'Personhood' effort still alive after Miss. defeat

November 9, 2011 - 3:45 AM
Mississippi Abortion Amendment

Amendment 26 supporter Joyce Haskins, with her grandchild Landry Bruce, waves to passersby outside the voting booths at the Oxford Conference Center in Oxford, Miss. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. Mississippians go to the polls today for state and local elections, as well as referendums including the so-called Personhood Amendment. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Abortion opponents say they're still pursuing life-at-fertilization ballot initiatives in six other states after Bible Belt voters in Mississippi defeated one Tuesday.

The "personhood" proposal was intended to prompt a legal challenge aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established a legal right to abortion.

Keith Mason is co-founder of Personhood USA, which pushed the Mississippi measure. The Colorado-based group is trying to put similar initiatives on 2012 ballots in Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Nevada and California. Voters in Colorado rejected similar proposals in 2008 and 2010.

Mason says the group might revive efforts for another ballot initiative in Mississippi.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, says the initiatives represent an "extreme, dangerous and direct assault" on abortion rights.