A potentially game-changing date for the pro-life and pro-abortion movements is quickly upon us, only 10 days away. (Make sure to read the money line at the end of this post.)
On November 8 Mississippi voters will decide the fate of Initiative 26, aka the Personhood Amendment, which states:
The term “person” or “persons” shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.
Almost unbelievably, Amendment 26 really might pass. Quoting the pro-abortion website Salon:
Personhood amendments were once considered too radical for the mainstream pro-life movement, but in the most conservative state in the country, with an energized, church-mobilized grass roots, Mississippi could well be the first state to pass one. Initiative 26 even has the state’s top Democrats behind it.
Yes, shock, both the Republican and Democrat candidates for governor support Initiative 26.
And if Amendment 26 passes, the Roe v. Wade decision may be on our side, shock again. Explained pro-abortion writer Nina Burleigh at Time:
The logistical, legal basis for the personhood movement is a sentence in Roe v. Wade written by Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in 1973: “The appellee and certain amici [pro-lifers] argue that the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.”…
[S]upporters have decided to drive a truck into that legal wording and declare all zygotes persons.
Today we can see the miracle of conception take place in a petri dish. We can see very young babies dance and wave in the womb via ultrasound. Scientific knowledge has advanced drastically since 1973, all on the side of life.
Moreover, money and momentum are on our side. Again quoting Salon:
The state’s tiny pro-choice contingent was stunned by Personhood’s success. It didn’t help that a legal challenge mounted, and eventually lost, by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood delayed the official opposition.
The Personhood coalition had been busy organizing – getting churches on board, showing up at every gun show, county fair and flea market telling people it would save babies – for months.
But the opposition coalition, known as Mississippi for Healthy Families, waited until a state Supreme Court decision a month ago kept the initiative on the ballot. Before that, says Stan Flint, the managing partner of Southern Strategies who’s advising them, “People wouldn’t pull out a checkbook.”
They could expect no help from local Democrats. The party’s current candidate for governor, Johnny Dupree, who would be the first black statewide official since Reconstruction, supports Personhood. (Republican candidate Phil Bryant embraced Personhood early on, and co-chairs Yes on 26.)
Only one of Mississippi’s legislators, Deborah Dawkins, has come out against the measure, telling the Huffington Post that her fellow Democrats “are at a different place in their life, they’ve got to have a job.”
I’m told that to this point our side has spent at least double that of the other side on television ads, although we can’t rest on that. It would come as no surprise for pro-abortion groups across the country to dump huge amounts of money and people to defeat Initiative 26 in these last days. They really are afraid, picking up the writing pace against it exponentially in these last several days.
But here’s the money line I promised at the beginning of this post, quoting Salon. I’ve read it over and over. Imagine the day…
Personhood could represent the most audaciously successful reframing of the national abortion debate yet – in which pro-choicers have to fight over whether forms of birth control are abortion, as opposed to ensuring a woman’s right and access to reproductive choice.
And this aside from saving absolutely every preborn life – no exceptions – from being killed.
[Top photo via Salon, second photo via Slate]