Students at Mississippi State protest ‘Personhood’ amendment
A group of Mississippi State University students held a protest against the state’s so-called “Personhood” amendment yesterday. The amendment, which will appear on the state’s ballot next month, aims to ban abortion but could have a host of negative consequences.
Mississippi State University senior political science major and West Point native Shannon Denney hopes to generate support against the initiative at a protest rally on the MSU drill field at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Since the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled on Sept. 8 to allow the initiative on the November ballot, Denney and co-organizer Victoria Jowers have worked on organizing event, which they hope will run smoothly considering the hot-button issue of abortion.
Denney, who is pro-abortion rights and an independent voter, said the protest rally will not include a pro-abortion rights agenda. Instead, organizers want to focus on women’s rights.
Amendment 26 is so vague, some say, that it leaves much room for interpretation. Defining a human being from the moment of conception could mean that the morning-after pill (which is offered in some states to rape victims) would be off the market in Mississippi. In vitro fertilization and birth control could also be affected by the passage of the amendment.
Personhood supporters say their only intention is to ban abortion; there is currently only one abortion clinic in operation in the entire state of Mississippi.
In Florida, a similar initiative was deemed too extreme by both conservative state lawmakers and pro-life religious organizations. The head of Personhood Florida, Bryan Longworth, has said he will gather signatures for a future ballot initiative.