Mississippi attempts to define the start of personhood

From The LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/la-na-mississippi-abortion-20111105,0,5838417.story

A state initiative would ban all abortions. But opponents of the ballot measure say it would also ban many birth control pills and hamper popular infertility treatments, claims proponents are calling ‘scare tactics.’

By Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
November 4, 2011

Reporting from Clarksdale, Miss.

Gail Giaramita was walking door-to-door in this old cotton town on a recent afternoon, genially informing voters about the simple choice they faced when it came to Initiative 26, the statewide ballot measure that would define personhood as beginning at the moment of fertilization.

“If you believe that the unborn are human beings, you need to vote yes,” Giaramita explained to W.L. Wilkins, proprietor of Big Mama’s grocery store. “If you believe that women should continue to have the right to abort their babies, you need to vote no.”

If that’s all there was to it — if Initiative 26 would simply ban all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest — this proposed amendment to the state Constitution would be controversial enough. But opponents of the measure are warning of other potential consequences, including a ban on many birth control pills and a severe hampering of popular infertility treatments.

Proponents call these charges untrue “scare tactics.”

Either way, the measure’s passage would count as an unprecedented attempt to nullify the abortion right granted under Roe vs. Wade. Personhood USA, the main supporter of the Mississippi measure, says a victory here could “change [the] abortion debate,” as part of a “larger, global movement to define when life begins in an effort to undercut the case for legalized abortion.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.latimes.com/la-na-mississippi-abortion-20111105,0,5838417.story

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