Personhood Mississippi seeks second statewide vote on anti-abortion proposal
Opponents of abortion in Mississippi on Tuesday filed paperwork to place a so-called “fetal personhood” amendment on the state’s ballot in 2015, according to the Associated Press.
Les Riley of Personhood Mississippi said voters were “confused” when they rejected a nearly identical proposal in 2011.
The proposed ballot initiative seeks to outlaw abortion by declaring that “the right to life begins at conception.” The initiative also states, “All human beings, at every stage of development, are unique, created in God’s image, and shall enjoy the inalienable right to life as persons under the law.”
Once the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office finalizes the ballot title and summary, the sponsors of the initiatives will need to collect nearly 108,000 signatures within 12 months.
Critics of the proposed amendment alleged in 2011 that it would not only outlaw abortion, but would likely also prohibit common forms of birth control, the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, in vitro fertilization treatment, and stem cell research. The amendment would also contradict the Supreme Court’s key Roe v. Wade ruling.
But Riley told the Huffington Post on Wednesday the personhood amendment would only ban abortion.
“It will not outlaw anything that doesn’t take a human life,” he said. “If it’s fully a contraceptive, [a personhood measure] won’t affect it at all. And we don’t want to do anything to impede people’s ability to conceive — we just want to protect those children once they are conceived.”