Mississippi State Supreme Court Clears Path for November Ballot on ‘Personhood’ of Unborn
The Supreme Court of the state of Mississippi today cleared the path for voters to decide on the “personhood” ballot initiative in November. This latest development potentially threatens the abortion industry in the state, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which nullified state laws that bans abortion.
Personhood Mississippi, an organization advocating for the initiative, explained that in case Ballot Measure 26 introducing personhood amendment is approved, all human beings in Mississippi would be provided equal rights and protection from the moment of conception. In effect, the measure would outlaw abortion, as well as cloning and human embryo research, in a way that would definitely “challenge Roe v. Wade at its very core.”
The ballot initiative has been challenged by abortion lobbies who argued that voters are not allowed to “change” the definition of “person.”
However, Justice Randy G. Pierce said that assertion was inaccurate.
He wrote, “To be clear, it is the province of this court to interpret the meaning of the Mississippi Constitution, and no opinion issued by this court has interpreted the meaning of the word ‘person’ as it is used throughout the constitution.”
“The dissent worries that Measure 26 ‘seeks to modify the definition’ of ‘person or persons’ as they appear in the Mississippi constitution. But those terms have never been defined. Therefore, Measure 26 cannot modify a definition that does not now exist,” wrote Justice Pierce in the ruling.
The Mississippi Supreme Court also opined that they “cannot interfere with the legislative act of the people, just as this court cannot interfere with the attempt of the legislature to pass a law.”