Mississippi amendment on 'personhood' divides Christians

· Law and Religion, United States

Source / Courtesy: CNN

Columbus, Mississippi (CNN) — In the Carpenter home, every meal begins with a prayer. Robin and his wife, Emily, are devout Christians. But they part ways with many other Christians over a measure that would expand the legal definition of human life.

Their son, Luke, now 4 years old, was born through in vitro fertilization.

The anti-abortion amendment being voted on this week in the state could restrict in vitro procedures, and the Carpenters are worried that if they wait too long to add to their family, they may end up breaking the law.

“I don’t really want or need anybody else getting involved in trying to limit how that works for us, or stopping it,” said Robin Carpenter. “We need to have the same rights to have a family as anybody else does.”

The Carpenters fear that if Mississippi Amendment 26 passes on Tuesday, their whole future will change.

The controversial measure, known as “Personhood,” will ask Mississippians to amend the state constitution to define life as beginning at conception, which would eliminate abortion, including in the cases of women who are the victims of rape and incest. The law would also outlaw certain forms of birth control and the destruction of embryos in laboratories — which puts in vitro fertilization procedures in question because it results in unused fertilized eggs.

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  1. Zia H. Shah

    Mississippi voters reject anti-abortion initiative:

    Jackson, Mississippi (CNN) — Mississippi voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution that would have defined life as starting at conception, and outlawed abortion and many forms of birth control if passed.

    “I think voters rejected a measure they understood to be dangerous,” said Felicia Brown-Williams with the Mississippi for Healthy Families Campaign. “They really tried to manipulate values around faith and family.”

    If the amendment 26, or “Personhood,” had passed Tuesday, it would have re-opened the national debate on abortion. Court challenges would have set the measure on a path for the U.S. Supreme Court and a showdown in the far right’s mission to overturn Roe V. Wade.

    “We are not conceding because we did our duty,” said Les Riley, a Mississippi citizen and a petitioner of amendment 26. “We have obeyed God … it is not tolerable that they kill children.”


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