Both candidates for Mississippi attorney general have declared that they plan to vote “yes” for Amendment 26, which would outlaw abortion and some forms of birth control in the state. Democratic incumbent Jim Hood and his Republican challenger, Steve Simpson, have chosen to keep private their views on some initiatives — like voter identification and eminent domain. But when it comes to “Personhood,” both are loud and clear.
Hood has been vocal about his stance that life begins at conception in the past, and has stated that he would defend the Personhood Amendment, which would likely face a legal challenge if it is adopted. Though state lawmakers have readily supported the bill, many critics argue that it could lead to a host of unintended consequences, and could even lead to legal ramifications for in vitro fertilization. Outlawing birth control, which could occur under the amendment, could have its own effects, and lead to more unplanned pregnancies.
For the amount of press Amendment 26 has received, it is interesting to note that it is already incredibly difficult to undergo an abortion in Mississippi. In fact,the state has only one abortion clinic, and also boasts one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation.
Mississippi’s lieutenant governor, who is now running to become governor, has also pledged to support “Personhood.”
A “Personhood” initiative in Florida has found no real support from even pro-life legislators or groups, who have chosen instead to throw their support behind less-extreme measures, like one requiring that all women receive an ultrasound prior to getting an abortion. In spite of a lack of support and signatures, the head of Personhood Florida, Bryan Longworth, has pledged to try again in 2012.