Initiative 26 Text

From the Secretary of State’s Office:

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Mississippi:

SECTION 1. Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hereby amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ:

SECTION 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.

Yes, that’s the whole thing. That’s the entire text of the amendment to the Mississippi Constitution that you’re being asked to approve.

Maybe you’re wondering, where is the protection for IVF? How about birth control pills and IUDs, or ectopic pregnancy treatment?

Well, we’re wondering too. That’s why we’re here.

62 Responses to Initiative 26 Text

  1. Monica says:

    That is not what it says.

  2. That’s EXACTLY what it says, according to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office.

    Now, if you’re attempting to say it won’t have any impact on birth control or IVF or ectopic pregnancy treatment, that’s a whole different matter. You can’t say that at all, because you don’t know what the supporting legislation will look like, or how the courts will interpret it. Read our FAQ and our blog, and you’ll see why we believe there is significant reason to fear that it will have unintended consequences. Read the MSMA’s statement, and ACOG Mississippi’s statement, and ask yourselves why a majority of Mississippi physicians feel the same way we do.

  3. John says:

    This will not impact birth control like the “pill” however drugs like RU486 would not longer be legal as they are embryocidal. IVF would not be banned however under personhood unused embryos would not be destroyed.

    In cases of life threatening pregnancies doctors would be required to do everything medically possible to save both lives involved. According to physicians in cases where the embryo is not viable the mothers life would be saved. The personhood amendment would not interfere with these situations.

    Physicians in this state are protected while performing operations intended to save a mothers life even if such operations or procedures result in the unintended death of an unborn person. See MS Code Ann. 97-3-37(3) (2004); MS Code Ann. 97-3-17(a) (1985); MS Code Ann. 15-1-36.

    Atlee you are also unable to say what the supporting legislation will look like or how courts will interpret the personhood amendment.

  4. We suggest you read our post on birth control, where we discuss what Yes On 26 actually says on their FAQ. They say they’re opposed to “forms of the pill which prevent implantation”, but ALL forms of hormonal BCP could potentially have this effect — check the package inserts, some of which are helpfully linked in that post.

    You can’t have it both ways. Either the manufacturers and the medical literature are incorrect when they say that BCP has some potential post-fertilization effects, or Yes on 26 would ban BCP. If it’s not okay for embryos to be lost to IUDs, why would it be okay for embryos to be lost to BCP? If there are ANY post-fertilization impacts, and the there is reason to think that there is, then usage of the BCP causes embryo loss. So, which is it?

    You don’t get to ignore the scientific facts just because they might make your voters angry. If there’s enough evidence for pro-life physicians to argue that BCP has an abortifacient effect, you can’t turn around and claim to be against abortifacients but not the pill. And if the pro-life side can’t agree whether it does or doesn’t have abortifacient effects — well, you can’t make any promises about which side the courts and the Legislature will take.

    Have your cake if you like, but you can’t eat it too.

    And you’re right, I DON’T know what the eventual implementation will look like. That is precisely my point, and that’s why I’m arguing for the status quo ante. Right now, I have the absolute right to use birth control. If personhood passes, that absolute right goes away, and I can only hope that the legal system goes my way. That’s not acceptable to me.

  5. And I have yet to hear a single personhood advocate give me any answer to the discussion in our FAQ about other aspects of IVF, such as the cryopreservation process itself.

    If it’s not okay to dispose of unused embryos, why is it okay to freeze them in the first place, knowing that some embryos will stop developing as a direct result of the cryopreservation process? If embryos are people, and doctors are required to do everything medically possible to save both lives, there is only one way to do that: ban cryopreservation, and require that all embryos be transferred immediately to the mother. That in turn places strict limits on fertilization, to the point where it makes IVF infeasible for doctors and patients.

    Blastocyst transfer would be another conceivable target, since some embryos will stop developing before getting to blastocyst stage, quite possibly as a result of the process. Are you going to mandate two-day transfers, then? If so, how can you still make the argument that IVF will be left unregulated except for embryo disposition?

    Leave cryopreservation and blastocyst transfer available, and you’ll be violating the personhood rights of those embryos which will be damaged in the process. Ban either, and you radically transform the nature of the entire IVF process, essentially regulating it out of existence.

    Which way do you want to go? Once again, you can’t have it both ways.

  6. John says:

    Again I would point you to the laws protecting doctors from prosecution when treating their patients. If a doctor prescribes a pill to keep a patient healthy, and that pill has the unfortunate unintended effect of embryo loss, we have laws protecting that physician.

    You are arguing the status quo out of fear. In this case fear that you won’t be allowed the choices to which you have become accustomed. However this debate is not one about the proposed amendment. This debate is over when human life begins.

    I, along with many scientists and physicians, understand human life begins at fertilization. Since this is the case we must stand up without fear and speak about reality conforming ourselves to it rather that attempting to conform reality to us.

    We must as a society say when life begins and allows the chips to fall where they may. I believe in my fellow human being that he has the integrity to allow doctors to treat patients to the fullest extent possible by medicine.

    This amendment simply stands up and without fear states the truth accepting fully the consequences of that statement.

    • Caroleadunn@yahoo.com says:

      My belief is that “life” doesn’t begin until a baby can live on its own outside the mother. Until then it is a parasite depending on its host, and the host should be free to decide whether she will carry the fertilized egg until it is an independent life or not. Calling a few cells a person is a despicable limit on women’s freedom, but typical of a state like Mississippi where people are held down by fundamentalist religious views. This country is going to hell in a hand basket because of people with no brains and a warped view of morality and ethics.

