Mississippi Personhood Amendment Makes Ballot, Has Constitution Party Ties

The Mississippi Personhood Amendment has turned in 130,000 signatures and made it onto the ballot. The Constitutional Amendment process in Mississippi is one of the most difficult in the nation. The initiative will be on the ballot in 2011.

Les Riley, the organizer of the campaign to get the personhood amendment on the ballot in Mississippi, has been Chairman of the Constitution Party of Mississippi since 1998 and the Candidate for Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture in 2007, a race in which he carried 7% and nearly 50,000 votes. One of the other organizers of the campaign was Cal Zastrow, the former National Field Coordinator for the national Constitution Party who later left the party over abortion issues and has since formed Personhood USA, one of the largest organizations advancing the idea of pro-life personhood initiatives.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Mississippi: SECTION 1. Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hearby amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ: Section 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” This initiative shall not require any additional revenue for implementation.

29 thoughts on “Mississippi Personhood Amendment Makes Ballot, Has Constitution Party Ties

  1. Andy

    It is very difficult to put citizen ballot initiatives on the ballot in Mississippi. It is a rarity when one qualifies.

  2. Rachel H, rabid feminist (NOT!)

    Good thing it’s difficult – what do these people think they’re going to do with this?

    Abortion will still be legal – I guess they can selectively pursue “murder” charges against a few people (abusive husbands, drug abusing pregnant women, etc).

    Get a life, people.

    If you don’t like abortion, don’t get one.

    Don’t get anyone pregnant.

    Provide birth control to kids.

    Adopt a fetus BEFORE it’s born, in order to prevent an abortion – support the pregnant woman until the baby is born.

    But stay out of other people’s business.

  3. Nicholas Sarwark

    I love how they claim that the initiative would not require any additional revenue for implementation.

    Changing a legal term of art that occurs in probably well over 60% of the statutes is going to cost a ton of money and will lead to unintended consequences that are hard to even imagine.

  4. Trent Hill Post author

    “It is very difficult to put citizen ballot initiatives on the ballot in Mississippi. It is a rarity when one qualifies.”

    This is only the third time it has succeeded.

  5. Andy

    “This is only the third time it has succeeded.”

    It is a shame that Mississippi doesn’t have a more user friendly initiative process.

    A couple of other states that have a citizens initiative process but where it is really difficult to do them so they rarely happen are Illinois and Wyoming. I know that no citizen ballot initiative has qualified for the ballot in Wyoming since 1996. I think that it was back in the ’90s that the last one qualified for the ballot in Illinois as well.

  6. Timothy Yung

    In extreme situation extreme measures must be taken. Already millions of babies have died. Passing this ballot measure is not enough because the Supreme Court will invalidate this decision. We must have get all the pro-death Supreme Court justices impeached and replace them with people like Edwin Viera, Roy Moore, Michael Peroutka, Robert Bork, etc.

  7. Trent Hill Post author

    Louisiana can only consider a constitutional amendment after the legislature has agreed to put it on the ballot.

  8. Trent Hill Post author

    If the MS-CP were smart, they could capitalize on this–whether or not it succeeds Les Riley could raise his profile quite a bit and then run for state legislature as a CP candidate and raise quite a bit of money.
    I know that isn’t his priority, but it’s certainly something he should consider afterwards.

  9. Michael Seebeck

    Not this $#!t again! It failed to make the ballot in CA, it was rejected in 2008 in CO, and yet the fools keep trying to legislate what is clearly false “science.” When will they learn they’re not gonna win this one?

    Human life does NOT being at fertilization, any more than having all the parts in the garage makes one have a car. Some assembly is required before both cases can leave the shelter.

  10. Trent Hill Post author

    It also failed to make the ballot in Montana in 2008, but is supposedly likely to make the ballot in 2010 in that state. I’ll be posting a story on that when I get it–these personhood amendments always have third party connections for some reasons.

  11. Andy

    “Trent Hill // May 24, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Louisiana can only consider a constitutional amendment after the legislature has agreed to put it on the ballot.”

    The legislature can place an initiative on the ballot in any state.

    There are 24 states that have a statewide citizens initiative process (as in an initiative can be put on the ballot via citizens petition). The District of Columbia also has a citizens initiative process, although it is not a state.

  12. Andy

    “Trent Hill // May 24, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    It also failed to make the ballot in Montana in 2008, but is supposedly likely to make the ballot in 2010 in that state. I’ll be posting a story on that when I get it–these personhood amendments always have third party connections for some reasons.”

    There are a lot of initiatives that have 3rd party connections.

  13. Trent Hill Post author

    “There are a lot of initiatives that have 3rd party connections.”

    I wish more people would send us emails about it.

  14. paulie

    That’s Kampia with a K. I heard something about him being forced out of leadership at MPP, but not any details.

  15. Jason

    To Rachel H: I was amused by your use of the phrase, “get a life.” It seems that’s exactly what the good people of Mississippi are trying to do.

