Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Chicago Tribune: Mississippi makes a big statement, by Leonard Pitts:
Moral clarity is one of the most seductive traits of social conservatism.
Those of us outside that ideology may struggle to untie the Gordian knot of complex moral issues, may wrestle conscience in hopes of compromise, may construct arguments in tenuous terms of, "If this, then that, but if the other thing, then …" Social conservatives countenance no such irresolution. On issue after issue — same-sex marriage, gun control, Muslim rights — they fly straight as a bullet to their final conclusion, usually distillable to the width of a bumper sticker.
So last week's election result in Mississippi comes as a seismic shock. By a significant margin — 58 percent to 42 percent — voters rejected an anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution defining the fertilized human egg as a person, with all the rights and protections attendant thereto.
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Huffington Post: Lessons From Mississippi, by Jill Hanauer:
Advocates for a common-sense approach to reproductive health policy are rightfully taking pride in the defeat of the Personhood amendment in Mississippi this week. As we celebrate the defeat of this extremist legislation, it's important to remember the lessons of Mississippi going forward: that Personhood lost -- in large part -- due to highly effective messaging that framed the measure as what it actually was -- government overreach trampling on what should be personal decisions. . . .
The New York Times: Medical Nuances Drove 'No' Vote in Mississippi, by Denise Grady:
JACKSON, Miss. — When her children woke up on Wednesday morning, Atlee Breland told them, “Mama won her election.”
From her Lego-strewn living room, she had campaigned furiously to defeat an anti-abortion amendment to the state Constitution that would have declared fertilized eggs to be “persons.” She created a Web site and Facebook page that reached tens of thousands of voters.
Mrs. Breland, who proudly identifies herself as a Christian, native Mississippian and mother of three, might seem just the kind of voter who would back such an amendment. But she had needed fertility treatments to conceive her twin daughters, who are now 5, and she saw the amendment as likely to restrict in vitro fertilization and threaten the ability of women like her to have children.
The amendment was rejected by 58 percent of voters in staunchly anti-abortion Mississippi, largely on fears like Mrs. Breland’s that hinged on subtleties of medical science. . . .