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Feminist News


April-05-10

Personhood Initiative to be on Ballot in MS

The Mississippi Secretary of State announced late last week that a so-called "personhood" initiative will be on the state ballot in the fall elections. According to the Clarion Ledger, 106,325 signatures on the petition supporting the measure were verified by the Secretary of State's office, well beyond the approximately 90,000 signatures required to place the measure on the ballot.

The measure "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."

There will also be a so-called "personhood" ballot initiative on the Colorado ballot in the November elections. The Colorado measure (see PDF) seeks to amend the state constitution so that "the term 'person' shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being." The proposed measure goes further than Amendment 48, which was defeated in the 2008 elections in Colorado by 73 to 27 percent and was a personhood initiative that declared a fertilized egg to be a person who enjoys all constitutional rights "relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law."

If the initiatives pass, they would not only put a woman's right to an abortion in danger but also threaten oral and emergency contraception, IUDs, in vitro fertilization clinics, and stem cell research.

Media Resources: Clarion Ledger 4/2/10; Mississippi Initiative Measure 26; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/29/10