Mississippi Could Criminalize Abortion With New Amendment

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On Tuesday Mississippi will vote on whether or not to pass an amendment that will declare that fertilized eggs are people. A new poll shows that Amendment 26, which could ban Plan B and birth control, lead to investigations of miscarriages, and criminalize abortion, has a good chance of passing with 44% against it and 45% in favor. Despite expressing concerns about the amendment and its’ implications, Republican Gov. Haley Barbour has voted for it via an absentee ballot.

Amendment 26, also known as “Personhood,” would amend the state constitution to define life as beginning at conception. If passed, Amendment 26 could also restrict in-vitro fertilization, which means that families who are unable to have children on their own in Mississippi would have to go outside the state to conceive. It would also mean that victims of rape and incest would not be allowed to have an abortion.

Representatives in the Yes on 26 movement say that anyone who considers themselves to be pro-life should support the amendment. The ballot initiative is part of national campaign by Personhood USA. Mississippi is the only state voting on the amendment this year. Colorado recently defeated a similar amendment.

Diana Derzis, who runs Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, has expressed her concerns about this amendment.

“By this very definition of this bill, a fertilized egg is a person, so that does away with the IUD and most forms of birth control,” Derzis said. “For a woman who has a miscarriage—is she going to be investigated? I mean, this may sound like the Twilight Zone, but this is where we are with this stuff.”

What do you think of Amendment 26?

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