The Relative Comment

soothing waves of relativity

Mississippi Rejects Personhood Amendment

with 2 comments

I told Mrs. TRC a few days ago that I thought that the Personhood Amendment was going to fail, even in Mississippi, because it’s just too extreme. If it was a vote to ban abortion, the outcome might have been different. But even as I made that public prediction, I secretly questioned it, and thought, well, if it’s going to pass somewhere and get the movement its first victory, it just might be here.

Yesterday, voters rejected the measure. With a surprising majority. 55% of voters decided against the ballot initiative, a surprisingly high number given the expectation that the Personhood initiative was going to pass. There are lessons, such as maybe the issue is not as unified as abortion opponents believe, or that regardless of the MS result, the Personhood Movement will continue to expand until Roe v. Wade is challenged at the Supreme Court. Those are not difficult to draw.

Other than that, I’ll spare the psych on why what happened happened.


Written by Christopher ZF

November 9, 2011 at 09:26

2 Responses

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  1. I’m not that familiar with MS or the deep South, but I too was surprised that this failed. I wonder what this means for the nationwide “Pro Life” movement?


    November 9, 2011 at 09:28

  2. I don’t think it will change the pro-life movement across the US. We may be in a transition period when we see the pro-life movement change the debate away from pro-choice/pro-life to a further embrace of the constitutional protections for personhood. There have been quite a few in the traditional pro-life movement that oppose the personhood strategy for overturning Roe v. Wade, but the movement for personhood continues to gain national prominence, despite it losing all three of it’s ballot attempts (1 in MS, 2 previously in CO).

    For the broader plan to outlaw abortion, win or lose in the MS, the national movement will continue until Roe. v. Wade is overturned.

    Either way, passing anti-abortion ballot initiatives is very difficult, and Slate asks a question that might be apt: why did we expect this to pass in MS? The media claimed it would pass (and I reported this claim further, earlier) but the evidence that it would pass might not have been there to begin with. This was a very difficult sell to voters, with too many questions unanswered. Maybe it was destined not to pass in the first place.


    November 9, 2011 at 10:04

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