Miss. ‘Personhood’ Amendment Failure Raises Doubts About Strategy
The group that supported the controversial ballot issue says it wants to go forward in other states next year. Meanwhile a judge in Kansas threw out criminal charges against Planned Parenthood clinic.
NPR: 'Personhood' Divides Anti-Abortion Groups
Voters in Mississippi were expected to make it the first state to confer protected legal status to fertilized human eggs Tuesday. Instead, they made it the second state to reject a so-called personhood amendment to its constitution. One possible reason is that the effort divides even those who consider themselves against abortion (Rovner, 11/9).
McClatchy: 'Personhood' Movement Plots Next Move After Abortion-Banning Measure Fails In Mississippi
Now that Mississippi voters, among the most conservative in the nation, firmly defeated the abortion-banning amendment known as Initiative 26, a broader debate has broken out about whether the "personhood" movement behind the initiative can be successful in putting similar measures before voters in other states in 2012 (Fausset, 11/9).
Politico: Birth Control Seen As A Factor In 'Personhood' Vote
Concerns about women's access to contraception contributed to the last-minute defeat of ... Mississippi's "personhood" anti-abortion amendment, abortion rights supporters said after Tuesday's vote. The amendment, earlier seen as a shoo-in, lost by a 16 point margin in one of the most conservative and anti-abortion states in the country. Its supporters are seeking to get similar "personhood" initiatives on the 2012 ballot in several states, including Nevada, Ohio and Florida (Feder, 11/9).
The Associated Press: Women Out Front In Defeat Of MS Abortion Measure
Defying Mississippi's conservative reputation, women voters appeared to lead the charge against a ballot measure that sought to ban abortion, and could've made some birth control illegal and deterred doctors from doing in vitro fertilization. Supporters of the so-called personhood movement, which defines life as beginning at fertilization, vowed to push for the amendment in five other states next year, even though this Bible Belt state may have been its best chance at success (Pettus, 11/9).
In other state news on abortion, a Kansas judge threw out criminal charges against a Planned Parenthood clinic.
The Associated Press: Judge Tosses Charges In Kansas Abortion Case
A judge Wednesday dismissed the most serious charges against a Kansas City-area Planned Parenthood clinic accused of falsifying records and failing to follow abortion law after a prosecutor revealed that state officials had destroyed key evidence. Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe told the judge he had no choice but to ask that 49 of 107 charges against the clinic be dismissed because documents central to the case were destroyed (Hanna, 11/9).
The Kansas City Star: Kansas Judge Dismisses Felony Charges Against Planned Parenthood
Johnson County prosecutors on Wednesday dismissed 49 charges, including 23 felonies, that were filed as part of the nation's first criminal case against Planned Parenthood. Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said that all copies of key documents needed to support those charges no longer exist. ... Howe said he would prosecute the remaining 58 misdemeanors in the complaint Phill Kline filed in 2007, when he was the Johnson County district attorney. Those misdemeanor charges accuse Planned Parenthood of failing to test fetuses for viability and performing late-term abortions (Lambe, 11/9).
And an anti-abortion group has asked to join a lawsuit in North Carolina.
McClatchy / The (Raleigh) News & Observer: Washington, D.C.-Based Anti-Abortion Group Wants To Join N.C. Lawsuit
An anti-abortion public-interest organization wants to help the state defend against a lawsuit challenging the new law placing restrictions on the operation. The Washington, D.C.-based Jubilee Campaign Law of Life Project has filed a motion in federal court in Greensboro asking a judge to allow it to intervene in the lawsuit brought by several state and national civil-rights groups. Last month, U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles temporarily barred the state from enacting the ultrasound portion of the new law, known as A Woman's Right to Know Act. The judge has scheduled a hearing for further discussion on the lawsuit next month (Jarvis, 11/10).