Voters Divided Over Personhood InitiativeBy Daniel Cherry | Published 12 Oct 2011 09:51pm |
In November voters could make Mississippi the only state to outlaw abortions. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how supporters and opponents of Initiative 26 have drawn lines in the sand.
Initiative 26 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to say a person is considered a person at conception...giving that fertilized egg all the rights and protections of a citizen. That means terminating a pregnancy would equal murder. Terri Herring is with a pro life group called Yes On 26 pushing the initiative.
"We want to see abortion end as a means of birth control, and if any birth control is ending pregnancy then it is not preventing pregnancy. So abortion has made the womb a very hostile place in our world, and we would like to see the unborn protected."
But other groups see the personhood amendment going too far. Nsombi Lambright is the Executive Director of the Mississippi ACLU. She thinks all aspects of pregnancy should be between a woman, her family, and her doctor.
"We don't want our lawmakers having conversations about when or when not to terminate a pregnancy and all these medical things that they really don't know."
Last night Jackson State University's School of Social Work hosted a town hall meeting on Initiative 26. Sarah Ellen Parish from Kosciusko came to get more information, but she already knows where she stands.
"I will be voting for it because if you're going to make a mistake, better to make it where you're not inflicting pain on someone else...even if that someone is inside someone else."
Others at the meeting like JSU social work grad student Vanessa Jeanty didn't see it that way.
"In my honest opinion the government has too many other issues to be concerned about right now such as our economy. They need to be concentrating on that instead of concentrating on issues that have to do with our own bodies. The government needs to clean its own house before it tries to tell us what to do."
A similar initiative has failed twice in Colorado.
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