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'Personhood' Proposition Divides Mississippi Religious Leaders

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2011 Nov 05
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People of faith in Mississippi are split on a "personhood" initiative that will be decided on Tuesday's ballot, the Mississippi Sun-Herald reports. Initiative 26, known as "The Personhood Amendment," would amend the state constitution to declare that life begins at the moment a human egg is fertilized and give any unborn child the same human and legal rights afforded to all citizens. The state's largest Christian group, the Mississippi Baptist Convention, supports the proposal, as does the Tupelo-based American Family Association. Members of the Baptist Convention's lobbying group have campaigned for the initiative, telling voters to vote "yes" for life because it's a moral and spiritual issue rather than a political one. However, some religious leaders are not supporting the initiative: The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi said that while he believed in the sanctity of life, he was concerned about "the unintended consequences of this legislation," and the General Conference of the United Methodist Church wrote that it had "never affirmed that abortion is always wrong."