Mississippi Personhood Amendment to Appear on Fall 2011 Ballot
On Tuesday, Hinds County Judge Malcolm Harrison ruled against the ACLU and Planned Parenthood in a case that sought to remove a "Personhood Amendment," an anti-abortion initiative, from ballots next year in Mississippi. The measure "would amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word 'person' or 'persons', as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution, to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof."
If the initiative passes, it would not only put a woman's right to an abortion in danger, but also threaten oral and emergency contraception, IUDs, in vitro fertilization clinics, and stem cell research.
According to the Clarion Ledger, 106,325 signatures on the petition supporting the measure were verified by the Secretary of State's office, well beyond the approximately 90,000 signatures required to place the measure on the ballot. However, some Mississippi residents expressed concerns about the initiative appearing on the ballot, claiming that if abortions become illegal, education rates will be negatively impacted. Shelby Raines told News Channel 12 that "there's uneducated people because they didn't have the chance to go to college because they had to be a mother...Others didn't get to finish high school because they had to raise a child."