What Could Mississippi's Personhood Vote Do?

The state votes today on whether to define a fertilized egg as a person. 

Posted:
 
personhood400

Today Mississippians vote on whether to amend their state constitution to define a fertilized egg as a person. Specifically, Proposition 26 asks, "Should the term 'person' be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?" Slate reports on what the leaders of the Yes on 26 campaign have said about what its passage would mean for women on a variety of issues:

Birth control. Pro-Life Mississippi, a leader of the Yes on 26 coalition, says that as part of the amendment's enabling legislation, "the Legislature should act to prohibit chemicals and devices that kill the tiniest boys and girls after fertilization. This would include RU-486 and IUD's."

IVF. Yes on 26 says the amendment "would not allow unused embryos to be destroyed" in IVF. ... [W]hile IVF would be permitted in principle, the doctor and the couple would be held legally responsible for sustaining all embryos created in the process. Under these circumstances, no one would practice IVF in Mississippi.

Life-threatening pregnancy. Yes on 26 says that under the amendment [T]he fetus' right to life is not greater than the mother's right to life. Both would be equal. If both lives cannot be saved, then the doctor could save the mother's life even if the fetus dies. ... [A] doctor may help a woman with a life-threatening pregnancy even if the fetus dies as long as his intent was to save the mother.

Note the language: A doctor may help the woman. He could choose to save her rather than the embryo.

Miscarriage. A woman who suffers a miscarriage would be prosecuted not because she had a miscarriage, but because police and prosecutors suspect she might have had an abortion. You would certainly be investigated if your born child disappeared and you said it had died in an accident. 

Read more at Slate.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.      

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.
Must-See Family Attractions
July 29 2014 2:13 PM