Mississippi Supreme Court hears arguments regarding personhood amendment

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June 8, 2011

Mississippi

JACKSON, Mississippi: The fight in the state's high court has begun, as opponents of Initiative 26 - the proposed personhood amendment - attempt to strip the measure of ballot access and keep it away from voters during the 2011 general election.

The Mississippi Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments from Liberty Counsel, who will defend Personhood Mississippi, organizers of the initiative drive to place the measure on the ballot, and Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. The arguments will be against the lawsuit filed by the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. The lawsuit was filed on the basis that the Bill of Rights would be changed by the measure, which is not allowed by citizens' initiative.[1]

Previously, on October 26, 2010 a Hinds County judge cleared the measure for the 2011 ballot. Judge Malcolm Harrison ruled that the initiative should appear on the ballot because supporters collected the required signatures and the constitution recognizes the right of citizens to change the state constitution.[2][3]

During late April 2011, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court against the measure, hoping to strike the proposed amendment from the ballot.[4]

According to Keith Mason, of Personhood USA, about the appeal: "Of course we expect Planned Parenthood and the ACLU to continue their unholy alliance in attacking personhood bills and amendments. They are terrified that abortion will be made illegal. Planned Parenthood, with the help of the ACLU, is fighting for their ‘right’ to kill children for profit.”[5]

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