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Latest personhood push may miss deadline

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A deadline is fast approaching and it looks like pro-life groups won't make it with a new person-hood ballot initiative drafted last year.

A personhood amendment was defeated by 58 percent in 2011. There were was a move towards putting a similar one on the 2015 ballot. But more than 100,000 signatures are due to the Secretary of State's office by Wednesday.

"I think in God's time, personhood will pass," said Tanya Britton with Pro-Life Mississippi. "But in the meantime, light is being shed on the truth about abortion."

Pro-Life Mississippi was supporting Initiative 41 that was created by Personhood Mississippi.

"I'm sure that after prayerful deliberation, the group that was heading it up along with the American Family Association made the decision that this was not the best time to pursue the personhood amendment," explained Britton.

In 2011, the amendment's goal was to ban abortions. The method was by defining "person" in the state Constitution. It would have made the definition include the moment of fertilization, cloning of equivalent thereof. The rebooted version changed the language. It asked voters if the right to life begins at conception. But it seems it will miss the Wednesday deadline.

"As long as one baby loses his or her life to abortion, we will not stop," Britton added.

A group of citizens came together to form the group "No Means No" following accusations made by pro-life organizations after Initiative 26.

"We were a bit insulted because they kind of said well you didn't know what you voted upon," said David Denney. "But our perspective is that personhood is fatally flawed. No matter how you dress personhood up, no matter what language you remove, you add, it still has the same effect."

Opponents believe a personhood amendment would affect access to in-vitro-fertilization, birth control and care for high-risk pregnancies. Denney thinks citizens have wised up in the past three years.

"There's no doubt in my mind that people like I said the first time they didn't know," explained Denney. "And this time they kind of took a pause and said well what does this really mean? What am I really signing?"

Personhood Mississippi didn't respond to requests for a statement on how many signatures they received and why it appears they won't submit the initiative.

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