The so-called “Personhood” movement, though once labeled extreme by even conservative groups in Florida, is gaining traction across the country. In Mississippi, the group’s efforts have paid off — a “Personhood” amendment, which seeks to ban abortion (and could ban some forms of birth control) will be on the state’s November ballot. Recent reports indicate the group is now seeking signatures in Ohio, in an effort to place a similar abortion ban on that state’s ballot.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Tara Broderick, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio, called the measure “dangerous and deceptive” and said it would put the government “smack in the middle of personal, private medical decisions between women and their doctors.”
Personhood USA head Keith Mason told the Chronicle that he had been been helping to stir up support in Ohio for several months. ”People in Ohio have begun collecting signatures, we’ve assisted them where we can, and as soon as they gather enough signatures, we’ll come on full force,” said Mason.
The group’s Florida leader, Bryan Longworth, has not been dissuaded by a lack of support from state legislators, and has said he will continue collecting signatures for a ballot initiative. In addition to the group’s Mississippi efforts, Personhood has launched an effort in Montana and will be making similar attempts in North Dakota in coming weeks.