Mississippi ‘Personhood’ Ballot Initiative 41
This law was last updated on Apr 22, 2016
This amendment would define “personhood” as beginning at the moment of conception, and would give full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses. The amendment would ban abortion as a form of homicide, with no exception for rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman or girl. It also would ban birth control pills, IUDs, and emergency contraception. In addition, it would eliminate certain medical choices for women, including some cancer treatments and in vitro fertilization, and might lead to investigation and prosecution of women who miscarry to determine if their own actions caused the death of the fetus.
Initiative Measure No. 41, originally approved by the state legislature on March 5, 2014 would ask Mississippi voters “Should the Mississippi Constitution be amended to state that the right to life as a person begins at conception?” If approved, it would have added the following amendment to the Mississippi Constitution:
The right to life begins at conception. All human beings at every stage of development are unique, created in the image of God, and shall enjoy the inalienable right to life as persons under law.
The wording of Initiative No. 41 is similar to Initiative 26, which Mississippi voters rejected in 2011, 58-42, except that Initiative 26 didn’t make mention of “God.” Organizers failed to gather the 107,216 signatures required for the Initiative to appear on the 2015 ballot.