” in the Mississippi state Constitution to “include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the equivalent thereof,” is more than just an absolute ban on abortion and a barely veiled shot at Roe v. Wade — although it is both. By its own logic, the initiative would almost certainly ban common forms of birth control like the IUD and the morning-after pill, call into question the legality of the common birth-control pill, and even open the door to investigating women who have suffered miscarriages. . . .

Washington Post - Ezra Klein's WonkBlog: Mississippi, personhood and the future of the anti-abortion movement, by Sarah Kliff:


Earlier this week, Salon’s Irin Carmon generated a lot of conversation with her piece on the “personhood movement”: a burgeoning effort among anti-abortion advocates to amend state constitutions to define life as beginning at conception. Such an amendment could outlaw abortion and may hinder access to birth control or in vitro fertilization.

So far though, no personhood amendment has gotten very close to becoming law. Many don’t get enough signatures to land a ballot initiative, and those that do have failed by double-digit margins. But Carmon thinks that may change when Mississippi votes on a new personhood amendment, Initiative 26, next week. . . .

Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Contraception, Fetal Rights, State and Local News | Permalink

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