The polarized issue that is Proposition 26, Mississippi’s “Personhood Amendment” that would classify fertilized embryos as human beings, appears to be going down to the wire when the state’s residents vote on whether to adopt it as law Tuesday evening.
According to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, 45 percent of voters support the amendment, while 44 percent are opposed to it. Women in the state are narrowly opposed to the amendment (46 to 42 percent in favor), while Mississippi’s men are more in favor (48 percent) than are against (42 percent).
Unsurprisingly, Democrats heavily oppose the amendment (61 to 23 percent) while Republicans favor it overwhelmingly (65 to 28 percent). With an ultra tight race likely, the independents’ vote maybe the key to determining the outcome of the amendment. Currently, 51 percent of independents oppose it while 35 percent are in support.
Proposition 26, if enacted, would bring about a total ban on abortions, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The state is voting on whether to define a “person” as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof.” It would also ban birth control, the morning after pill, and cause legal problems from women seeking in vitro fertilization. It would also require authorities to investigate some women who suffer miscarriages, as a lost pregnancy could potentially be construed as a murder under the right circumstances.
Even the state’s governor Haley Barbour (R), an arch conservative who’s taken strong anti-abortion positions in the past, has expressed “concerns” about the amendment.
“I am concerned about some of the ramifications on in vitro fertilization, ectopic pregnancies where pregnancies [occur] outside the uterus and in the fallopian tubes,” he said during a recent appearance on MSNBC. That concerns me, I have to just say it.”
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.