Mississippi Rejects 'Personhood' Amendment

Measure would have banned abortions in the state
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2011 9:46 PM CST
Updated Nov 9, 2011 6:00 AM CST

(Newser) – A big win for supporters of abortion rights tonight in Mississippi: Voters rejected a "personhood" ballot initiative declaring that life begins at conception, reports the AP. It would have effectively banned all abortions in the state, including those caused by rape and incest, and possibly led to a legal challenge of Roe v. Wade. More than 55% of voters rejected the measure.

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Opponents said it could make some types of birth control, including the morning-after pill and the IUD, illegal. The proposed amendment defined a person "to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof." Proponents, in particular the group Personhood USA, are trying to get similar measures on the ballot next year in states including Florida, Montana, Ohio, and Oregon, according to AP. (Read more Mississippi stories.)

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