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Monday, November 21, 2011

Mississippi Personhood Amendment

By Carina Gutierrez

Earlier this month, Mississippi took a vote on a proposed state constitutional amendment. This amendment sought to define the word “person” as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the equivalent thereof.” This would equate abortion with murder without making exceptions for rape, incest or even when a woman’s life is in danger.

Although it did not pass, let’s take a moment to consider how our lives as women would have been affected by a positive vote: had this passed in Mississippi, it is likely that the rest of our country would have followed suit and possibly led to the US Supreme Court revisiting its Roe v. Wade decision. It would cut off our access to birth control, such as the morning after pill or the intrauterine device, as well as discourage physicians to carry out in vitro fertilization for fear that they may be criminally charged if the embryo didn’t survive.

The voting for this amendment was very close and perhaps was due simply to its ambiguous wording. So, women of America, vote to keep your body yours. If you are Pro-Choice, the voting results in Mississippi were too close for comfort, defeated 58-42, and unfortunately may foreshadow a coming change. Already a similar personhood amendment is planning to be proposed to Georgia's General Assembly next year. And these aren't the only attacks on women's rights; bills and legisation are constantly being created to stop our access to complete family planning. Just ask yourself, can we afford to lose our right to choose?

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