Personhood Amendment Emotional for Mississippi Voters

By: Nick Adam Email
By: Nick Adam Email

Mississippi's Personhood Initiative seems to have stirred up more emotion than any other item on the Nov. 8 ballot. Even some people who are pro-life don't want to see the amendment pass.

The debate has raged for weeks about what will happen if the measure passes.

Ann Stewart is a former educator who strongly opposes the Personhood Amendment.

"A choice of whether you are for abortion or not for abortion is a completely different issue," said Stewart. "This goes way beyond that, and it doesn't take into account economics, money, people's rights, nothing."

Jay Nicholson serves on the Personhood board, and says all the concern over the language in the measure is overblown.

"This bill is one paragraph long; it's not pages. There's not a lot of underlying things going on," said Nicholson. "It will end abortion and the pills, birth control pills, will be done through the legislative process."

But that is one of the issues that concerns Stewart. She fears that if the initiative passes, birth control pills and IUDs could be banned, because as a last resort, they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine lining.

"The nation has spent a tremendous amount of money in planned parenthood, teaching women and men about safe sex," said Stewart. "What does that do to us if we have nothing to protect ourselves with?"

"First, there is going to have to be proof that certain pills, as a last resort, do destroy a fertilized egg," said Nicholson. "So if that is proven, and just like every amendment, it has to be worked out through the legislature."

Nicholson says that, if the amendment goes into the state Constitution, a woman's health would not be put before her unborn child's. But Stewart remains concerned

"There's too much in this document that nobody fully understands and grasps," said Stewart. "We should not be voting on this thing."

"There is already a law protecting women right now," said Nicholson. "The life of the baby does not trump the life of the mother."

Stewart also says the cost of the legal fight that passage would bring is not worth it. But Nicholson says taking personhood all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court would be well worth it.

Gov. Haley Barbour says he has voted in favor of the Personhood Amendment. Barbour says he voted absentee Thursday in Yazoo County. Barbour had said earlier this week that he was concerned about the ambiguity of the amendment, and what impact it might have on birth control and invitro fertilization. But he says, ultimately, he believes life begins at conception, and that is why he voted for the amendment.

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  • by Charles Foster Offdensen Location: Meridian on Nov 6, 2011 at 08:52 PM
    I see commentor Icrez slipped up and made the mistake that many pro-lifers eventually do. After calling other commentors 'infected' and accusing them of spreading false information, he/she mentioned the pro-lifers main lie, its about 'stopping a beating heart.' Theres no beating heart in a fertilized egg. Therefore, theres no 'person' there. Only a mass of cells. Youre absolutely right, Icrez, 'persons' require a heartbeat. Thanks for pointing that out.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 6, 2011 at 12:01 PM Go and view the video of people calling various medical facilities and asking them about availablity of birth control after the passage of Amendment 26. Stop believing the lies. Follow the money. Thousands of dollars from outside Mississippi trying to stop this measure. Planned non-Parenthood and ACLU are desparate to cloud this issue so that the business of abortion (especially targeting blacks) will continue in our state. Human life is protected by the Constitution. Now we can settle legally what a person is. We already know what it is. We need to clarify it for good.
  • by lcrez Location: lc on Nov 6, 2011 at 11:36 AM
    All the false information on this post show how "infected" you all are to the lies of "planned non-parenthood". Planned Parenthood is NOT about parenthood---it is about NOT being a parent. They get a lot of money to be America's abortion provider. They also spread so many lies about anything that would cause people to even think twice about killing their unborn baby. READ people. Read the document and see what it really says. What is human life? In your heart you know stopping a beating heart is murder.
  • by Melissa on Nov 6, 2011 at 11:21 AM
    A fertilized egg is not a baby. It is a group of specialized cells that will possibly become a baby if conditions are right.It does not have a heartbeat. When it attaches to the uterine wall and the heart starts beating, it is then a life. As previously stated, many birth control methods prevent implantation. This amendment has nothing to do with abortion. It simply asks if you believe that a fertilized egg is a baby. What happens when a life ends? The heart stops beating. By the way, I am pro-life, but the government should stay out of women's rights. And if abortions were illegal, women would get them anyway.
  • by Kat Location: Picayune on Nov 6, 2011 at 04:46 AM
    This is not a pro life/pro choice bill. Are you pro lifers really so blind that you can't read btw the lines. If this was JUST pro life vs pro choice this whole conversation would be diffrent. This bill will make abortions illegal even in the case of rape and incest. Not to mention banning some contraceptives or limiting the help for the infertle. Is that the message you want to send the country??? Is that how you are going to further your cause? Not to mention the pro lifers don't lift a finger to actually help spread the education needed to STOP underage pregnancy. Or to help said underage pregnant girls. You want to save babys that may not be viable, but you don't have a problem killing inocents in foreign wars. That's mighty hypocritical if you ask me. Wake up Mississippi, educate yourselves. Go read 26 yourself; stop just taking everyone's opinion of it at face value. I had a 26 supporter tell me it was because abortion is unnatural. Well I got news for you Mississippi; so is McDonalds, but I don't see you banning that anytime soon.
  • by Gregory Location: Collinsville on Nov 6, 2011 at 12:59 AM
    "Gee, Mississippi sure is on the butt-end of everything in the country nowadays. How can we fix our ailing state? I've got it -- MORE UNWANTED BABIES!"
  • by Peabody Location: Valley Road on Nov 5, 2011 at 11:27 PM
    How many people that are for this would allow their 14 year old raped daughter have to drop out of school to birth a child they will give up at birth? What about a fetus with 2 heads and no body below the chest that will die in hours after the cord is cut? What about the woman with 0% chance of living through childbirth? My examples are extreme but possibile. I could vote for some changes but this is just to extreme.
  • by Charles Foster Offdensen Location: Meridian on Nov 5, 2011 at 07:13 PM
    I havent seen it mentioned here but this will also outlaw the fertility treatments that allow infertile women to become pregnant and have children (in vitro fertilization). Many infertile women now have families of their own, with this treatment. Can they travel elsewhere to have it done, if this passes? Maybe. Maybe they do and end up getting arrested after returning. This law will make doctors into informers and the laws on interstate travel concerning criminal activities are quite clear. Why does Mississippi always have to be in the headlines for such ignorant nonsense? Is there some reason our leaders feel the need to constantly make us the laughingstock of the entire nation? I guess, if this passed, theyll work on getting that segragation thing going next and really take us back in time to the good old days of ignorance.
  • by cw on Nov 5, 2011 at 07:59 AM
    can you say clotheshanger abortions? you will hear about alot of these if this law is passed.
  • by RaShonda Location: Meridian on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:00 PM
    Passing this bill would be a huge HUGE mistake. If this bill is passed, no women, young or old, married or single, black or white, will be able to purchase IUD, the PLan B- Morning After Pill, and Birth Control. THis is a huge mistake. I dont agree with abortions but THe MOrning after Pill/ Plan B is NOT an abortion. Everyone has a right to choose what they do with their own body. If this bill is passed you are going to see more teenage pregnancy and i fear more people trying " home remedy" abortions and birth control....especially scared teenage girls and young college aged women!!! The Plan B Pill IS NOT the abortion pill. It a HIGH dose Birth control pill. THats it!! If you are just read the instructions. It tells you if you missed a pill to take 2 pills to increase the dosage...the Plan B pill is the same thing!!! It is a HIGH dose birth control!!!My final analysis: You can adjust the abortion laws but leave the Birth Control Pill, Plan B and other Contraceptives ALONE!!
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