The controversial ballot amendment that would have provided legal rights to fertilized eggs, effectively banning abortion, many forms of birth control and some forms of fertility treatment, has been defeated at the polls, with nearly 60 percent of voters saying no on the initiative.
This makes yet another failed attempt to add a constitutional amendment to a state constitution defining life as beginning at the moment of conception. Similar measures have failed elsewhere, most recently in Colorado.
Although so-called “Personhood” amendments seem to make great fundraisers for anti-choice, anti-abortion groups, they seldom appeal to the general public, who find them overly restrictive in their attempts to interfere with a woman’s right not just to choose an abortion, but to choose a form of contraception, or how she would deal with a pregnancy that threatens her health. Often, even anti-abortion groups themselves worry that the bills go too far, and would result in a Supreme Court challenge that would simply reaffirm Roe V. Wade and make outlawing abortion more difficult.
Multiple states are still attempting to put “Personhood” amendments on ballots for a vote in 2012, and Congressional leaders are also pushing federal bills that could add the same definition of “life” as beginning at the moment of conception through chambers in both the House and Senate
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