November 7, 2011
Pro and con sides of the abortion debate will be watching Mississippi closely on Tuesday to see if a controversial and far-reaching initiative will be adopted by voters.
The constitutional amendment would make Mississippi the first state to designate a fertilized egg as a person—which would result in outlawing virtually all abortions, as well as certain types of birth control. The only exception would be to save the life of the pregnant woman.
Some proponents even object to the term “fertilized egg,” preferring “embryo.”
Opponents say women who become pregnant as a result of being raped or molested would have to go to term, if the measure passes. They also argue that it would limit in-vitro fertilization, make birth control methods such as IUDs and “morning-after pills” illegal and outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.
Not all anti-abortion groups are backing the Mississippi initiative. National Right to Life and the Roman Catholic bishops have refused to promote it because they believe the plan could backfire and lead to a U.S. Supreme Court challenge resulting in defeat for the right-to-life movement.