Despite the defeat of Initiative 26, the so-called Personhood Amendment, by Mississippi voters last week, the group sponsoring the initiative, Personhood USA, has announced that they will attempt to place similar initiatives on the ballot in at least five states in 2012. Initiative 26, a state constitutional amendment, would have given full rights to fertilized eggs. Targeted states for 2012 include Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Nevada, and California. In 2014, the group plans to target Florida.
If personhood initiatives are approved for the ballots in these states, emergency contraception, birth control pills, IUDs, and abortions – even in cases of rape and incest or to save the life of the woman or girl – would be threatened. Initiative 26 in Mississippi would have even gone so far as to eliminate medical choices for women, including some cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization, and could allow the state to investigate and even prosecute a woman for a miscarriage.
Initiative 26 was rejected by Mississippi voters 58% to 42% percent. Prior to Mississippi, voters have defeated anti-choice state ballot measures in South Dakota, Colorado, and California in 2006 and 2008; and Colorado in 2010.