The Christian Science Monitor observed today, “At first glance, the tea party movement that crashed the 2010 congressional midterm election took an elbow to the nose in Election 2011.” One of the reasons for that? The so-called personhood amendment proposed in Mississippi “that would give legal status to a fertilized egg.”
As long as that egg isn’t inside an illegal laborer from Mexico, of course.
All jokes aside, the personhood amendment is a real initiative, championed by anti-abortion group Personhood USA. In a keen bit of analysis about yesterday’s vote, the CSM notes, “Tuesday’s results teased out two distinct tea party tangents liberterian versus Christian conservatives that may hint at the movement’s future prospects. In Mississippi, social culture-war issues, like the “personhood” initiative, fared worse Tuesday than did a “personal liberty” ballot measure that limits eminent domain (the ability of government to seize private property), which voters approved handily.”
As The Guardian put it, “The abortion rights movement has won an unexpected victory after voters in Mississippi rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would effectively have barred terminations and some forms of contraception …. 58% of voters rejected the measure after apparently being persuaded by critics who portrayed it as draconian because it made no exceptions for women who are raped, or in cases of incest.”
Planned Parenthood criticized the proposed amendment to Mississippi’s state constitution as “government gone too far,” an idea Tea Party members claim to abhor. Parents who conceived via IVF were concerned that should the amendment have passed, specialists might have left the state. The Guardian notes, “anti-abortion activists said they will continue efforts to amend the constitutions of other states – including Florida, Montana and Ohio – to declare life begins at fertilisation and that terminations are therefore murder. Voters in Colorado rejected similar proposals in 2008 and 2010.”
You can learn more about the Personhood USA movement – founded by a man, of course – at their website, personhoodusa.com.