In what has become an all-too-familiar refrain among the more radical members of the anti-abortion movement, Personhood Mississippi is comparing abortion rights to slavery.
A website touting Mississippi’s Amendment 26 says that, at its core, the “Personhood” movement is about challenging legal decisions: “When a court makes a horribly unjust, immoral, and unconstitutional ruling , it should not be allowed to stand in perpetuity – if so, we would still be treating some African Americans as property because of Dred Scott.”
In a blog post on Colorlines, Akiba Solomon writes that the group is perverting black history in its to fight to end abortion.
To be sure, I’m not surprised by this perversion of my history. After all, Personhood Mississippi is the same group that sponsored a “Conceived in Rape” tour championing the inalienable rights of rapists’ sperm. The organization is also headed up by Les Riley, an “eighth-generation Mississippian” and “one stubborn Celt” who has blogged for a Christian secessionist group. But I do fear folks like this. We’re in a dangerous time where ideologues make mystery meat out of basic history and widely distribute this propaganda on conservative radio, online and on Fox News. And they’re tapping established political figures to perpetuate the distortions. Just yesterday, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee keynoted a fundraiser for Personhood Mississippi. I don’t consider Huckabee legitimate, and the Colorado personhood measure he backed in 2008 did fail. But I can’t sleep on the fact that a national figure like Huckabee can make a fringe group look bigger and sounder than it is.
Though many are now familiar with the nationwide push by Personhood USA to end abortion and some forms of birth control, many might be unaware that the group is also just as concerned with human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
In fact, Mississippi’s Amendment 26 (which will be voted on this November) aims to not only stop abortion, but to stop cloning, as well. According to its website, if the majority of Mississippians vote “yes” on Amendment 26, “abortion will be outlawed in our state; cloning and other forms of medical cannibalism will be effectively stopped; and a challenge will be set up to Roe v. Wade.”
A Mississippi high court recently upheld the decision to include the “Personhood” initiative on the state’s November ballot.