A court in Mississippi, USA will decide on Tuesday whether a fertilized egg can be considered as a human being. If so, then Mississippi will be the first state in US to define a fertilized egg as a person, a controversial concept aimed at outlawing abortion, some types of birth control and infertility methods that result in the loss of embryos. The so-called “personhood amendment” to the state constitution represents a twist in strategy for anti-abortion efforts, which aims to overturn the decision of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision making abortion legal.
Critics of the Mississippi measure say defining a person as every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof amounts to an extreme government intrusion that could effectively criminalize routine medical care and endanger women’s lives. Opponents, including the state’s medical and nurses associations, have stepped up their criticism in the weeks leading up to the decision.
All agree the proposed amendment would ban abortion without exceptions for rape or incest victims and also outlaw some forms of hormonal contraceptives, though there is dispute over which ones.
Report by Adhir Roy Chowdury