Mississippi Ballot Initiative Could Outlaw Abortion

Come November, Mississippi voters could decide to outlaw abortion in their state.

Amendment 26, called the “Mississippi Personhood Amendment,” would define life as beginning at the moment of fertilization, effectively outlawing the abortion procedure if enacted.

In an interview with The Christian Post, “Yes on 26” Executive Director Brad Prewitt said that the amendment dealt with issues beyond the abortion debate.

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“Personhood is bigger than your typical pro-life versus abortion,” said Prewitt, who added that it was “not just saying no to abortion, but yes to life.”

The ballot has its opponents.

Earlier this year, the amendment was challenged in court by pro-choice groups. However in September, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in favor of putting it on the 2011 ballot.

Kay Scott, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc., released a statement after the court’s ruling claiming the amendment could have “extreme consequences” for women.

“It’s so extreme it could even ban common methods of birth control like the pill…This would mean more unintended pregnancies, putting families at risk, and women facing unhealthy and dangerous options,” said Scott.

“This would put government bureaucrats in charge of important life decisions when they should really be focusing on getting the economy back on track and getting their own house in order.”

Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, concurred with this and told The Christian Post that the amendment “puts lives and families at risk.”

“For many families, a pregnancy can be a blessing, but for some it is catastrophic – if the initiative becomes law, treatment for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy could be illegal and doctors could face criminal prosecution,” claimed Kolbi-Molinas.

Prewitt disagrees, telling CP that the real health risk is the abortion procedure.

“Abortion is the real threat to women’s health – physical and psychological – and of course, abortion kills more women than men each year, as I am told there are always more female than male babies,” said Prewitt.

“[Pro-choice groups] claim to be for healthy families, but they are really for abortion.”

Prewitt also provided a link to the “Yes on 26” website where they address claims from opponents about what the amendment would do and not do if passed by Mississippi voters.

Mississippi has some of the strictest laws regulating abortion in the United States. Both candidates for governor in the state have endorsed the Amendment.

Four other states, Florida, Montana, Ohio, and Oregon, have efforts being launched to put similar amendments on the ballot for 2012.

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