This Election Day, Mississippi voters will vote on Initiative 26 – an amendment that would define every zygote or fetus from the moment of fertilization as a legal “person.” It’s the latest attempt to severely curtail women’s reproductive rights. Not only are voters being asked to define embryos as people, this amendment will also outlaw the most common types birth control and in vitro fertilization and would open the door for criminal investigations of miscarriages. Mississippi, already home to some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, will now make it nearly impossible for women and their doctors to make informed and sound decisions. Initiative 26, if passed, will be one of the most damaging intrusions into women’s reproductive health we’ve seen, even in a year marked by restrictive anti-choice bills.
A number of organizations are working on fighting Initiative 26, including the Mississippi Nurses Association, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Mississippi and the Mississippi State Medical Association.