Mississippi personhood initiative certified for 2011 statewide ballot

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April 2, 2010

JACKSON, Mississippi: The Mississippi Life Begins at the Moment of Fertilization Initiative is headed to the 2011 statewide ballot following Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann announcement that his office certified 106,325 signatures, exceeding the minimum requirement of 89,285 signatures to qualify for the ballot.[1] The measure - which will be referred to state lawmakers who have the option to draft a competing proposal - proposed adding language to the Mississippi Constitution that declares that life begins at "the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof." Although supporters are content with the Thursday announcement, legal challenges are expected. "I think it is a big step for Mississippi to at least put this out on the table and let the people vote on it," said Catholic Social and Community Services Inc. director Jennifer Williams. However, Planned Parenthood Southeast's regional director of public policy Felicia Brown-Williams called the measure "outrageous."[2] The proposed measure marks the 26th attempt by Personhood Mississippi to get an initiative on the ballot.[3]

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