      • No Brains says:

        It is amazing to me that a state ranked 3rd in teen pregnancy rate (as of 2000) can be condemned for what I assume is Christian “fundamentalism.” Forgive me if my brains be a little slow, but they didn’t teach no fornication in Sunday School.

        http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/USTPtrends.pdf

      • What? says:

        Unless you protect those “few cells,” then they will never have the opportunity to develop the man or woman whose rights you argue you want to protect. In countries like China and India, having two x chromosomes can mean the difference between whether a fertilized egg is allowed that freedom to live or not. It’s funny also that you should mention “going to hell” when you also clearly despise “fundamentalist religious views.” Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean that they have a warped view of morality and ethics- if you are for the ability to choose, you should allow people to choose to disagree with you about when life begins. I don’t support this proposition, because of the damaging consequences it might have when carried out by human lawmakers and law enforcers, but I do support the idea of personhood beginning way before the three months allowed for abortions.

      • David Loving says:

        Excellent statement! Pink Flloyd The Wall album has a creature stuffing people into the meat grinder, this is what our society wants, more people “victims” to prey upon. We cannot take care of what we have now. If everyone that votes yes will adopt or foster a child I will go along with the status quo, but i do not think they will, for it will get into their golf game or bridge night.

      • Tom says:

        You paint us with far too wide a brush stroke. Please don’t be so ignorant (or biased) as to believe that all of us here support this farse any less than we support your right to make ignorant comments about us.

      • cheryl says:

        I take offense to your comment about us Mississippians being held down by our fundamentalist religious views. We are very proud of our religious views and we stand for what we believe. If you think abortion is moral, its you who has a warped view!

      • Philip says:

        This fact was pointed out to me by someone else who read this but for some one who thinks we all are held down by fundamentalist religious views, you just said we are going to hell in a hand basket… now who is confused?

  7. John says:

    Allow me to be the first to give answer to your question about the cryopreservation process. Freezing them in the first place takes the choice out of our hands, and places them back into the hands of (nature/chance/God take your pick). They are given opportunity that before was taken from them. As you can see it is simply not a forgone conclusion that IVF be banned under this new amendment.

    Again you’re speaking about mandates and requirements. These arguments are made out of fear and lack credibility as a result. I’ll just repeat myself here, but leaving cryopreservation and blastocyst transfer available does not take us to the forgone conclusion that the personhood amendment cannot stand.

    As an aside your use of presenting two options and asking the reader to pick one, but not allowing for a third choice is a logical fallacy. Simply because you are unable to come up with more options does not limit the reader to selecting one or the other presented option it only limits you.

  8. Angry says:

    John, I am of the mind that if you dont have a uterus you shouldn’t be making choices for a woman’s reproductive organs, unless you are the father in question. And by your logic a bundle of cells without a heartbeat, viable brain, or working organs is a person, then cancer is also a human as soon as it manifests. This amendment is nothing more than Mississippi trying to set a precedent to challenge Roe Vs. Wade and I would thank you not to make choices for my wife’s or sister’s right to choose what is right for themselves. After all I dont come into your house and tell you what you can and can’t do, and what you are proposing is nothing more than taking away freedom from women. Whats next John should we take away their right to vote next?

  9. ashley says:

    I do not think that anyone has the right to tell me if I can use birth control or not. Even if its banned, women will go to other states and get it. Also, what I do not understand is how can a state pass a law that goes against federal law? Is that even possible? I mean, if our federal government gives us certain rights, how can the state take them away? I am not saying abortion is ok, I just think that birth control should be left out of it.

    • What? says:

      The states can pass laws that are “against federal law” because some areas of the government technically are in the state’s province to decide. However, the Supreme Court retains the right to declare laws un-Constitutional, and many state laws conform to federal regulations so that state agencies will not lose important federal funding.

  10. Stacey Spiehler says:

    “If a doctor prescribes a pill to keep a patient healthy, and that pill has the unfortunate unintended effect of embryo loss, we have laws protecting that physician.”

    So this will be a law of intentions? A doctor who prescribes birth control for endometriosis, for example, would not be in trouble, because his/her intent is not to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. What about a doctor who prescribes birth control qua birth control, given its effects?

    “In this case fear that you won’t be allowed the choices to which you have become accustomed.”

    My fear is that politicians, whose number one concern is themselves, will have much more control over my body and health than I am comfortable with. It has nothing to do with abortion. I am not accustomed to the choice of abortion, because it’s not on the table for me. I’m pro-life. I still oppose this amendment.

  11. @John
    No, freezing doesn’t leave the decision up to what let’s call Fate. It’s a deliberate action which is known in advance to cause direct harm to a certain percentage of embryos, and to cause indirect harm in the form of lower implantation/pregnancy rates to another, larger number. That’s voluntary manslaughter in other contexts.

    If I drink and drive, it’s a crime even if I don’t have a wreck and manslaughter if I do, because a reasonable person would know that there is a substantial probability that another person will be seriously harmed or killed as a result of that action. Ditto if I were to leave a baby outside overnight on a cold night, it would be up to Fate whether the baby died — after all, some babies will survive such an experience. It’s still reckless endangerment and child abuse at the very least, and manslaughter if the baby does die.

