Mississippi Rejects Zygote “Personhood” Amendment

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More than 55 percent of Mississippi voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution that would have redefined legal personhood as beginning at conception. The so-called “personhood” measure was the most radically anti-abortion effort in the country, and would have outlawed all abortions and many forms of birth control.

With 63 percent of precincts reporting, 57 percent of voters rejected the amendment, according to the Associated Press tally.

The Center for Reproductive Rights called the amendment’s defeat “a tremendous victory for women in the state and across the country.” “Outlawing medical services commonly used and relied upon by Americans in their personal lives runs completely counter to the U.S. Constitution, not to mention some of our most deeply held American political traditions and values,” said Nancy Northup, the group’s president, in a statement.

This is the third time voters have rejected this kind of measure at the polls: Colorado defeated similar efforts in 2008 and 2010. Abortion foes and pro-choice groups were both watching Mississippi avidly this year. Anti-abortion groups in a number of other states are at work on getting their own ballot initiatives in place for the 2012 election, as are some Republican congressmen. Mississippi, one of the most conservative states in the country, was seen as a test case for other measures.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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