Volume 2, Number 7 - Dec 05, 2011

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Cassandra Bazile

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Mississippi Fails To Lead The Way

By Cassandra Bazile

A state constitutional amendment that would have defined a fertilized egg as a person, a measure that entitled the legal protections and right of a child to an unborn baby, failed to pass Nov. 8, 2011 in Mississippi.

Known as Initiative 26, or the “Personhood” amendment, the law was intended to reverse the pro-choice decision declared in the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade. If the initiative had passed, it would have been stricter than the 1973 court ruling.

According to the “Personhood” measure, because an unborn baby would now be considered a person, a woman could not endanger the life of the baby, without exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the woman. In addition, common methods of birth control, such as Plan-B and in-vitro fertilization would also be deemed illegal.

Many people asked this week, ‘How did a bill such as this even come to be voted upon?’ Since grade school, Americans have learned that Federal Court decisions always supersede those of states. If Mississippians did pass Initiative 26, it would have been ruled unconstitutional.

Roe v. Wade stated that it is difficult to define when human life starts, and the people of Mississippi failed to prove that it starts at conception. In fact, the line has always been unclear.

As is often said, study history. If people did, they would have known the outcome of Initiative 26. 

In Florida, a similar bill is being considered as well. For now, let us tell Florida to learn from history. Unless it is possible to know when life starts, the ruling of  Roe v. Wade will continue to supersede state law.

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