Voters in Mississippi were expected to make it the first state to confer protected legal status to fertilized human eggs Tuesday. Instead, they made it the second state to reject a so-called "personhood amendment" to its constitution.
One possible reason is that the effort divides even those who consider themselves against abortion.
Mississippi voters on Tuesday rejected an amendment to their state constitution that would have declared that life begins at fertilization.
The result was somewhat unexpected: As recently as a few weeks ago, the so-called personhood amendment was considered almost certain to pass. Voters in Colorado have twice rejected similar amendments to declare that life begins legally at fertilization, in 2008 and 2010. But Mississippi, with its far more conservative bent, was considered much friendlier territory.
Colorado voters have twice rejected measures to define “personhood” – and now voters in Mississippi will have their say. An initiative on next week’s ballot would, if approved, define personhood from the moment of conception and all rights afforded under the state’s constitution would apply.