‘Personhood’ Amendment To Be On November BallotBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 08 Sep 2011 06:16pm |
Mississippi voters will get the chance to vote to on a constitutional amendment that supporters say will outlaw abortion in the state. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that Amendment 26, known as the personhood amendment, would change the state constitution to declare that human life begins at conception.
Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court rejected law suits by opponents of the amendment and ruled that it can be on the ballot....deciding to wait and see if amendment is approved by voters before determining its constitutionality.
Following the ruling, supporters of the amendment like Lt. Governor Phil Bryant applauded the decision, describing the amendment as a chance to outlaw abortion in the state and challenge federal laws that make abortion legal.
"We will be where the rock hits the water and the ripples will spread across this nation. This is the beginning and with the benevolence of all mighty God, will in fact be successful," Bryant said.
Opponents of the amendment quickly fired off statements calling the amendment intrusive and a government invasion of a woman's privacy.
Jackson gynecologist Freda Bush, also an outspoken supporter of the amendment, says it would still allow for the protection of mothers as well as unborn children.
"If there is a possibility that the pregnancy in the womb is such that the mother's life would be in jeopardy, no one would allow the baby's life over the mother's life. There is no question about that. The mother would take precedent," Bush said.
Supporters of the personhood amendment see an opportunity to challenge Roe versus Wade, but Mississippi College School of Law Professor Matt Steffe says while Federal Courts will likely declare it unconstitutional, that does not mean the U-S Supreme court will take up the case.
"The US Supreme Court decides only those cases that it is interested in deciding. And to suggest that this particular political activity at the state Mississippi will be the vehicle that suddenly makes this US Supreme Court realize it was interested in this all along, seems rather farfetched," Steffe said.
Steffe says even if voters approve the amendment, it is unlikely to ever be the law of the land in Mississippi, because of what he considers clear conflicts with federal laws.
Voters will be voting on three constitutional amendments this November....personhood, voter ID and eminent domain.
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