Personhood Advocates Pledge to Try Again in Mississippi

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=111167882">Sue Smith</a>/Shutterstock

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Advocates of “personhood” for zygotes have decided that if at first you don’t succeed in banning all abortions, try again. And again, and again.

The anti-abortion group Personhood USA tried to pass a ballot measure granting fertilized eggs the same rights as adult humans in Colorado in 2008, and it failed. They tried again in Colorado in 2010, and it failed again, this time by a 3-to-1 margin. So then they tried in Mississippi in November 2011, where it lost yet again, with 58 percent of the voters even in this conservative state rejecting it.

So, the only logical next step for them, it appears, is to try again in Mississippi. On Tuesday, the group’s Mississippi chapter announced that it is working to get personhood back on the ballot. The Associated Press reports that the group filed paperwork with the secretary of state’s office on Tuesday in hopes of getting it on the 2015 ballot:

After a ballot title and summary are prepared by the attorney general’s office, the initiative’s sponsors would have one year to gather at least 107,216 signatures to get the measure on the ballot. That means the earliest likely date for a vote would be in November 2015, coinciding with the next governor’s election.

Mississippi only has one abortion clinic—which we reported on in a story and photo essay recently—that could be shut down in the next few weeks due to a new state law requiring the doctors there to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. So even without a “personhood” amendment making all abortion illegal, the state could be on its way to making abortion totally inaccessible for women living there anyway. 

Reproductive rights groups reacted immediately to the news that the “personhood” folks were back at it. “Mississippi voters have already spoken: Health care decisions should be left to a woman, her family, her doctor, and her faith—not politicians,” said Felicia Brown-Williams, director of public policy at Planned Parenthood Southeast in a statement. “Mississippians expect real solutions to the real crises facing our state–not government intrusion into private medical decisions.”

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate