Mississippi Rejects Zygote “Personhood” Amendment

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More than 55 percent of Mississippi voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution that would have redefined legal personhood as beginning at conception. The so-called “personhood” measure was the most radically anti-abortion effort in the country, and would have outlawed all abortions and many forms of birth control.

With 63 percent of precincts reporting, 57 percent of voters rejected the amendment, according to the Associated Press tally.

The Center for Reproductive Rights called the amendment’s defeat “a tremendous victory for women in the state and across the country.” “Outlawing medical services commonly used and relied upon by Americans in their personal lives runs completely counter to the U.S. Constitution, not to mention some of our most deeply held American political traditions and values,” said Nancy Northup, the group’s president, in a statement.

This is the third time voters have rejected this kind of measure at the polls: Colorado defeated similar efforts in 2008 and 2010. Abortion foes and pro-choice groups were both watching Mississippi avidly this year. Anti-abortion groups in a number of other states are at work on getting their own ballot initiatives in place for the 2012 election, as are some Republican congressmen. Mississippi, one of the most conservative states in the country, was seen as a test case for other measures.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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