    If my reproductive endo freezes an embryo or lets it go to blast, he knows that there is a substantial chance the process will destroy it directly or indirectly, and that he could give that embryo a better chance of survival by transferring it immediately. He can’t claim that it’s an unavoidable side effect of a medical treatment that’s performed for the embryo’s benefit; from the embryo’s perspective, there is no benefit whatsoever to being frozen. If an eight-celled embryo is a person whom the doctor must treat as a patient, he is legally and ethically obligated to perform the medical action which gives it the best possible chance of ultimate survival: a fresh transfer.

    And lest you think this is a wild goose chase, I refer you to Italy, which in 2003 banned cryopreservation on precisely these same grounds of conflict with embryonic personhood.

  12. I would also like to note that the debate is NOT about when human life begins, because that is a scientific and religious question that cannot be answered by popular vote. The question at hand is whether even a one-celled fertilized egg ought to possess all the rights enumerated in Section III of the Mississippi Constitution.

    We have a longer post on this same subject coming soon, so I won’t argue the question further here.

  13. B says:

    @John

    Please allow me to help you. The fact of the matter is, this initiative, if passed, WOULD affect the legality of hormonal birth controls (like the pill, the patch, the shot and the implant) and IUDs. This is because many of them work in several ways, one of which is preventing implantation (keeping the egg, if it’s fertilized, from implanting in the uterine wall where it would later grow). This would leave only barrier methods (diaphragms, male and female condoms) as legal options since with hormonal birth control methods and IUDs there is risk of fertilization. And, of course, abortion, legal under federal law, would become unconstitutional under state law. I don’t feel like arguing with you about the initiative itself, just wanted you to be better informed.

  14. @John
    In case you’re still reading, perhaps you’d like to explain why Dr. Eric Webb, an OB and a major SUPPORTER of 26, disagrees with you. Dr. Webb discussed the potential impacts on IVF this morning on the Gallo Radio Show, during which he explicitly stated that 26 would prevent cryopreservation, and would limit doctors to attempting to fertilize only the number of eggs they would transfer — he specifically mentioned a limit of three eggs.

    Dr. Webb and I are in agreement about the facts here, although our opinions about those facts are 100% opposite. If he and I are saying the same thing, how is that a statement made out of fear?

  15. DM says:

    @B
    @B, thank you so much because that is the point I have been trying to make to many people. It would only leave physical barrier methods available for birth control, aside from sterilization. So any female using a form of birth control that is not a barrier method or a sterilization (be it her or her partner who is sterilized) who votes yes for this will be voting their own choice of birth control into oblivion in this state!

    Simply put, this is just a horrible precedent for our already ridiculed state to have the potential to make. Thankfully, I believe that it will face far too many legal challenges to ever actually survive, even if enough people were to vote on the yes side.

  16. Paj says:

    Plus there’s the fact that no test exists that can detect the presence of a zygote. Scientists can try to guess at the likelihood that a fertilized egg won’t implant in the uterine lining, but it’s impossible to know for sure. So with that in mind, if a woman has sex, sperm fertilizes egg, she has a glass of wine and then gets her period, could she be prosecuted for murder? And since the state claims that they have a vested interested in all persons and under 26, persons include zygotes, does that make my used tampons evidence of a crime?

    It sounds crazy, but it’s actually not, since 26 doesn’t say anything specific to indicate that menstruation would remain a private affair between a woman and her Tampax. It’s ridiculous and appalling. This has far-reaching consequences for women around the country. John, women have been having sex, using birth control, having abortions, seeking fertility treatments, having babies and planning their families for a long time without your help and, I might add, pretty successfully. You have no business telling any of us how to live our lives and I don’t believe, not for a millisecond, that you really care all that much about the humanity and dignity of a zygote. We make babies. They don’t just happen. They’re a process. A process that does not, and should not, involve you.

  17. Sooz says:

    So, would this mean that any woman can travel in an HOV lane in Mississippi, as long as she tells the police officer she’s pregnant? Will they be administering pregnancy tests on the side of the road?

    And what about miscarriages? Will you need to file a missing persons report if you’re not sure whether you’re miscarrying or just spot bleeding during your pregnancy? Will death certificates be issued for every miscarriage? Will you need to find the embryo to ensure proper burial or cremation, or will you be charged with mishandling a corpse if you don’t?

    This is the most ridiculous proposal I’ve ever heard.

    • What? says:

      It’s fine to disagree, but please don’t make it ugly. Miscarriage is a really painful experience- please don’t joke about death certificates.

      • Sooz may have said it flippantly, but I don’t think it necessarily is a joke.

        Every death of a person is investigated by the coroner to determine whether it was natural, accidental, murder, or negligence. For example, if an infant were to pass away, there would be an autopsy and an investigation to determine what happened. If the baby died of SIDS, or if it accidentally got trapped in its crib, of course there would be no charges. However, if the baby had been abused or malnourished, or left in a hot car, its parents would likely be charged with manslaughter.

        There’s no hard-and-fast rule for drawing the line between unfortunate accidents and manslaughter. It’s up to a prosecutor to decide whether there exists a reason to bring charges, a grand jury to issue an indictment, and then for a trial jury to decide to convict or acquit. Intention is not required for manslaughter, if the death was caused by an action which a reasonable person should have known could result in serious harm. For example, if you speed through a red light and kill a pedestrian, you can expect to be charged.

