The Yes On 26 campaign claims that it won’t prevent doctors from saving women’s lives in the “hard case where the baby is unviable”. However, there is a great deal of uncertainty about which treatments would and wouldn’t be available.
There is good reason to believe that 26 would prevent physicians from using non-surgical or fertility-preserving treatment for ectopic pregnancy. Personhood campaigns in other states such as Colorado have claimed that tubal-removal surgery is the only personhood-compatible treatment for ectopic pregnancy, as do many pro-life groups.
Personhood supporters make the claim that doctors “would be required to save both lives if possible”. In pro-life hospitals around the US, this is already interpreted in ways which threaten womens’ lives and physical health, even when it is clear that there is no hope to save the pregnancy.
Who will decide when doctors have done enough to save both lives, and when ending the pregnancy is medically justified? How will it be determined that doctors are in compliance with the law?
These are key reasons why the Mississippi Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Mississippi State Medical Association, and Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi do not support Initiative 26.