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Miss. 'Personhood' Initiative Fails To Qualify for Ballot

May 16, 2014 — A proposed ballot initiative that aimed to define life as beginning at fertilization in Mississippi will not appear on the state's November 2015 ballot, the AP/Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports (AP/Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 5/14).

The initiative's backers had until Wednesday to submit enough signatures to place the measure on the ballot. They needed at least 107,216 signatures from registered voters.

The initiative was "nearly identical" to one from 2011 that was defeated by 58% of state voters (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/13).

Although a spokesperson for Personhood USA did not immediately return requests for comment, a worker at the organization's Washington, D.C., office said that organizers stopped collecting signatures for the measure months ago (AP/Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 5/14).

Meanwhile, Parents Against Personhood President Atlee Breland said the group is "very relieved" the initiative will not be on the ballot, given that it "would have had exactly the same unintended consequences for infertility [and] for life-threatening pregnancy complications" as the previous measure (Ortega, WAPT, 5/15).