        So, let’s assume the baby has the same legal rights as a born infant. Logically, that must mean that a mother shouldn’t be able to do actions which, if applied to a born infant, would be child abuse or manslaughter. If you are a drug abuser and suffer a stillbirth, that would most likely be criminal — and if you believe that baby has equal rights, I think you SHOULD want that mother to be charged, just as you would want to charge a mother who drugs to her infant. But unless there is an investigation, how would you know whether the death really was spontaneous or was caused by some action of the mother which constitutes negligence? Either you allow manslaughter to go unpunished, or you find yourself investigating stillbirths.

        It sounds a little ridiculous when we start talking about death certificates for early miscarriages, but it’s much more plausible in the context of later-term pregnancy deaths. However, there is no distinguishing the one from the other if personhood is the standard. If the embryo is the equivalent of the full-term baby is the equivalent of an infant, they should all be protected from manslaughter and murder — but first you have to identify whether manslaughter or murder occurred.

  18. K says:

    Please please please read the statement from the MS Medical Association.

    http://www.msmaonline.com/Docs/MSMA%20Alerts/11_Oct_10_Proposal_26_email2.pdf

    MSMA realizes there are strong feelings both for and against Proposal 26 that we recognize and appreciate. Our concern is not with those issues and we do not in any way wish to take sides.
    Our concern is how this amendment will affect the common
    The common procedures we use now could be interpreted as murder or wrongful death if Proposal 26 passes. This justifiably will limit the physician’s options and deter use of common lifesaving procedures. practice of obstetrics and gynecology. We fear that it will place in jeopardy a physician who tries to save a mother’s life by performing procedures and employing techniques physicians have used for years.
    It is for this reason only, the MSMA Board of Trustees cannot support Proposal 26.

    I am nine weeks pregnant and it scares me to think that so many people can vote on a decision that my Dr. will need to make. I pray that 26 doesn’t pass. It fears me that it may, b/c so many churches have endorsed it. Many elderly and people who just think 26 deals with abortion will vote yes. Many need to complete research on this or not vote.

  19. hannah says:

    John…why are u even on here???This page is for PARENTS that are AGAINST the 26th mrs atlee did not say this is a place for u to disagree with us..this is a support group not a battle ground …and if any one feels the same way JOHN feels the way he does find u a site where you all agree on the same thing! this is not a battle ground this is for parents that are against the amendment! !And p.s i have a copy of the BALLOT that everyone will vote on this is what it says under amendment 26 which says

    Should the term ‘person’ be defined
    to include every human being from the
    moment of fertilization, cloning or
    the equivalent thereof?
    The Legislative Budget Office has
    concluded there is no determinable
    cost or revenue impact associated
    with this initiative

    From the time of CONCEPTION!!!Miscarriages dont just happen to people that are 4 months pregnant it happens to people that are way farther along then just that and even a week pregnant!and not all women can have children ,women try to be perfect but for some reason for you “men” but i guess we cant meat your expecations…id like to see u get pregnant!..And try and try and try and try!..thats exactly what A LOT of women have to “try” and do…But most never succeed.And tubals are a conception.,,and not treaded could be FATAL!!!!..The time of conception happens AS SOON as the egg and sperm are fertalized…I beleive in God and yeah i do NOT beleive in abortions..But i also beleive that people are being misled by the “terms” that the ballot says it can mean ANYTHING..Thats why they word it the way they do. Study to show thyself approved and i am “studying”….The goverment has tricked people from day one and always will..and their will always be a fine print with the goverment..always has always will….Thats why i cant wait for jesus to come get us!IM sickkk of all of this!The signs are here and im just waiting on him…Matthew 19:30
    But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.And thats exactly what were staring down right now bc the US is becoming last and other countries like isreal and afganistan are getting a democracy..and were beings communist which means we will have no say veryy soon!!See, if you only look at the ballot, of course you are going to vote “yes” just because of the question at hand. But, if you read further into this, you realize this is just another form of “diguised communism” which is becoming more of a way of life here rather than FREEDOM!A prime example…..
    O Bama Care… No one read the fine print there either until AFTER it was passed… Now look where we are headed.. To the biggest crock of bull ever thought up because No One Read The FINE PRINT!!And i do beleive in prayer and will continue to pray for out country and how sick it really is…But god also gave us a brain for a reason…to actally study…i study the bible and i study things before i sign stuff too ….copy of the ballot everyone will sign!http://www.sos.ms.gov/links/elections/home/tab1/G11%20Sample%20Ballot.pdf at the very bottom of the page!I know prayer goes a long way, and people have prayed for this world from the beginning of time!…But like i said before god gives us brains for a reason!Thank u so much Mrs Attlee for creating this:) BTW my daughters name is AnnLee:) very close to yours…and it took me a misscarriage i was 3-4 months along before i had her and i had it in the worst way possible!in a hotel room with my husband when he was working “on shore”…I will never forget that day bc i did not go to the hospital i passed it all myself i am 22 yrs old got married very young i had my miscarriage when we 1st got married, and had my daughter and had 3 miscarrrys since then:( >i know many people that get ifv and a lot of other things..And dont know what i would do without BIRTHCONTROl “.bc i have polystic ovarian syndrom and trying not to get pregnant bc its hard to keep a pregnancy!Thank you for being you-hannah

    • Thank you, Hannah.

      I’m leaving the opposition comments on here because I don’t believe in censoring reasonable debate, as long as they’re civil about it. I’ve put a lot of thought into my position, and I want our readers to have the KNOWLEDGE they need to decide for themselves who is right, and who is offering platitudes and half-truths.

