Mississippi ‘Personhood’ Amendment Tackles Abortion and Contraception
Mississippi is among the battleground states where pro-life movements have pushed to get “personhood” amendments on the ballot. The Mississippi ballot initiative goes far beyond the already extreme measure of defining life at conception, but imposes harsh restrictions on certain contraceptive options.
The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar some birth control methods, including IUDs and ‘morning-after pills’ that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.
The amendment has been endorsed by candidates for governor from both major parties, and it appears likely to pass, said W. Martin Wiseman, director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. Legal challenges would surely follow, but even if the amendment is ultimately declared unconstitutional, it could disrupt vital care, critics say, and force years of costly court battles.
‘This is the most extreme in a field of extreme anti-abortion measures that have been before the states this year,’ said Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal advocacy group.