On November 8th, Mississippi will vote on a “Personhood” amendment to the state’s constitution. The amendment would brand all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest, IUDs, “morning-after pills” and the destruction of embryos created in laboratories as murder. Opponents of the measure have suggested it might prevent in-vitro fertilization treatments.
The ‘personhood’ movement comes out of a a sentence in Roe v. Wade that states if the pro-life movement’s view of the fetus as fully human could be “established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.” While the movement has been embraced by a growing number of Social Conservatives, traditional pro-life organizations, including the National Right to Life and the Roman Catholic bishops, have opposed the measure. They suggest a state amendment would allow for a quick defeat by the US Supreme Court, which would undermine progress made in carving away at Roe v. Wade.
Proposals for similar amendments are in the works in Florida and Ohio. ‘Personhood’ proposals have already been defeated twice in Colorado.