      If someone understands the potential impacts on IVF, birth control, ectopic pregnancy, and all the other things we talk about here, and still wants to vote Yes… well, everyone’s got a vote. I 100% disagree with that position, and it makes me angry that they’re willing to sacrifice other peoples’ health and families over the issue, but not everyone agrees. What I want people to understand is exactly what they’re voting for, and the complexity of the issues involved.

      I find that most people on both sides of the pro-choice/pro-life divide think that these unintended consequences make 26 a bad law.

  20. David says:

    My wife and I have been researching this for months now, and feel this initiative can have adverse affects on current laws and court rulings. To John if life begins at fertilization, and doesn’t attach to the uterus, Does this make the woman and God a murder? Because all my life I’ve heard that it is a miracle when a woman gets pregnant. I also have heard that only God can perform miracle. So if this initiative passes it will make God a murderer. So John can you in good faith still vote yes and make your God a murderer. I personally wish you wouldn’t, because I love my God and don’t want him to be known as a murderer.
    We must also think of the Doctors in this, if only condoms and diaphragms are legal. Then most women will no longer need to make a yearly visit to them. This hurts the economy and their families. This would also hurt the women because issue such as cervical cancer would go undetected and cause death in most cases.
    Then if the general public decides to not use condoms and diaphragms, and trust me this is what will happen. Then when have just put a major burden on tax payers with added cost to welfare and other govt funded programs.

    • What? says:

      If only condoms and diaphragms are legal, women would still be recommended to visit ob/gyns on a yearly basis if they are having sex. And what do you mean when you say that this will cause an increase in welfare and other govt funded programs? That’s way out of line! You can’t make the assumption that the women who have abortions or who use birth control pills would be unable to support the children that they might have if these methods were illegal. Abortions happen for many reasons. Additionally, I think that you really need to consider why you are against this proposition. Is it because you value the lives of the women that may need abortions for medical reasons? It is because you believe that couples should be able to choose when they are ready for children? But please, economics is not a reason that should be used in an argument about “personhood”.

      • Monica says:

        Whether you like it or not economics and abortion are two highly correlated subjects. Inability of a mother or a mother and father to provide financially for a child IS a huge motivating factor in having an abortion. If you don’t believe me read the chapter on abortion in Freakonomics. Assuming that these children are born it is not at all a stretch or “out of line,” it’s a perfectly rational conclusion.

  21. Dusti says:

    I’m pro-life but I see how this could be the beginning of a very slippery slope that leads to all manner of witch hunts against women and doctors. It could also greatly curtail women’s rights. There have already been a couple of cases in Alabama where women were arrested and tried for murder because they miscarried. Ironically, they were tried under a law designed to protect victims of domestic violence.
    I wish people could see how they’re being used by politicians. They build up an issue, get you worked up about it and then feed you an answer you want to hear. Then you re-elect them and their tribe remains in power.
    Women of Mississippi, do not allow this to pass! Your daughters will thank you.

    • a says:

      Women would not be prosecuted for miscarriage, that’s crazy, the baby died, not the mother killing it. Think of all the daughters who will not be aborted, and will thank us for their lives. it will not outlaw birth control. Some are fear mongering. From all the opposition to this initiative, all I’ve heard is people say: I’m afraid of what it will do. Doctors and the lives of mothers are already protected by the state and federal constitution. Why not protect the unborn as people, too. This is not a bill put out bu politicians, but by pro-life organizations, who want to save life not destroy it. Do you really think that God would have you vote no? Pray and ask Him to help you make a decision.

      • If the mother caused the miscarriage through negligence or misconduct, she could certainly be prosecuted. We don’t prosecute parents whose children die accidental deaths, but we do prosecute those whose children die because of abuse or neglect (and, importantly, each death is investigated to determine whether it is accidental or criminal). If you think that embryos are equivalent to infants, shouldn’t you WANT to prosecute people who treat them badly enough to cause their deaths?

        Women are already being prosecuted for miscarriages and stillbirths — look into the case of Rennie Gibbs. No, I’m not advocating drinking or drug use while pregnant, but there are a lot of things women can do that increase the miscarriage or stillbirth risk. Women who experience these sad events often blame themselves, and wonder if they did something to cause it. So, often enough, do other people around them.

        Once we’ve established that, we’re just quibbling about degrees.

  22. Margaret says:

    Life. Death. White & Black. No gray areas. Do not kid yourself. Do not excuse death as permissible in any circumstance. Please do not stay home November 8.
    Other issues, dealing with life in glass tubes, being frozen, discarded-killed….everyone will be accountable for their actions. God bless our innocents.

    • And yet it’s scare tactics when I say that 26 will effectively ban IVF by prohibiting embryo freezing….

      • Margaret says:

        It may not ….again, those who freeze, select, discard…will have to answer for each innocent discarded—killed. The Commandment, not suggestion, is clear about the word KIL. But let us pray that enough of us will go to the polls and speak up for LIFE. God is the giver of LIFE.Do not fall prey to rationalizing why it is to OK killing. It is not OK.

      • Angry says:

        Actually the commandment was mistranslated from hebrew, it is thou shall not murder. I for one would prefer it if you kept your religion out of politics, its not like Reeces peanut butter cups, the two do not go well together.

