Mississippi's "Personhood Amendment" fails at polls
By (CBS/AP) - CBS NEWS
Added: Wed, 09 Nov 2011 06:24:56 UTC
Christi Chandler, left, and Stacy Hawsey, both of Madison and supporters of the Personhood Amendment promote their initiative as they waver signs at drivers in the midst of last minute campaigning Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo)
(CBS/AP) JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi voters Tuesday defeated a ballot initiative that would've declared life begins at fertilization, a proposal that supporters sought in the Bible Belt state as a way to prompt a legal challenge to abortion rights nationwide. The so-called "personhood" initiative was rejected by more than 55 percent of voters, falling far short of the threshold needed for it to be enacted. If it had passed, it was virtually assured of drawing legal challenges because it conflicts with the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a legal right to abortion. Supporters of the initiative wanted to provoke a lawsuit to challenge the landmark ruling.
The measure divided the medical and religious communities and caused some of the most ardent abortion opponents, including Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, to waver with their support.
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