    And to Michael Seebeck: science has concluded that, at the moment of conception, there exists unique DNA, distinct from both parents (and everyone else ever created for that matter), in other words, a new and unique member of the family.

  16. Michael Seebeck

    Jason @19:

    I’ve made two kids and I’m married to a biologist. I also buried one of them because something in his DNA pile didn’t assemble together properly and he died while viable in utero. I kinda think I know the science.

    But as I said before, just because the parts are there doesn’t mean the product is made. Having held a dead son in my arms, that becomes rather obvious. May you never have to endure that personal Hell.

    If you have any kids go look at any of their construction sets and you might figure it out. Or not. But the analogy holds.

    Life is precious, so precious, that we owe it the respect it deserves to get its definitions and boundaries correct and not assume that which is unknown just to play political football.

    Click on the name link to get the whole picture.

  17. Andy

    “paulie // May 25, 2010 at 8:32 am

    That’s Kampia with a K. I heard something about him being forced out of leadership at MPP, but not any details.”

    I knew that. That was a typo.

  18. Jason

    Mr. Seebeck your appeal to emotionalism is touching but irrelevant and clearly intended to suspend rational discourse. That’s what the culture of death does.

    And you obviously don’t know the science, despite the snarky implication that you do.

    When did your “DNA pile” (your words) deserve the respect you and I do? I’ll let you figure it out.

  19. Jason

    One more comment Mr. Seebeck. If what you buried was just an unassembled pile of DNA, with the “parts there” but the “product” not being made, why was burying “it” a “personal Hell”?

    Just a blob of tissue after all, right?

  20. Carolyn Marbry

    We’re not going to get into the whole pro-choice/pro-life argument again, here, are we?

    Hopefully Mississippi will recognize that while, yes, the DNA combination formed at the moment the ovum is fertilized is unique, the mother retains the right to decide whether her body will be used as life support for that person or not, just as she would if he were a 50 year old taxpayer and dependent on her body for life support. Perhaps this will encourage them to look into “abortions” that do not involve terminating the life of the child, particularly in the case of late-term abortions of viable children. But we won’t decide that here.

    Anyway, as I say, we probably don’t want to get into the whole pro-choice/pro-life argument because it rarely if ever involves anyone changing his mind or lends itself too readily to the argument from emotion, and is probably

  21. Michael Seebeck

    Jason: Prove empirically the difference between a viable human being and a groups of cells.

    IOW, prove empirically when a soul enters a body.

    When you figure that one out, get back to me and prepare to win the Nobel Prize for medicine. Until then, STFU, because you don’t know, I don’t know, and nobody really knows. Hence people surmise, and people like you jump to illogical conclusions, and then compound the error in trying to legislate the illogic onto everyone else.

    Yes, I *do* know the science–far better than you can possibly comprehend. I also know the emotional side of it in a far more personal way than you can *ever* fathom. When you hold your dead chils in your arms before he’s suppsoed to be born, get back to me.

    And to answer your utterly ridiculous question, a question that shows you are childless and a small-minded person who knows nothing of life and the implications of creating one and the process that actuall happens beyond a mere description in a book: it was a personal Hell because at 38 weeks of pregnancy my son was viable by every medical account and we were waiting on nature to take its course in completing the pregnancy. Yet he died. And his parents were not only looking forward to him being in our lives, but were straining at the bit to be parents. He was far beyond a “pile of DNA” at that point. He was our son! Of course, clueless people like you simply don’t understand the situation as a parent, let alone one who has lost a child. Your question clearly indicates you not only have no children, but that you aren’t ready to have any either. For that we should all be thankful.

    See folks, this is where the militant pro-life fools just don’t get it, because they see everything through the inane viewpoint of abortion or not. They never comprehend the other side of fetal death, that being miscarriage and stillbirth. They fail to understand the wonders of life and instead are fixated on the action of death to the point of obsessing about it and trying to shove their view down everyone else’s throat, whether it is correct or not or whether everyone else likes it or not. It’s unlibertarian. Pro-lifers whine to high-heaven about people having abortions yet get totally apeshit against technology with embryonic fetus research (no, NOT stem cells!–I mean the cellular developments of pregnancy!) that could save the unborn, because it might harm the embryo, technology and research that might have saved my son instead of having the equivalent results of an abortion thrust upon my wife and I without our consent or desire. THAT’S why it was personal Hell–because the gift of life that my wife and I wanted and both worked hard to create was taken from us in an instant, through absolutely no fault of our own.

    The standard is viability. A just-fetrilized ovum is not viable. A 38/40 weeks fetus most certainly is. Where the difference occurs is the heart of the debate, and won’t be decided here. But the fertilization point is scientifically inaccurate, and the birth point is a legal distinction and not a scientific one. If you had read the blog link you would understand that, Jason.

  22. Scott Morrison

    Finally, the people of Mississippi are speaking up for the equal protection that the US Constitution guarantees everyone, including unborn children. God Bless Mississippi.

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