  23. Chris says:

    First of all, I want to say that by being a man I have limited rights to speak on the matters of this subject, however my wife and I have spent a lot of time researching and talking about proposition 26 and we both agree that anyone voting on this should at least consider the following statements.

    I have spent almost 4 years working at a MS Women’s Hospital and have a great appreciation for life and I personally do not believe in aborting an implanted embryo. That being said I don’t believe I have the right to tell a woman she can’t have an abortion because that is her personal choice given to her by GOD because of our right to free will he gave to us.

    One of my concerns for proposition 26 being passed is the idea that God gave us the right to choose how to live our lives and to choose whether or not to worship him. Don’t get me wrong our choices always have consequences with God. I also understand by being a Christian that I only have to answer for the sins that I have committed in my life here on Earth; no one else. So the problem I have with proposition 26 is that it will ultimately take away so many choices a woman has for pregnancy, birth control and abortion. Aren’t these choices God given right to free will? Is taking this right to free will from God a sin? Are you prepared to answer to him if it is?

    Many of my friends are supporters of 26 and all I hear them saying is that this is only about abortion and that the opposition is coming up with these things to scare people away from voting yes. We here is some food for thought. How many of the supporters have daughters who use birth control pills some of which prevent implantation and cause the fertilized eggs to be aborted? Sure I agree that a 16 year old girl isn’t emotionally ready to take care of a child. I don’t think birth control is wrong for them. But how can you say out of one side of your mouth, “I don’t agree with abortion, I am PRO-LIFE” and out of the other side tell your daugther to make sure she’s taking the pills, because they’ll help regulate your cycle.

    They say it won’t ban birth control or IVF. Again they call this scare tactics. Well as I mentioned above birth control uses methods that cause a fertilized egg to be aborted. These fertilized eggs will have the same rights as you and I, with some unknown limitations to be decided by our state government officials and our judicial system. I personally am very uncomfortable with leaving the healthcare of my wife and daughters up to our state government who’s sole purpose on making a decision is not what’s best for the people as a whole but what will keep them in office. So it is very ignorant to think that proposition 26 won’t cause these changes.

    Finally, I am not encouraging you to vote yes or no on proposition 26. But I am pleading to you to take the time to think about and do research on the matter. If we vote on a matter only based on what we are told by people who are passionate about the matter then we may as well get into our cars blindfolded and drive down the road because an accident is waiting to happen.

    And for the people who are against proposition 26, I want to know which will be more effective. I have read Article XV of the MS constitution and it states “An initiative or legislative alternative must receive a majority of the votes thereon and not less than forty percent (40%) of the total votes cast at the election at which the measure was submitted to be approved.” Will choosing not to vote at all on the proposition but vote on the rest of the ballot be effective? The way I understand this is that of all the votes cast at least 40% have to be cast on the proposition for it to be considered and then of the 40% a majority have to vote yes for it to be approved.

  24. JD says:

    When I read comments from those who choose to use the Bible as their ultimate guidance, I wonder if by their own logic we shouldn’t also cleave to each chapter and verse in Leviticus, such as this one about making slaves of tresspasser’s children born on your land: 25:45 “Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.” My point is, we’ve come a long, long way since the days when Leviticus and Deuteronomy were written, yet extremist Christians love to use passages selectively to justify their beliefs, even when they are obviously way out of date for our modern times. (Why? Probably because when they were children, their authority figures told them they’d burn in hell if they didn’t.) Secondly, and more importantly, these same folks presume to use the Bible, which per above is not always applicable, as the sole arbiter when determining such important questions as when life begins–as if everyone in these United States is a Christian of their conservative stripe. (Who died and made you God? And what about the First Amendment?) Each of us interprets the Bible differently, and there isn’t a single soul on this Earth who has exclusive rights for its interpretation. The same holds for Science, which is also subject to interpretation, as our knowledge base increases daily. So, some might argue that a human doesn’t become truly human until they breathe their first breath, while others say it’s at 22 weeks, etc. etc. Whom should we believe? And as regards legal interpretations, we all know that politicians regularly seize on the hot button of the day to enact legislation that will make them popular with certain constituents, regardless of whether it will have far-reaching consequences, or cause as much or more harm as what it was intended to cure, i.e. Prohibition, or calling sex between someone who’s 18 1/2 with someone who’s 17 yrs. 11 months and 29 days old statutory rape. The founders of this country were well aware that mixing religion with government is a bad idea because beliefs are not always rational. Once beliefs are codified into law, it takes years and years to reverse them if they’re unfair. Meanwhile, people’s lives are at stake–people with families, who are contributors to our communities and our tax base. If your religion tells you that life begins at conception, then you have every right not to practice birth control, abortion, IVF, etc. yourself. But you do NOT have the right to impose your personal beliefs on the rest of us, so learn to mind your own business. And remember, if you want to maintain the right to practice your religion your own way, then quit messing with our Constitutional rights. The right you limit might be your own.

    • a says:

      You seriously need to study the constitution and our founding fathers.
      The Bible does not go out-of-date. Our Moral Law comes from the Bible in the OT. God gave us this law to live by. Even in remote civilizations, who never knew God, people have a certain sense of right and wrong. Where did this come from, this inner knowing of wrong? It came from God. Read “Mere Christianity”
      Life begins at fertilization. Watch “The Silent Scream” on YouTube. Can’t believe your actually saying lets protect our “Tax Base”! These babies are being pulled apart. They can’t speak for themselves.

