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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Abortion advocates dance around personhood

As many of you know, Mississippi voters will soon have the opportunity to recognize all human beings, from conception, as legal persons. Although personhood amendments have been tried before, this is the first with any real chance of passing, and so it's gotten lots of media attention.

Pro-lifers are divided on the advisability of this strategy. Setting that aside, it's interesting to see how the other side is reacting. Their responses have a clear pattern: they attack personhood for any reason other than their actual reason for opposing it. They oppose personhood amendments because they want abortion to remain legal-- but the arguments they give in the media dance around that issue entirely. Instead, they claim that the amendment will ban contraception (it won't), send women to prison for miscarrying (abortion will be subject to the same high standard of proof as any other crime), or could have all sorts of unintended consequences, like lowering the drinking age to 20 years and 3 months after birth. [That would hardly be the end of the world if it were true, but clever defendants have already tried that argument and been shot down by Mississippi courts. See McKenzie v. State, 946 So.2d 392 (Miss. Ct. App.) (holding that "a person's age is calculated from birth" because "evidence of the date of birth is easier to certify than a date of conception"-- which will still be true even if the personhood amendment passes).]

Abortion is quite clearly the focus of the personhood amendment. So why isn't that the focus of the debate?

Simply put, pro-lifers are the majority in Mississippi. Abortion advocates cannot win on the merits of their case. So instead, they are trying to trick pro-life voters into believing that the personhood amendment will do something that it won't.

This kind of innuendo and deception is unacceptable. It is also a taste of our future. As the pro-life majority grows nationwide, pro-choice groups will increasingly have to rely on these fringe issues. Let's nip that in the bud right now. Whether or not Mississippi's personhood amendment is ultimately successful, we must defeat Planned Parenthood's propaganda.

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