A proposed ballot initiative to amend the Montana state constitution to define a fertilized egg as a person failed to qualify for the state’s 2008 November ballot. Supporters of the initiative failed to gather even half of the required 44,000 signatures required to qualify the measure, reports Montana’s News Station.com.
Abortion opponents have pushed these so-called “personhood initiatives” in several states. These measures declare that a fertilized egg is a “person”” who enjoys “inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of the law.” They would threaten not only abortion itself, but IUDs, emergency contraception, in vitro fertilization clinics, and stem cell research. The measures failed in Georgia and Oregon. Signatures have been submitted for the Secretary of State to validate in Colorado, and a petition drive is still underway in Mississippi.