Pro-Life Supporters Split on 'Personhood' Bill

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A Mississippi bill that could define life as the moment an egg is fertilized has some pro-lifers in disagreement.

The Personhood Amendment will be on the state's Nov. 8 ballot.

If approved, the amendment would change the state's constitution to say a person's life begins at conception -- meaning both abortion and the use of some forms of birth control would be considered murder.

The state's largest Christian denomination, the Mississippi Baptist Convention is backing the Personhood proposal through its lobbying arm, the Christian Action Commission.

"The Lord expects us to value life, even as He does," Jimmy Porter, the group's executive director, said in a video.

Yet, some feel the ballot measure could easily backfire, putting women's lives in danger by making birth control a lethal weapon.

"It's a bad bill. t's bad medicine," said Dr. Paul Seago, a gynecologic oncologist in Mississippi.

"It really concerns me that the unintended consequences and the 'what ifs' would get so much attention, as opposed to the intended consequence," he added.

Supporters of the amendment say their ultimate goal is to provoke a court fight to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established a legal right to abortion.

Mississippi already has some of the toughest abortion regulations in the country. The state only has one operating abortion clinic.

While Mississippi is the only state to have such an initiative on the ballot this fall, efforts could also put the question on the ballots of Florida, Montana, Ohio, and Oregon in 2012.

Supporters say similar efforts will begin soon in eight other states.

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