• Mississippi Votes on 'Personhood' of Fetuses, Pregnant Women

    Faced with a 10.6% unemployment rate and a nation-leading rate of impoverishment that places more than one out of every five Mississippians below the poverty line, conservative activists from the Magnolia State have been desperately trying to find where the missing jobs have gone. And if tomorrow's closely contested ballot initiative is any guide, we have our answer: the jobs have been hiding in Mississippians' uteri and Fallopian tubes, or else why all the legislative attention paid to other people's ladyparts amid continuing economic trouble?

    It looks like the race to watch in Mississippi on Tuesday night will be the state's proposed 'Personhood Amendment,' which would make the state's laws regarding abortion and birth control the strictest of any state in the country.  Right now it looks like it could go either way, with 45% of voters supporting the amendment and 44% opposed.

    Men (48-42), whites (54-37), and Republicans (65-28) support the proposal.  But women (42-46), African Americans (26-59), Democrats (23-61), and independents (35-51) oppose it.

    One wonders what kind of radical activists are leading the opposition to defining as a "person…every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof?" Is it the usual suspects of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, with their whiny insistence that women are "persons" too? Personally, I suspect ACORN…

    But the Mississippi Medical Association opposes "Personhood" because, doctors say, it would bring unprecedented government interference with their work. Infertility specialist Randall Hines says the amendment is based on flawed science.

    "Only about 20 percent of fertilized eggs, actually, go on to become children," Hines said in an interview. "I think to suggest that legal rights should be given to every fertilized egg is a mistake."

    Sure, that this initiative potentially endangers the lives of women facing difficult pregnancies, punishes rape victims, and perhaps undermines the autonomy of all women are all serious concerns. But I think Dr. Hines glosses over a host of other issues. For example, Mitt Romney's support of both fetal and corporate personhood raises additional questions: Can a fetus marry Exxon Mobil? What if it's a gay fetus? …What if it's a gay corporation?

    Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Abortion, Health, Health Care, Mississippi, Mitt Romney, Planned Parenthood


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