Tuesday, October 11, 2011
This Election Day, Mississippi voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on Initiative 26, which would amend the state constitution to define a “person” as existing from the moment of conception. Specifically, the initiative provides: “SECTION 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”
Much debate over this initiative rightly centers on the legal and constitutional implications of a law that seemingly prohibits all abortion. Banning all abortion is plainly at odds with extant U.S. Supreme Court precedent protecting a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. Some observers therefore wonder whether the law represents an attempt to develop a test case for the Supreme Court. . . .