      • Korra says:

        That’s funny that you try to base your moral compass on something which tells you to stone mouthy children to death. Your ‘god’ was not a new invention. Some people had El, others had Odin, still others have The Great Spirit. These are not your ‘god’ in different forms, since El pre-dates your god by hundreds of years. Also your Silent Scream was full of special effects, it wasn’t what you think. It was sped up, slowed down, twisted and cut up, to make you think the fetus was self aware. Of course, saying this is like talking to a brick wall. Let’s agree to disagree and acknowledge you’ve probably never even tried to read actual books on this. That’d be beyond you.

  25. What? says:

    “The founders of this country were well aware that mixing religion with government is a bad idea because beliefs are not always rational.”

    This is simply untrue. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The founders believed that the British had violated rights that God had given them; these rights were not created by the founding fathers, but by God. And these are the same rights that so many people cherish today. The most important right, however, that God endowed us with is free will. We have the free will to make our own decisions and lead our own lives.

    I don’t agree with abortion, but I also understand that the governments of this world are imperfect, and everything can be used for evil. This law can be used to prevent women from undergoing emergency medical treatments, it can be used to harass women who have just experienced the very painful loss of miscarriage, and it can prevent couples with fertilization problems from enjoying the wonders of parenthood.

    The Bible must be understood not only to be specific words for specific peoples at a specific time but also as full of lasting principles for all peoples at all times. Agreed that interpretation should be left to the individual; however, it is perfectly acceptable to use the founding literature of your religion to attempt to explain your religious viewpoint on something.

    • Angry says:

      James Madison, the father of the United States Constitution, once observed that “the [religious] devotion of the people has been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.”

      In fact the founding fathers mandated this separation, this was done so that everyone could worship the god/goddess/flying spaghetti monster of their choice.Remember the Pilgrims left Europe to get away from religious prosecution and if you dont let others believe what they believe then you are no better than those that drove them to this country. Point is we are a nation of diverse faiths and when one dominant faith begins to try to enforce their religious clout in the political arena, then you start that downward slide towards religious law. Lets ask Afghanistan how that worked for them….

  26. B. Carraway says:

    I have a few questions.

    Question 1: If a woman is raped and arrives in an emergency room several hours after the rape, will she be denied treatment (e.g., “morning after pill”). According to Internet sources (not Wikipedia), it appears that fertilization cannot precisely be determined in the E.R. It states that it can actually take up to 3 days before fertilization begins (depending on the woman and her cycle). Please correct me if these Internet sources are incorrect, I have no problem being wrong. But, for my question, assume that is correct and the woman enters an E.R. after the passage of I26, will she be denied treatment to prevent fertilization?

    Question 2: Can anyone guarantee that ANY form of birth control will NOT be affected? I am asking for the type of guarantee in which one would be willing to bet his home that lawmakers and others will do just as they claim and be willing for me to come take possession.

    Question 3: Can anyone provide the same guarantee that those clinics that offer IFV will not close shop due to any possible legislation or burdens imposed by this definition? In addition, can anyone guarantee that IFV will be readily available after the imposition of this definiton at all?

    Thanks.

    • Chris says:

      @B. Carraway

      Changing the wording of the MS constitution to say that life begins at fertilization will if taken seriously by our legislative and judicial branches will force our lawmakers to review the current laws and make changes to them. They will have to include the rights of the unborn persons to be included in them. They will be forced to make committees with doctors to review how birth control, IVF, and cryopreservation acts on the woman’s body to prevent pregnancy. And by law if this change stands, they will have to make sure the unborn’s rights aren’t violated. Isn’t that how our government is set up to run? So for people to say without a reasonable doubt that something will not be affected by this doesn’t understand the responsibilities our legislature is bound to by law. So to answer your questions yes there will be changes made to the laws governing unborn persons. What these changes are will be determined by our legislature, not by the people who are fighting so hard to stop abortion from happening. This is not just about abortion. The wording causes it to go so much further than that. I hope this helps you and others to understand what difference a few words can make.

    • cheryl says:

      Can you guarantee that your birth control will be taken away? And please stop assuming cause you know the saying…
      Planned parenthood is behind all the scare tatics!
      All the bill ask is do you agree with the term person or persons shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof…… where do you see anything saying abortions will be banned? do you see something I don’t cause I also do not see where it says anything about taking away our birth control. You have read more into this bill than what it says, just like people like planned parenthood wanted you to.

      • http://yeson26.net/amendment-26/frequently-asked-questions/ . Among other things, Yes On 26 claims it will ban abortion even for rape victims, RU-486 and the morning-after pill, IUDs, and disposition of frozen embryos. Are they lying about all of that? Or is that how it’s going to get interpreted, and if so, how do I know it won’t also get interpreted to encompass other things?

        Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, told me personally on a radio interview that 26 would place some very severe restrictions on IVF. If you understand the medical realities of IVF, it’s clear that he is advocating for a de facto ban. Is he wrong that 26 would do those things?

        I don’t think that accurately quoting Yes On 26 and Personhood USA can be considered as “Planned Parenthood scare tactics”.

    • a says:

      If it would ban some birth control, or limit ivf, and maybe 4 women get pregnant from rape, are these worth the average of 50-75 babies ripped apart in their mothers womb every week? No! They can’t take away birth control without legislating it; women still have value; IVF conceives babies; personhood is for the conception of babies.
      A vote no will continue the murder of these babies. If your pro-choice, then I challenge you to watch an abortion sonogram. Then tell me your still for it.
      There are no excuses for the murder of babies.

