Mississippi Rejects Dangerous Personhood Amendment

(PRESS RELEASE) Closing the door to massive infringements on women’s reproductive rights in Mississippi, voters in the state rejected today an extreme and dangerous “personhood” measure which would have amended the state’s constitution to define a fertilized egg as a legal person. The ballot initiative held the potential to not only ban abortion under all circumstances, including in cases of rape and incest or when a woman’s life is in danger, but also many forms of contraception and assisted reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization.

The Center for Reproductive Rights called the defeat of the ballot initiative a tremendous victory for women in the state and across the country, and commended Mississippi voters for protecting women against a direct assault on their health and rights.

Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“For the third time in this country, voters of varying political perspectives and personal philosophies have rejected these ballot measures, recognizing them for what they are – an extreme, dangerous and direct assault on the constitutional rights that we are all guaranteed.

“Outlawing medical services commonly used and relied upon by Americans in their personal lives runs completely counter to the U.S. Constitution, not to mention some of our most deeply held American political traditions and values.

“By its supporters’ own admission, the measure had implications far beyond banning all abortions—including banning many forms of birth control and fertility treatments. The measure was without a doubt a massive evisceration of everyone’s constitutional rights.

“Today’s vote is a huge victory for anyone concerned about protecting our constitutional rights against erosion. And it sends an unequivocal message to proponents of these measures – that the American people, no matter the political perspective, will not stand for such blatant attacks on the health and constitutionally protected rights of women in this country.”

In 2008 and 2010, a similar “personhood” ballot initiative was put before voters in Colorado. Both times Coloradans resoundingly defeated the measure.