Despite Defeat, “Personhood” Comes Back Again and Again
Mississippi is perhaps one of the most conservative, anti-abortion states in the country, yet the proponents of the so-called “Personhood amendment,” a constitutional change that would have granted legal rights and protection to fertilized eggs, were unable to win anything even close to a majority during the election.
You would think that would send a message, especially after two failed attempts in Colorado to pass the same amendment. But instead, the advocates say that means they need to hit more states.
In Florida, the state is putting off their 2012 plans for a ballot initiative, but say they are regrouping to make it happen in 2014 instead. An accountant in Oklahoma is beginning his own push for a ballot initiative, saying his version would not effect birth control that would prevent fertilization, but would still ban methods like an IUD, which impedes implantation. It would also allow no exception for rape, incest, or mother’s health or life, stating “We would hope that science and medicine would do its best to save both.”
In other words, once again there would be no treatment for ectopic pregnancies until after the woman’s tube ruptures and she endangers both her future fertility and her own life.
Even Colorado is making a third attempt at a Personhood measure, despite having it overwhelmingly voted down both in 2008 and 2010. Organizer Leslie Hanks admits that the push has less to do with the belief that they will win, and more to do with providing a platform to publicize their beliefs on the immorality of abortion and birth control, as well as create conflict between themselves and the rest of the community. “When we do these initiatives we are educating, evangelizing, and we are increasing social tension because people have to say they’re either for it or against it.”