Consequences of Granting Legal Status to a Fertilized Human Egg

A June 6, 2011 file photo shows "Personhood" supporters gathering at a prayer rally at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., to concentrate their efforts to get a proposed "personhood" constitutional amendment offered to voters. The amendment offers a definition of a person not now found in the Mississippi Constitution.  - (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

A June 6, 2011 file photo shows "Personhood" supporters gathering at a prayer rally at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., to concentrate their efforts to get a proposed "personhood" constitutional amendment offered to voters. The amendment offers a definition of a person not now found in the Mississippi Constitution.

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Consequences of Granting Legal Status to a Fertilized Human Egg

Mississippi voters will be asked to decide whether to define a fertilized human egg as a legal person. Why advocates on both sides of the abortion issue warn that the measure, if passed, could have far-reaching consequences.

Mississippi will ask voters next week to decide whether to give legal status to fertilized human eggs. If the ballot measure is approved, abortion would become tantamount to murder. And in vitro fertility clinics and popular methods of birth control could be outlawed. Many observers deem it one of the gravest assaults on women's reproductive rights in decades. Similar efforts to redefine "personhood" are in the works in several states. Colorado voters twice defeated personhood initiatives recently. But many expect the Mississippi measure to pass. We'll talk about the latest tactics in the battle against abortion.

Guests

Robert Destro

professor of law; director, Interdisciplinary Program in Law & Religion Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America.

Jon Fasman

Atlanta correspondent for the Economist.

Suzanne Novak

senior staff attorney, Center for Reproductive Rights.

Walter Hoye

a spokesman for PersonhoodUSA; president of the Issues4Life Foundation and the California Civil Rights Foundation.

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