Mississippi voters on Tuesday rejected an amendment to the Mississippi Constitution that would have defined "a person” as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof,” according to the Associated Press.
The controversial amendment was intended to ban abortion and to set up a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, which upheld a woman’s right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb.
It would have also outlawed some forms of hormonal contraceptives.
"Tonight, the people of Mississippi stood up for women's health and said no to political interference in a woman's private medical decisions," said Nsombi Lambright, executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi. "We're proud to have been part of the coalition of doctors and nurses, clergy and parents and tens of thousands of Mississippians that defeated this dangerous amendment."
The amendment was pushed by Personhood USA, a Colorado-based Christian organization.
The group hopes to get similar proposals placed on several more state ballots next year.
"Even in a conservative state, tonight's vote reaffirms that people do not want government intruding in personal decisions best made by a woman, her family and her doctor," said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "This is the third time an amendment like this has failed. Legislators around the country should listen to the voters of Mississippi and stop playing politics with women's health."