Mississippi residents grapple with personhood amendment

(WMC-TV) - The fight over a controversial personhood bill in Mississippi is getting national attention.

On Election Day, Mississippi voters will be faced with a tough decision - a vote on a constitutional amendment that would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, banning abortions and some forms of birth control.

It's a debate that has people on all sides of the issue weighing in on the impact the measure could have on medical care and contraception.

"It's not like they say up until seven months then it becomes life," said Olivia Ward, who supports the amendment. "It's a life the entire time. So from conception, it is a life."

In Mississippi, the amendment would ban all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would also ban some forms of birth control including IUD's and the "morning after pills" that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus.

The amendment would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.

"If you take abortion stuff away like that, then you'll have plenty 14, 15, and 16-year-olds running around that really don't know what they're doing," said VonShun Thomas, who is against the amendment. "I understand they laid there, but still that don't give them a right to put something like that to vote for."

The amendment has already been endorsed by both gubernatorial candidates in Mississippi, Republican Phil Bryant and Democrat Johnny Dupree.

"The bible says thou shall not kill, so I feel that is killing a living thing, and you don't know what that baby could've been," said Lydia Shoto, who supports the amendment.

Mississippi residents go to the polls on November 8.

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