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Personhood Amendments Aren't Finished Yet

November 10, 2011

Mississippi voters on Tuesday knocked down a proposed amendment to their state constitution that would have extended the definition of "personhood" well beyond its current use, placing further restrictions on abortion rights.

That was bad news for the anti-abortion rights movement. It's also a bad omen for the three other personhood amendments floating around in other states, all of which are much less conservative than Mississippi.

In Montana, Nevada and Florida, anti-abortion rights activists are still trying to get their measures on the 2012 ballot. In all three states, activists told their local newspapers they weren't deterred by the Mississippi loss.

Florida activists will try to gather the 676,000 signatures they need to get an amendment on the ballot in 2014, but they're woefully short; they have just 20,000 signatures so far. Montana activists need 48,674 signatures to get on the ballot in 2012, and Nevada's anti-abortion group will begin collecting the 72,352 signatures they need by June 19 after a December court hearing on the language of the proposed amendment.

Pro-abortion rights activists can't rest yet, but it's safe to say their efforts to defeat any of the three proposed initiatives will be much easier in all three states than it was in Mississippi.

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