Abortion rights in Mississippi are being tested with a referendum on the ballot Tuesday asking voters to amend the state constitution to redefine the term “person” to include “every human being from the moment of fertilization” or cloning.
Opponents charge the change – which both sides say is likely to pass – is a backdoor way to outlaw abortion that could put the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision in jeopardy. Redefining “personhood” under Mississippi's Bill of Rights will likely lead to court battles that may end up before the US Supreme Court.
The implications of this referendum are obvious. If such a law sees the light of day, what will it mean for the future of the enormously lucrative contraception industry? Many forms of birth control operate as efficient, easy to acquire, abortifacients, terminating the life of a person in its earliest stage. Surely, if the life of the human person is understood to begin at the moment of conception, it will force a second look at birth control, which is exactly why this measure is being cast as 'extreme' by those opposing it. After all, how can something so ho-hum, 'safe' and 'responsible' as birth control be bad?
Expect a great deal of resistance to this push, even among soi-disant conservatives who traditionally align themselves on the pro-life side of things, and portray contraception as the clean alternative to procured abortion. Sadly, society is simply too comfortable with artificial birth control.
For more on this, read Why Mississippi's 'Personhood' Law Could Outlaw Birth Control.