      • Ev says:

        Simply put, if the intent is to end abortions (which seems pretty clear to me) then pass a law banning abortions. Don’t confuse people with this “personhood” BS and don’t risk all the unintended consequences that 26 will create. Wait, this is politics we’re talking about

  27. cheryl says:

    I just love how people read stuff into this. I do not see anything about banning abortions, invitro or birthcontrol. What I see in this bill is that MS (which I am proud to say I am from) belives birth starts at conception. Nothing more nothing less… read the bill, thats what it says!

    • I don’t see anything about banning abortion or IUDs or frozen embryo disposition in there either, but the Yes On 26 website claims it would do all of those things. Either they’re not telling the truth, or the amendment will be interpreted that way by the courts and/or the legislature. And if it’s up to interpretation, there are plenty of reasons to think that such interpretation could extend to IVF and birth control.

  28. cheryl says:

    B. Carroway

    Can you guarantee that your birth control will be taken away? And please stop assuming cause you know the saying…
    Planned parenthood is behind all the scare tatics!
    All the bill ask is do you agree with the term person or persons shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof…… where do you see anything saying abortions will be banned? do you see something I don’t cause I also do not see where it says anything about taking away our birth control. You have read more into this bill than what it says, just like people like planned parenthood wanted you to.

    • Korra says:

      Because if a collection of cells becomes a person, then an abortion would be classified as murder because it is negating the zygote’s ability to function (or ‘live’). A pro-lifer would probably put it like this, abortion is bad because it’s like how stabbing someone through the chest repeatedly is considered murder because you’re negating their hearts’ ability to beat.

  29. lesley says:

    After reading many of these comments, it is obvious that NO ONE knows what legislation might arise from this amendment…No matter which side of the issue you are on, everything is conjecture at this point…..

    Except for this….Passing this will make abortion illegal in Mississippi….and in my humble estimation, that will be worth any side-issues that we, as a state, have to work through.

    God Bless, folks…

  30. soccernutter says:

    re: cheryl, et al.

    To look at the bill that simply is dangerous. If the legal definition of life “starts at conception,” the the suggestion that anybody who does anything that might be considered something to prevent life from occurring could be charged. For example, if somebody does take RU486, they can be charged with something akin to manslaughter or worse. Further, how does somebody deal with a miscarriage? If it was caused by stress, does that mean the mother could be charged? Does it mean that if a baby comes out with some birth defect, the parents/mother can have her medical records looked at to determine if she did something that was the cause, and then be charged with a crime?

    As stated, science acknowledges when life begins, technically. But this is not a laboratory, this is law, and this constitutional change is far to vague and should not be approved.

  31. Chad says:

    This not only takes women and medicine decades backward, but is painstakingly undeniably ridiculous. While I have my own opinion on the issue of abortion, I, nor anyone else on earth, has the right to tell someone else what their choice should be. Most people who are “pro-life” are driven by a moral stance centered in their religion. In the U.S. we are given the right to freedom of religion by the 1st amendment, the right to choose when faced with a choice, and free-will given by God. This would take these principles away. If someone’s moral character is “stepped-on” because they have to live in a country where abortion is legal, why don’t they go to that best friend next door who is deciding whether or not to abort and talk to them – not hide behind a peice of legislation that limits someone’s choice. There is also the issue of ectopic pregnancy, pregnancy from rape, birth control, IVF – I am a nurse, and there is no way I could work for a state in which these modes of healthcare where NOT available. I know several women who have benefitted and some who have been heartbroken from IVF and have had to adopt, but the very fact that a woman can now have a child by these means is AMAZING!! This goes to Mental Health issues in a huge way – but we want to sacrifice the mental well-being of women because someone thinks it’s wrong and their mission to make abortion illegal. ABORTION, unfortunately is an issue that will probably never go away, and again while I have my own opinion, I cannot – nor will I ever – attempt to make that decision for someone else & those of you in Mississippi that think you should – SHAME ON YOU – you don’t know their situation or their life & what reasons may have brought them to where they are now !!! How dare you assume that everyone should believe & see it your way, and if not be forced to live in a world where their belief system doesn’t matter.

  32. Jewels says:

    What I would like to know, is what about the choice of the life that is created. Women have a choice to allow that creation or not (with the exception of extreme circumstances). Why is that choice not exercised? Who says one has to have sex in the first place? If you choose to take that risk (only abstinence is guaranteed, unless you believe in immaculate conception), why do you choose to make another suffer as a result of your carelessness? If these women were addicts, would they choose then to shoot the dealer they got drugs from, if their trip went south? It was their choice to take the risk, and in some cases, it can be a lifelong decision. One can only hope, that if it is a matter of life or death for the mother, that the choice is then obvious, but how often is that the case?

    • It never fails to surprise me that people apparently think unintended pregnancy is only a concern for people who engage in extramarital sex. Continuous abstinence isn’t an applicable birth control solution for most married couples, whose healthy relationships cannot properly be described as “carelessness”. Married couples need reliable birth control too.

      • Jewels says:

        who said anything about extramarital???? I see families all the time that have kids they can’t afford, no place to live, no money for food, but they keep popping out children. You can’t have a successful marriage without sex? Hmmmm, what if someone looses that ability (most typically male but…) does that mean the marriage is over? Wow, that’s a supportive partner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>