NEWS BRIEF: Mississippi Gov. “Concerned” Over Personhood Amendment

When a guy who can’t even talk about fetal rights without getting all misty-eyed says an initiative to give “personhood” to fertilized eggs goes too far, you know it really goes too far.

On Wednesday, outgoing Republican Governor Haley Barbour said on Fox and Friends that, though he believes life begins at conception,

Unfortunately, this personhood amendment doesn’t say that. It says life begins at fertilization, or cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof. That ambiguity is striking a lot of pro-life people here as concerning. And I’m talking about people that are very, outspokenly pro-life.

He might even vote against the initiative, which will be on Mississippi’s ballot this Tuesday, Nov. 8.

In other news on the push to encode the inalienable rights of fertilized eggs into law, Walter Hoye, spokesperson for the so-called “personhood” movement, admitted on NPR that the initiative in Mississippi may indeed ban birth control, as opponents worry. From The Diane Rehm Show:

Hoye: Any birth control that ends the life of a human being will be impacted by this measure.

Rehm: So that would then include the IUD. What about the birth control pill?

Hoye: If that falls into the same category, yes.

Rehm: So you’re saying that the birth control pill could be considered as taking the life of a human being?

Hoye: I’m saying that once the egg and the oocyte [sic] come togetherand you have that single-celled embryo [sic], at that point you have human life, you’ve got a human being and we’re taking the life of a human being with some forms of birth control and if birth control falls into that category, yes I am.

Hoye throws in an “if” there at the end, but other prominent supporters of “personhood” are not so coy: Dr. Beverly A. McMillan, advisory board member of Yes on 26, claims that “birth control pills do indeed cause abortions.”

If you haven’t already, get involved with Vote No on 26 before Tuesday’s vote. Don’t let Mississippi make women’s lives constitutionally less valuable than those of embryos.

Thumbnail photo of Governor Haley Barbour by flickr user Gage Skidmore under Creative Commons 2.0.


Holly L. Derr is the Head of Graduate Directing at the University of Memphis and a feminist media critic who uses the analytical tools of theater to reflect upon broader issues of culture, race and gender. Follow her @hld6oddblend.